…By Robin Roberts (and Miles Better News Agency).
The latest third-generation Mitsubishi ASX is now better able to take on rivals than the immediately preceding products with its bolder styling, well revised and updated interior and cutting edge convenient technology.
For 2020, Mitsubishi fitted a more powerful 150 hp 2.0 litre petrol engine and choice of five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission with a welcome return to an all-wheel-drive derivative, bringing it into line with the rest of the company’s models.
Interestingly, depending on which set of emission test figures are used, the ASX Auto has widely different pollution outputs but the Auto is definitely two insurance groups lower than the 2WD manual.
They are much better equipped than before and available in Dynamic or Exceed trim levels with 18-inch alloys on both and new Red Diamond and Oak Brown colours. Exceed higher trim standard features are eight-way electric driver’s seat, cruise control, full length sunroof, TomTom in-car navigation, dynamic grip assistance controls, reversing and blind spot warning systems, powered mirrors and windows, sophisticated infotainment systems, LED lights, and ISO-Fix anchor points.
Essentially, Mitsubishi has changed the look of the ASX front and rear while keeping the central section much as before, and this means it has the latest LED rear, side, dip and main beam light clusters.
Our test car was the higher level Exceed version priced at £27,280 with 4WD and automatic box, and it’s a good combination delivering a smooth and untroubled performance from the 2.0 litre four cylinder engine, if lacking in outright power and sportiness. There are up/down gear shift paddles on the column for convenience and it’s a quick and responsive box with very low noise levels.
Secondary controls on stalks were partly hidden by the thick spokes carrying the infotainment or cruising controls, but they all worked well when you did need them.
Some secondary switches on the lower central console and lower edge of the fascia were well marked and the 4WD/ 4WD Lock button was just ahead of the autobox’s selector lever on the console. You could easily move through the settings and into a manual position with the lever, then use the paddles to go up or down the ratios.
A conventional handbrake was strong, the footbrake had good feedback and assistance and warning lights on the instruments display kept you informed about grip and loss of traction. I liked the small but clear instruments display.
The ASX has a wheelbase of 2.67 m (8.76 ft) and the ride is good, slightly firm over less than smooth roads but never uncomfortable. It’s helped by some very deep and enveloping heated seats infront and nicely supporting offset split back seat with a central drop-down armrest-cum-drinks holder. In fact, it has a lot of space for drinks throughout and its deep door bins and console trays are well up to their family role swallowing odds and ends.
Access is good for anyone and the boot-floor is low and wide but not long, plus the luggage compartment has a quickly removed self-lifting parcel shelf over a flat floor under which is the emergency inflation kit, but no spare wheel & tyre, which is something I dislike.
Once inside the car, space is good but not overly generous if you have four/ five tall people. It’s a compromise to take a 6 ft (1.83 m) front seat occupant and a similar height rear seat passenger but the headroom is fairly good and elbow-room adequate. The long sunroof adds to the impression of space.
It feels good to ride high and survey traffic around with low window waistline and good sight-lines to the front, more restricted to the back and the reversing camera is almost a necessity as are the rear sensors, but strangely there were no front sensors.
The latest Mitsubishi ASX with its 2.0 litre petrol engine and 4WD transmission is probably the best so far and whilst it’s not the most sporting of SUVs its styling inside and out together with modern creature comforts make it an attractive proposition against rivals in this sector. It puts up a good argument.
For: Quiet and smooth, good gearchanges, easy mode selection, simple clear instruments and big infotainment display, attractive styling and interior with comfortable seats.
Mini Milestones and Wheels-Alive Tech. Spec. in Brief:
Mitsubishi ASX Exceed petrol 6 speed auto 4WD
Price: £27,280 (excluding metallic paint and mats)
Mechanical: 150 hp four cylinder 2.0 petrol, six speed auto, 4WD
Performance: 118 mph, 0–62 mph 12.2 seconds, mpg on test 35 mpg.
Emissions: CO2 185 g/km.
Tax costs: BiK company car tax 37%, VED road tax £870 First Year, £150 Standard Rate
Insurance Group: 23
Warranty: Five years/62,500 miles
Sizes: L 4.37 m (14.34 ft), W 1.81 m (5.94 ft), H 1.64 m (5.38 ft), boot space 406 to 1,193 litres (14.34 to 42.13 cu.ft), five doors/five seats.