The four-wheel-drive system on the ASX is a little more sophisticated than the close competition ...
The 2014 Mitsubishi ASX (Active Sports X-Over) was released at the end of 2013; it was more of a facelift than an all-new car. The ASX crossover is built on the same platform as the legendary Lancer Evolution X.
There is a choice of three trim levels ‘2’, ‘3’ and the top-of-the-range ‘4’; priced from £14,999 for the entry level 1.6-litre petrol ‘2’ model with two-wheel-drive, rising to £24,649 for the ASX ‘4’ with four-wheel-drive and an automatic transmission.
At the time of this test there were three engine options, a 1.6-litre petrol mated to a five-speed manual gearbox producing 115bhp with two-wheel-drive only. A1.8-litre diesel outputting 114bhp with a six-speed manual (2x4 or 4x4 options) and a 147 bhp 2.2-litre diesel as found in the new Outlander with an automatic transmission and four-wheel-drive.
What we tested
We tested the top-of-the-range Mitsubishi ASX 4 1.8 diesel finished in metallic Granite Brown paint finish, which at the time of testing cost £22,499 plus £450 for the metallic paint.
Driving and Performance
We tested the ASX 4 with the Di-D 1.8-litre diesel six-speed manual transmission with four-wheel-drive, which is powered by a four-cylinder 114 bhp 1798cc engine. Maximum power is delivered at 3,500 rpm, with 300 Nm of torque between 1,750-2,250 rpm- which makes it capable of 0-62 mph in 10.6 seconds with a top speed of 117 mph.
In practice the 1.8-litre option is flexible and does not disappoint, it might not be the fastest engine, but it offers plenty of low down torque.
Mitsubishi claim that the 1.8-litre ASX 4 is capable of 44.1 mpg urban, 62.5 mpg extra urban and a combined figure of 54.3 mpg (NEDC figures) – we were achieving around 36 mpg touring, rising to 38 mpg on the motorway, which was slightly disappointing and felt short of the 50+ mpg we were getting from the MIVEC 1.8 litre diesel we tested in 2011. CO2 emissions are recorded at 136 g/km.
The four-wheel-drive system on the ASX is a little more sophisticated than the close competition, Mitsubishi call their system AWC or All Wheel Control. It is an electronic system that supports three driving modes to suit the driver or road conditions. In 2WD mode which is the normal driving mode, as suggested only the front-wheels are driven to aid handling and fuel consumption. In 4WD auto the ASX takes control of the torque delivery, splitting it between both front and rear axles, which can range from 98 per cent of the power to the front to a 50:50 split. Should conditions prevail, you can use 4WD lock which delivers more power to the rear wheels, to aid traction.
You cannot really expect the ASX to venture too far off road as it lacks a low ratio gearbox and locking differentials, etc but it is competent on farm tracks and would give you more re-assurance than a two-drive car in inclement weather. There is 180mm of ground clearance, with an approach angle of 19.5 degrees, 31 degree departure and ramp breakover of 18 degrees.
On the road the ASX does not have the manners of the new Nissan Qashqai but never the less most people are not going to complain – it handles well enough –although the suspension set-up is a little too soft for our liking leading to body roll in more demanding bends and the steering could do with being more precise. One advantage of the soft suspension set-up is that it is quite compliant and is good at soaking up all but the worst potholes, ideal for UK roads.
In summary the diesel engine is punchy and should prove a reliable unit, the only real issue is fuel consumption which can be on the high side, if you work the engine hard, which you have to do to make rapid progress.