Crossover vehicles are becoming increasingly popular as motorists look for a car that drives like a nimble hatchback yet look like a menacing, expensive off-roader. Mitsubishi unveiled their Crossover, the ASX, in 2007, and it’s still on sale today. It is the cheapest car in its segment for the performance on offer. 6 years on, is a new ASX a good buy?
To look at, the ASX doesn’t set the world alight. It sits higher than a Kia Sportage and lacks the streamlined looks of a Mazda CX-5. It shares the same platform as the Mitsubishi Outlander which gives the car good interior space, and more 4×4-like proportions than other crossovers.
There’s only two engines to choose from – a lethargic, underpowered 1.6-litre petrol engine or the gutsy and pleasant 1.8-litre DiD. We recommend the latter. This engine is surprisingly powerful and it’s as good a performer as many higher capacity 2.0-litre units; it will take the ASX from 0 – 60 in 9.7 seconds and in-gear response is very good. Motorway driving is particularly hassle free with the 221 lb /ft of torque providing good pull.
The ASX mated to this engine will return a combined fuel economy of 54.3 mpg. The C02 rating is 138 g/km and it sits in insurance group 20.
The car is available as either a 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive, with the best seller being the front-wheel drive 1.8 DiD. Both variants of the car have been designed to be as comfortable as possible on British roads, and they’ve achieved this; potholes are dealt with easily and even on the roughest of surfaces there’s little to upset sleeping children in the back. HOWEVER, this supple ride has come at the cost of handling, and the ASX leans in corners when pushed and is prone to a lot of under steer in the wet. The ESP program does a good job to minimise this in the 2WD version, though, although it’s almost always apparent.
As with all Mitsubishi, the ASX is well equipped even in entry level 1.6-litre 2WD guise. Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, climate control, cruise control, remote central locking, power windows, power-adjustable exterior mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a leather bound gearshift and split / fold seats.
Ultimately, the Mitsubishi ASX fails to be as desirable as the Kia Sportage, Nissan Juke or Skoda Yeti (Bristol Street Motors offers the Nissan Juke). The ASX looks dated compared to the competition and whilst there is nothing wrong with the car’s interior it is certainly not as nice a place to be as it could be. The one saving grace of the ASX is the rather good 1.8 DiD engine that offers good mid-range acceleration, as well as the ASX’s price, which undercuts other cars in its class for the performance on offer. For us, though, the Mitsubishi doesn’t do enough to excite and in the end, that’s one thing we reckon all crossovers should do.