'13 ASX steps up for Mitsubishi
31 January 2013, 12:26
The crossover. Every automaker might have a definition for this recent phenomenon of the auto trade but they’re pretty much agreed that the common links are extra ride height, big wheels and a station-wagon tail door.
The crossover is the new century’s answer to crowded - and decaying – roads and yummy mummies’ desire to be fashionable yet practical while hauling shopping and brood around the malls.
There’s even a perception that because their crossover is chunky and rugged it’ll be safer in less-salubrious parts of town – Rambo-style. Oh yeah, and their crossover, perhaps a Mitsubishi ASX (Active Smart Crossover) just revised and re-launched in South Africa, will also handle the gravel and sometimes slippery accesses that are the downside of country living.
The crossover will even handle a powerboat or caravan if such is/are essential to their lifestyle.
There’s a lot of them, too. Think BMW X1, Chevrolet Captiva, Citroen Aircross, Jeep Compass, Mazda CX-5, Renaultt Koleos, SsangYong Korando, VW Tiguan. Kia Sportage and Hyundai’s iX35. Even the market is tough...
ESSENTIALLY A FACELIFT
Soon to join the range are the next Outlander as a petrol/battery plug-in hybrid (capable of 55km on electric power alone) and a minicar called the Mirage, a modern version of the once-popular Colt, to challenge the likes of Ford’s Figo and Kia’s Picanto.
The latest ASX is essentially a facelift of the original. It comes with new and darker cabin trim but the same hard-wearing plastic surfaces, a multi-function (cruise control and audio) steering wheel and a colour trip-data info screen display standard across the Lancer and ASX ranges, Bluetooth connectivity for up to SEVEN devices, “trainable” voice control, cruise control and a high-spec reversing camera on the top-spec models.
A nine-speaker RockfordFosgate audio system is a high-powered option.
The cars already have a five-star Euro safety rating and add wide-opening rear doors, 60/40 split rear seats that recline or can fold and tumble to create a flat load floor and – nice touch – there’s a huge glass roof. The boot volume is 442 litres or 1193 litres with the seats folded.
Fuel consumption is rated as 7.5 litres of petrol/100km.
The traction and stability control systems do their job. The ASX is, however, only front-wheel drive.
Power comes from a 1998cc four-cylinder capable of 110kW at 6000rpm and 197Nm at 4200rpm (though Mitsubishi says 85% of the latter is on stream from 2000rpm). It drives through a five-slot manual gearbox or – the top model – a six-speed constantly variable transmission (CVT).
The fuel tank holds a handy 63 litres and Mitsubishi promises 0-100km/h in nine seconds and 194km/h for the manual models and 11.5 and 190km/h for the CVT.
Anti-lock brakes with emergency braking pressure reserve, hill-start and traction control and cornering stability control are standard along with seven air bags (the odd man out for the driver’s knees) and the all-important pothole beating ground clearance is 195mm.
The ASX is4295mm long, 1770mm wide and 1625mm high, including the roof luggage rails.
The GLX and GLS add keyless ignition (push-button), auto aircon and the glass roof (the base model is a GL) – but (depending on model) have indicator repeaters in the external power/folding/heatable mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, auto-on headlights with washers, front fog lights, power windows and multi-adjustable steering-wheel.
The GLS and GLX are available with leather upholstery and the GLX adds self-levelling to the high-intensity discharge headlights.