Mitsubishi ASX ZC-H 2.2 DI-D 4WD Automatic: Underneath the Radar

With a new model just around the corner now that, quite unbelievably, 2017 is upon us, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to spend some time with the 2016 edition of Mitsubishi’s venerable crossover SUV. 

ASX, Mitsubishi say, stands for Active Sports X-over, a more than accurate description and one which sets your expectations of the ASX from the word go.

There’s something quite different and refreshing about the way Mitsubishi have approached their SUV, especially when compared with the competition. After all, with the SUV market being particularly crowded at the moment, you need to provide the consumer with something different if you want to stand out and be noticed.

The aggressive looks of the Mitsubishi are particularly striking and really does help the ASX to stand out when on the roads today. In MotorMartin’s opinion, the large front grill, and its subtle chrome surround, combine superbly with the large headlights and sharply styled running lights to create a stunning and unmistakable front end. One that stays in the mind long after you’ve left the car and gone about your daily business. In profile, the Mitsubishi doesn’t disappoint, the aggressive nature of the front is replicated along the sides with a strong crease running from the front wheels to the rear of the car and it’s subtle, flared rear arches. And those 18″ wheels fit those wheel arches superbly. 

The rear of the car is dominated by the thoroughly modern rear light clusters and centrally mounted Mitsubishi badge, whilst the addition of the roof mounted spoiler give the ASX, in MotorMartin’s opinion, a sporting nature that compliments the aggressive front end perfectly. This is certainly a good looking SUV with proportions that look just right, different enough from the competition to stand out but still able to provide the consumer with the required off road features such as All Wheel Drive (AWD) a lofty diving position, excellent ground clearance and roof rails. Boxes ticked.

But realistically, we all know that the vast majority of Off Roaders bought here in the U.K. are not going to be seen or driven anywhere more dangerous than the local supermarket car park but it’s nice to know that if you wanted to, you could turn away from the ribbon of tarmac in front of you and head off on a different path. The excellent styling of this 2016 ASX tells you that this is a serious off road vehicle that is as impressive off road as it is on.

And an urban environment such as Bradford, West Yorkshire, is perhaps the ideal backdrop for a crossover such as this to see and be seen in as it provides some striking images that show off the best aspects of the Mitsubishi’s styling as well as providing the roads to thoroughly test it’s technology and road manners.

For those who don’t know, Bradford was once Britain’s fastest growing industrial city. Over the first half of the 19th Century, Bradford was transformed from a small market town in a beautiful green dale into the woollen textile capital of the world. In 1800, Bradford’s population was 13,000 and the town had just one spinning mill. By 1850, the population had grown to 103,000, and the number of spinning mills had dramatically increased to 129 and in 1900, the number of mills stood at 350. Bradford’s wool and alpaca spinning history is a fascinating one and is punctuated throughout with stories of success and failure, incredible highs and equally shocking lows and yet provides modern Bradfordians with a number of rather incredible Victorian mill buildings in various stages of disrepair throughout the city, ready for redevelopment and rebirth. 

Meanwhile in 1910 Benjamin and William Jowett started making cars in Bradford. The Jowett company made cars until 1954. In the 1920s and 1930s the textile industry declined sharply and there was mass unemployment in Bradford. However new industries came to Bradford such as engineering. Printing also flourished and there was big increase in the number of clerical jobs. Many more people worked in banking, insurance, civil service and local government. Nevertheless in 1939 the textile industry was still the largest employer in Bradford.

The mass migration of the 1950s brought fresh vigour to Bradford and West Yorkshire with the mills opening up their doors to the steady influx of new labour and, despite the conditions within those ‘dark satanic mills’, there was work for all, a situation that continued up to the decline in the wool industry of the late 1970s and early 80s. 

And MotorMartin is proud to be based in Bradford, the shared history behind the City is the glue that holds Bradford together, despite the setbacks over the years. The City and it’s people have remained largely positive and hopeful that the future will bring success back to Bradford and all that that entails. Indeed Bradford is already on the up once again with Bradford City FC sitting high in league 1, the birth of the impressive and well used City Park, Westfield’s completed Broadway Shopping Centre bringing in City Centre investment, the exciting Sunbridge Wells underground development scheme and stalwarts of the City such as the Alhambra Theatre and the National Media Museum continuing to raise expectations about what is possible in a City such as this.

And in a way, Mitsubishi, with their Compact Crossover, are also continuing to raise expectations about what is possible with their popular SUV. You can have style that compliments the car’s ability rather than defines it. For MotorMartin, the Mitsubishi ASX ZC-H 2.2 DI-D 4WD Automatic offers a good looking, well built and specified car, the fact that it is also more than capable of travelling off the beaten path is certainly a bonus and it’s this dual ability that MotorMartin will be investigating in part 2. I can’t wait.

Where will you go?

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