The Mitsubishi ASX was first introduced as a concept in the 2007 Frankfurt motor show. This is the first vehicle of Mitsubishi that combines hatchback dimensions with a crossover classification, as opposed to the company’s usual offering of SUVs. The profitability of the compact SUV sector led the company to build the ASX. But beyond business needs, the ASX features several innovative features and upgrades that make it a serious competitor in the market.
The ASX features Mitsubishi’s signature corporate design aesthetic. The front grill is stretched to fit the SUV proportions, but at the same time is on an end that combines plastic wings and an energy-absorbing bumper. These elements make sure that the vehicle passes the EuroNCAP pedestrian rating. The wheelbase is longer, allowing for more interior space and gives the vehicle one of the shortest overhangs. A pronounced crease on the side, which also gives the ASX a moving look even while it’s parked, enhances the rising windowline. The headlights illuminate the road well enough even if the position and shape are off. The bonnet sports two bulges that enhance pedestrian impact safety and allow the driver to look clearly into the car’s corners. The rear spoiler provides the vehicle a decent drag coefficient of 0.32; at the same time, it balances the odd looking rear end.
The 1.8 DiD engine is not as fast as the company claims. The 62mph sprint time of 9.7 seconds is similar to the 2.0-litre diesels of cars in the same class. Thankfully the engine does not disappoint in in-gear flexibility. The sixth gear’s 50 to 70mph time is much better than other by 0.9 seconds. The engine is also able to respond to throttle inputs at very low revs. The low-down torque performs well on urban speeds as the high gears enable easy progress. The brake pedals are accurate and provide enough modulation and feel for sudden accelerations and high speeds. The 1.6-litre engine also impresses in free-revving but it’s not one we would recommend for the books.
The ASX’s interior looks decent but stand out in terms of form or even function. The driver will have no problems with the steering wheel and seat adjustment. But the seats are not suited for long journeys due to the lack of lumbar and lateral support. There are also not much visually attractive elements within the interior itself, but you’ll have no problems getting through the clearly laid out controls. Cost cutting is also evident in the cheap plastics found along the door handles.
The ASX does not include individual sliding seats like its competitors, but there’s enough headroom and legroom for rear passengers. The boot capacity is 1193 litres—large enough for enough luggage but not quite as big as the Hyundai ix35’s or the Peugeot 3008’s. Visibility is clear on the rear but not as great up front. The mirrors are able to check the rear for three-quarters yet tend to be obstructed by the thick A-pillars.
Although the engines have performed adequately in temrs of revving, the cabin tends to get noisy when the AXS is not going on urban speeds.
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