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Mitsubishi ASX aspire to the new crossover

The ASX gives Lancer customers wanting something closer to an SUV an in-house option, at the same time as giving Outlander customers who want to downsize to something a little more car-like the same option ? only in reverse.

It appears in the Mitsubishi lineup midway between a Lancer Sportback and an Outlander.  It’s officially an SUV, but with one 2WD model in the range, and compact dimensions, the ASX has more than a touch of car-like civility about it.

It’s a smart move for Mitsubishi, effectively giving Lancer customers wanting something closer to an SUV an in-house option, at the same time as giving Outlander customers who want to downsize to something a little more car-like the same option – only in reverse.

In fact, all three vehicles share the same platform (the automotive equivalent of architectural underpinnings). Compared with Outlander, the ASX shares many other components – such as brakes, suspension and AWD system.

The ASX is a five-seater available with either a 1.8-litre turbodiesel engine with 110kW and 300Nm or a 2.0-litre petrol four with 110kW and 197Nm. The ASX marks the first time an Australian-delivered passenger car with a Mitsubishi badge has been available with a diesel engine.
It’s also the highlight of the range.

The diesel is available with a six-speed manual transmission – an automatic is on the way – while the petrol gets the option of a continuously variable transmission and comes standard with a five-speed manual.

There are three variants available – 2WD, 4WD and Aspire. The 2WD entry-level ASX is available with the 2.0-litre petrol engine and is a front-wheel-drive proposition. The 4WD and Aspire ASX models have the option of either petrol or diesel, and both get the AWD transmission.

Headlining the range, ASX Aspire gets 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, hands-free proximity smart key technology, dusk-sensing headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, power adjustment on the driver’s seat and Mitsubishi’s Multi-Communications System (MCS) – which boils down to audio, sat-nav and Bluetooth all rolled up in the one unit.

MCS is a 40gb hard-drive-based system that allocates up to 15gb for your favourite tunes, controllable via a seven-inch LCD display. The LCD also becomes a reversing camera monitor whenever reverse is selected – with potential life-saving benefits. And the audio is pumped through the vehicle via a quality Rockford Fosgate system packing 710 watts of aural punch.

Safety gets a big tick across the ASX range too, with stability control, traction control, hill-start assist, ABS with EBD, an emergency stopping signaling system, and seven airbags. Not bad for a vehicle that kicks off at just $25,990.