The Mitsubishi ASX is surely the mysterious stranger of the Mitsubishi range. We all know about Mitsubishi’s mighty L200 range, that, with the new series 5, has incredible presence on UK roads, see https://motormartin.com/2016/04/10/mitsubishi-l200-warrior/comment-page-1/ for details. Or there’s the increasingly popular and technologically outstanding, Outlander PHEV, see https://motormartin.com/2016/04/24/mitsubishi-outlander-phev-are-friends-electric/ and then we come to the ASX. On paper it has everything going for it, it can be purchased in two or four wheel drive, has three distinct but well specified trim levels, it offers great value for money and it’s stylish whilst offering something a little different from the SUV norm for the consumer. So why is it not more popular? Why don’t we see roads awash with Mitsubishi ASXs?
The cult of the SUV is probably the motoring success story of recent times with seemingly every manufacturer trying to step up onto the gravy train. Swayed by takes of untold riches, even Bentley, Rolls Royce and Jaguar have launched, or will launch their own, admittedly up market, four wheel drive SUV onto an adoring public. And yet this move away from the more traditional family size hatchbacks and saloon into raised AWD vehicles shows no sign of slowing in the immediate future or beyond. The benefits of the SUV to the modern driver are obvious from the moment you climb aboard some are cheap and practical, others are stylish with coupe-like bodies and focused on being sporty. There are even convertible off-roaders like the Evoque soon to be available. Although generally not as imposing as a full blown luxury off roader, such as a Range Rover or BMW X5, the latest SUVs still successfully trade on their raised driving position, rugged off road styling and the perceived advantage in safety due to the size differential over a family saloon. It’s not possible to say that the AWD option is a particular draw for the consumer any more as many buyers go for the two wheel drive option due to the increased MPG and the more advantageous tax bracket that less CO2/KG brings here in the UK.
And now this is where it gets interesting. As MotorMartin’s highlighted above, I think that it’s the off road styling that would appear to be the main reason for buying a SUV, after all if it was the ability to drive anywhere in the real jungle rather than the urban variety, then surely every SUV would sport AWD and functional styling.
But the Mitsubishi? I think that it’s taken a rather different approach to the cult of the SUV and quite frankly, is all the better for it. The first point of note is one that Mitsubishi themselves are making alot of noise about as they’ve clearly been reading www.motormartin.com and its ethos as they speak about, “Individual, innovative, versatile, capable, the ASX is the smart and efficient compact crossover with a conscience and it will fit your life like a glove. Like so many Mitsubishi models before it, quietly and without fanfare it has become the vehicle of choice amongst real people who have real families to ferry around in the real world.” Before adding, “It’s the car which will accommodate your needs and reflect your values, and it will bring a little extra joy into your life along the way.” recognise the sentiment?
So now we know that Mitsubishi buy into MotorMartin’s philosophy and considered ‘real life’ motoring way back in the design stage of the ASX. Seriously though, this focus on what people might actually use this particular SUV for rather than its creation as a pure styling exercise is why, in MotorMartin’s opinion, the ASX differs from the competition.
The styling of this particular ASX ZC-H is extremely successful, for MotorMartin, the short overhangs front and rear allow more room for a decent Wheelbase whilst keeping to an overall length of 4295mm. The near vertical, large front grill with its smart looking chrome surround is striking in the extreme, with fog lights sited each side and slightly under the grill and lights that sweep around onto the front wings the overall effect is sporting with intent. It’s a great looking front end, certainly more memorable than some of its rather generic competition. The aggressive lines of the bonnet stretch up towards the lightly raked screen whilst the wheel arches seemingly accentuate the muscular profile of the ASX.
That, previously mentioned, generous wheelbase mixed with the compact footprint, cleverly gives you the very best of both worlds, namely, loads of elbow, legand head-room inside a vehicle which is just the right size for tackling our overcrowded urban roads. The tall profile allows for plenty of room in the front and back without compromising on headroom as many traditional hatchbacks can do, indeed Mitsubishi are rightly proud of how much their own motoring heritage has influenced the design of the ASX as they state that, “as one of the very first manufacturers to introduce increased height into their compact cars, Mitsubishi are experts in maximising the use of space: the ASX is the epitome of this expertise. It has a capacious, 419 litre boot with wide opening tailgate and low floor for easy access, as well as a large 26 litre underfloor tray, a 60:40 split rear bench seat and an easy-fold to flat facility so that you have the versatility to match your ever-changing needs.” and this goes back to the ‘real life’ motoring pedigree of the ASX ZC-H.
Mike Brewer is definitely a fan of the Mitsubishi ASX as this short film, kindly supplied by Mitsubishi’s own YouTube channel, shows below:
So what have we learnt so far? The Mitsubishi ASX has certainly slipped under alot of customers’ radars which is something that will hopefully change with this new 2016 edition. With a recommended retail price of between £15,249 and £24,899 the SUV offers excellent value for money, especially when a little research can turn up the following prices from Nathaniel Cars, an official Mitsubishi dealership based in Bridgend, South Wales, who can be contacted on 01656 339849. A quick check on http://www.nathanielcars.co.uk/new-cars/mitsubishi/mitsubishi-asx/ gives us prices starting at £13,995 and rising to just £21,995, a considerable saving from list price.
Keep checking back on www.motormartin.com for part 2 where MotorMartin will be reporting back on the interior quality, comfort and, most importantly, the overall driving experience. I hope you’ll be along for the ride.
Where will you go?