17.2.2011 Mitsubishi ASX 1.8 Turbo-Diesel review
The world's first passenger car diesel engine with variable valve timing dominates the driving experience, delivering excellent low speed punch, top end kick and seriously impressive real-life 50mpg fuel consumption.
Coupled with usual Mitsubishi reliability, good interior space and a better boot than the Nissan Qashqai, the ASX will make sense for lots of families. 'Crossover' styling between an SUV and a big hatchback, with distinctive Lancer grille gives the ASX an individual appearance.
Review by Russell Bray for nextgreencar.com
The ASX looks quite sporty but its brisk performance (0-62mph in 9.7 seconds) and high, 124mph, top speed come as a surprise, especially when allied with truly impressive fuel consumption of near 50mpg overall. Maximum torque of 221 lbs ft arrives at just 2,000rpm and maximum power of 147bhp 2,000rpm later. So torquey is the variable valve timing engine that it would pull comfortably in sixth gear from 50mph without a downchange. Some commentators have complained about turbo whine but that wasn't the case with the test car.
Light-ish, power assisted steering takes the effort out of driving. Like Nissan's Quashqai, most ASXs will be sold with front-wheel drive only. All-wheel drive versions are an extra £2,000. The driver can select front-drive, automatic all-wheel drive, with up to 50% power to the rear axle if sensors detect wheel slip, or permanent four-wheel drive. The front-drive ASX cornered predictably and with confidence, but there was more body roll than you would get in a lower car. I was impressed with the feel of the brakes and the car's stability even under hard deceleration.
With hints of the BMW X3 from the rear and a deeper version of the front radiator grille from the successful Mitsubishi Lancer Evo rally cars the ASX looks sporty without being too aggressive. Wide windscreen pillars can obscure other road users, especially at junctions. Rear space is just enough for three adults with good leg and headroom and tilting backrests. The 60/40 split seat provides boot volume of 1193 litres when folded. Length 4295mm. Width 1770mm.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
Controls are pretty logically laid out and easy to fathom. Keyless entry and engine start along with buttons on the steering wheel for the radio, cruise control and Bluetooth phone link also make life easier. The steering was precise but rather light feeling for brisker motoring.
The driver's seat and the steering wheel have plenty of adjustment, but I could have done with more back lumbar support. Ride quality was good. Even entry models come with manual air conditioning, seven airbags and stability and traction control systems. Metallic paint is a £450 option.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Usually it's impossible to achieve the laboratory test figures which have to be artificial to be consistent for comparisons, but the ASX hit its 51.4mpg combined figure overall, dropping to 46mpg when hurrying. The urban figure is 42.2mpg and 58.9mpg extra urban. Carbon dioxide emissions of 145g/km slot the Mitsubishi ASX into band F for an annual road tax of £125 per year. Insurance is group 19. The ASX comes with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty.
First car diesel engine with variable valve timing improves both power delivery and fuel consumption, resulting in lower CO2 emissions of 145g/km. Automatic stop and start, low-viscosity engine oil and low rolling-resistance tyres also cut emissions and save fuel. A high-efficiency alternator charges during deceleration and braking, reducing engine load during acceleration and normal driving. For an SUV at least its not bad at all, and is in our Top 10 green SUVs if that's not an oxymoron – we'll let you decide.
Parts of the cabin seem built to a price if you are being picky, but longevity for standing up to family use looks good. Level 3 trim includes the convenience of keyless entry and push button engine start, cruise control, alloy wheels, climate control, seven air bags, parking sensors, six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth phone connection, front fog lights and side privacy glass. Electronic vehicle stability control when cornering and traction control are also part of the package.
Model tested: Mitsubishi ASX 1.8 Turbo-Diesel
Body-style: Compact sports utility vehicle (SUV)
Engine/CO2: 147bhp 1798cc turbo diesel / 145 gCO2/km
Trim grades: 2, 3, 4, 4 Work
On-road price: From £16,995 (1.6 petrol). Price tested £20,499
Warranty: Three years / 100,000 miles
In the showroom: Available now
Review rating: 4.0 STARS
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