Last week saw MotorMartin introducing the ASX ZC-H, the top of the range, sporty 4X4 SUV offering from that master of the off road vehicle, Mitsubishi, see https://motormartin.com/2016/05/09/mitsubishi-asx-zc-h-one-vision/ for part 1. And here in part 2 I will be considering the effect of the interior on the driving experience combined with what the ASX is like out on the road, in ‘real life’ traffic and on the ‘real life’ roads in the locality of Nathaniel Cars, Bridgend, who can be contacted on 01656 339849 for their advice on all things Mitsubishi (MG & Subaru also) http://www.nathanielcars.co.uk/new-cars/mitsubishi/ and who generously provided the recent Mitsubishis for MotorMartin to test. Thanks Nathaniel Cars, see you in the summer. But enough about those kind folk and back to the SUV.
There’s a certain uniformity present in Mitsubishi’s interior detailing at the moment which could have been a worry a few years ago but I’m pleased to say that, with attention to detail and increased quality of interior fixtures and fittings, Mitsubishi have come up with a set of interiors that work across the range as a whole. The ASX is a very well specified car that, even in its basic form, still offers electric windows, heated, folding door mirrors, manual air conditioning, a Bluetooth®, hands-free ’phone connection, seven airbags and stability and traction control. With the base model having a recommended retail price of £15,249 and when a little searching can turn up the same model for just £13,995 this is quite excellent value for money for the modern family. Enough toys to keep the driver happy, whilst plenty of space and practicality for all the bits and bobs that accumulate when children are involved.
Increasing the available budget up to £24,899 which can be brought down to around £21,995 with little effort and you gain access to the mid and upper range of this attractive SUV. The mid spec ASX ZC-M adds climate control, air conditioning, heated front seats, cruise control, DAB radio, rain and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rear view mirror and particularly clever xenon headlamps which sense the dusk, whilst the range topping ASX ZC-H, the model MotorMartin has been spending time with, adds satellite navigation, black leather seat trim and a panoramic glass roof to the mix. And very nice it is as well.
The ASX confirms its practical, family friendly, spacious and youthful nature with an excellent sized boot of 419 litres, mixed with a wide opening tailgate and low floor for easy access, as well as a large 26 litre underfloor tray. Combine all of that with the 60:40 split rear bench seat and an easy-fold to flat facility and you have all the flexibility needed for day to day life and journeys further afield as and when necessary.
Once seated it’s extremely easy to get comfortable in the ASX as the steering wheel, which is leather wrapped on all models, adjusts for both rake and reach whilst the seats, heated in the front on all bar the entry level model, are both comfortable and supportive with plenty of adjustment available. Finishing off the cabin in this well equipped Mitsubishi are dials and buttons that are pleasing to the touch with seemingly just the right amount of resistance to external pressure from the driver. The ASX is easy to set up to your own liking which allows you to just get in and drive as the mood takes you.
Setting off in the ASX will never be dull as Mitsubishi have seen fit to use the keyless entry and start button system that worked so well on both the L200 Warrior and the Outlander PHEV and which impressed MotorMartin. After all, who doesn’t want a little bit of drama when starting up. The 1.6 diesel engine fitted to this particular ZC-H model, with it’s AWD ability mated to a smooth six speed manual gearbox, pulls well and is quiet enough to allow for an easy and comfortable drive.
Pulling away is simplicity itself, as is the way with the vast majority of new cars these days, with a light clutch and a reasonable weight to the steering, a few revs are all you need to be on your way. First gear appears extremely short with the ASX encouraging you to move swiftly into sixth where you can play with the more than adequate torque to guarantee progress. Indeed, keeping an eye on the revs and matching them to the road and conditions are important if you want to stretch towards the Mitsubishi’s official combined mpg of 56.5 with CO2 of 132 g/km although the 2wd offers figures of 61.4 mpg and 119 g/km. You pays your money…
Now then, the Mitsubishi is never going to be described in the same manner as a sports car but in SUV gatherings out in the wild, this ASX doesn’t exhibit the same soft and floating feeling that you can often find amongst some of its rivals. There is a little body roll in sharper, faster corners but not enough to concern or cause worry, if anything, it adds to the entertainment that can be had from behind the wheel.
Heading off towards the M4, allowed MotorMartin to give the ASX a chance to stretch its legs. Acceleration is more than acceptable, allowing you to keep up with the vast majority of traffic that you’ll meet and provides adequate power for overtakes and swift lane changing when necessary. Indeed, on MotorMartin’s test drive this ability came in handy when a flatbed truck ahead decided to distribute its cargo of what looked like plasterboard, over two lanes of the motorway just in front of the ASX which dealt with the inconvenience without breaking sweat.
The Mitsubishi does a great job of isolating the driver and passengers from the majority of wind and road noise too, which, when combined with cruise control, makes for a relaxing car to cover distance in. Once off the motorway and heading back towards Nathaniel Cars, the Mitsubishi was put through its paces with a mixture of town driving and dual carriageway interspersed with the occasional roundabout and roadworks. The typical high seating position and increased sight lines of the Mitsubishi allowed for excellent progress to be made and all too soon I found myself pulling onto the car park back where we started our journey, with a broad smile upon the face of MotorMartin.
So what are we left with once disembarked from the Mitsubishi ASX ZC-H? The overall impression is of a rather unexpected gem. You may not see many of Mitsubishi’s medium size SUV on the roads just yet, but the stylish nature, quality and value offered by this latest edition, in MotorMartin’s opinion, will soon see this changing with more customers being drawn in by this approachable SUVs considerable charms.
A kind of magic? Don’t bet against it.
Where will you go?