Mitsubishi ASX ZC-H 2.2 DI-D 4WD Automatic: Fighting Fit

In part 1, Mitsubishi ASX ZC-H 2.2 DI-D 4WD Automatic: Underneath The Radar, MotorMartin waxed lyrical about Bradford in West Yorkshire whilst spending time admiring the handsome Mitsubishi ASX. We discovered how quickly Bradford grew from it’s origins as an industrial mill town into the modern, multicultural City that it is today and hopefully, rediscovered something of the history upon which Bradfordians should be so proud. 

But let’s not forget the Mitsubishi ASX amongst all of this nostalgia and celebration, after all it’s a superb SUV in which to tackle the urban environment, being comfortable, stylish and efficient. Looking at the Mitsubishi out here in the ‘real life’ motoring streets and back roads of West Yorkshire and what do we find? Despite the imposing size of the ASX, what we have here is an extremely clever piece of engineering. Mitsubishi say that: The ASX’s sharp styling and short overhangs mean that it shoehorns a generous wheelbase into a compact footprint, giving you the very best of both worlds – loads of elbow, leg and head-room inside a vehicle which is just the right size for tackling our overcrowded urban roads. 

And they’re not wrong, inside the ASX there is more than enough room for the driver and passengers to get comfortable, indeed, with the driver enjoying seemingly infinite levels of adjustment to the seat and steering, an extremely relaxing driving position is so simple to achieve. The interior is full of good quality plastics and materials with a leather steering wheel and seats, heated in the front of course, and the level of specification in this ZC-H 2.2 DI-D 4WD Automatic edition ASX is equally impressive. 

It has to be said, in MotorMartin’s experience, the Mirage, the Outlander PHEV and the Shogun have all offered a fantastic amount of ‘real life’ technology and quality interiors, combined with great value for money and the ASX on test continues in this tradition including, as it does: a superb panoramic glass roof that makes the car’s generous interior space appear even more impressive, soft-glow interior illumination is provided by two rows of stunning LED lights and, if the summer sun gets too bright or the winter sky too grey, a powered shade can be brought forward at the touch of a button, an integrated multimedia system with a touchscreen display which relays views from the tailgate-mounted camera when reverse gear is selected, efficient satellite navigation with built- in trip computer, Bluetooth® hands free ’phone connection and music from the DAB radio, CD or USB-connected device. 

Not bad at all I think you’ll agree. One of the things that MotorMartin likes about the ASX interior is the practical feel of the cabin, there’s everything that you could realistically want or need and everything where you would expect it to be. The technology is there to help and aid the driver rather than just provide a talking point once outside of the SUV. 

Mitsubishi are rightly proud of the taller than average dimensions that they have managed to engineer into the ASX which when combined with a sloping bonnet, provide the slightly elevated view of the road ahead characteristic of an SUV and help to create a superb driving position with superior sight lines. With automatic climate control, light, tactile controls and a smooth automatic gearbox this is an easy vehicle to get in and go with the minimum of fuss. One of the more pleasant surprises when out and about in the Mitsubishi has got to be the simple to use 4 x 4 system that is fitted to this most versatile SUV. 

Indeed, Mitsubishi have shared with MotorMartin that: If you prefer the option of four wheel drive, the ASX ZC-H’s selectable, on-demand all-wheel drive system will give you the best of all possible worlds, providing extra grip when you need it yet still returning excellent fuel economy. This is because four- wheel drive is only ever engaged when it is needed. In addition to normal 2WD there are two 4WD modes to choose from: ‘AUTO’ which provides better grip on slippery road surfaces and greater stability when powering out of junctions or towing on the highway, and ‘LOCK’ which gives you the confidence to tackle more difficult terrain or challenging weather conditions. And what a system it is, as with most aspects of this impressive SUV, it’s the simplicity of the AWD that helps to improve the driving experience . 

Driving on the wet and slippery roads in and around West Yorkshire, it’s not initially clear quite how much more grip that the AWD system gives you as the ASX follows your instructions to the letter. For a large SUV it really is a surprise how composed the Mitsubishi is when commuting or having fun, you really can exploit the excellent handling that the mix of MacPherson strut, coil springs and stabiliser bar Multi link suspension gives. And the clever thing is that this is all whilst still offering a ride quality that provides the driver and passengers with a relaxed ride whilst still remaining stable through the bends, all whilst absorbing the worst that our roads can throw at us. But in slippery conditions such as those encountered in the ASX, it’s when you switch the automatic system back to 2WD there’s a noticeable difference with stability and grip. Not in a dangerous way but enough to show how much more grip you get used to having when ‘Auto’ is selected. In MotorMartin’s opinion, this really is a safety feature that you’d soon miss were you to swap from the ASX. 

All of which brings us, belatedly, to the Mitsubishi’s powerplant, it’s 2.2 Diesel engine. Now MotorMartin loves an engine as it’s the beating heart of a vehicle, whether it’s on two wheels or four, it creates character, even fosters a link between man/woman and machine but what about here in the ASX?

The In-line 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC common-rail direct injection diesel engine, with turbocharger and intercooler produces 147bhp at 3500rpm whilst delivering torque of 266 lb.ft between 1500-2750rpm, right where you want it to be. With an abundance of torque being produced nice and low down in the rev range this ASX can really fly, it’s SUV exterior deceiving you into expecting a rather different experience from the one that it delivers, and delivers with a real sense of glee. With the automatic gearbox swapping between gears smoothly the Mitsubishi appears to be ready to pull whatever the speed and road conditions prevail. An excellent result and one for which Mitsubishi should rightly be proud. With a, largely irrelevant, top speed of 118mph, a combined mpg of 48.7 and CO2 emissions of 152g/kg, this will not be an expensive car to run as the figures are more in keeping with a normal hatchback than a SUV.

A quick glance at the website of Nathaniel Cars, Bridgend, a well known Mitsubishi dealer in South Wales and friends of MotorMartin, shows that the ASX can be picked up for as little as £169 a month on a PCP deal and offers quite staggering value for money as your getting a large, family friendly, practical, economic and efficient SUV with AWD capability for such little money. That’s a bargain in my book. 

Where will you go?

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