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Asx mitsubishi qashqai nissan
“A change is as good as a holiday,” the tired adage goes, and Mitsubishi in South Africa must feel as though it’s just returned from a leisurely trip around the world…
After dissolving its relationship with Mercedes-Benz South Africa. Mitsubishi has been accepted into the Imperial fold and looks more energised and revived for it. In fact, a slew of new Mitsubishi models are promised for SA for the next 12 months, including the hooligan favourite, Lancer Evo X, Pajero Sport and the single-cab Triton bakkie.
For now, though, the focus of Mitsubishi’s attention is the ASX, or Active Sporty Crossover, which is expected to be quite the attention-grabber for the local operation.
The result of a little cooperation between French partners Peugeot and Citroen (a relationship that has previously spawned the Mitsubishi Outlander ), the ASX is an attractive prospect in a good-looking pool of crossover SUVs.
It has the typically oversized grille and “frowning” headlight arrangement seen on the current crop of Mitsus, although the rear end is a refreshing change to the usual crossover fare with its light-within-a-light arrangement. And the ASX is up against some stiff competition – Mitsubishi sees its new entrant competing with the likes of the Hyundai ix35, Kia Sportage, Jeep Compass and Nissan Qashqai.
It is into this environment that Mitsubishi nudges its ASX, which it considers to offer the active, young family the perfect blend of ease of use for the busy urbanite and utility for the sport/leisure/shopping enthusiast. According to its research, buyers in this segment prefer 4x2, manual petrols and, for this reason, the three models in the ASX range are all front-wheel driven with naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre petrol powerplants. Five-speed manual and, on the top spec model, six-speed continuously variable transmissions are available.
Power from the single four-cylinder mill is a decent 110kW and 197Nm and on a short driving session, the ASX (although not really living up to the sportiness implied by its name) proved a keen performer. Shifts through the manual 'box were reassuringly notchy while, presumably, the extra insulation on the CVT model kept most of the characteristic transmission whine at bay.
The ride through the front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link suspension arrangement was rather comfortable although it was clear the ASX was not designed for the pothole-strewn roads of the sections of the North West province where the model introduction took place. Although those present experienced the car mainly on country roads, the ASX’s light steering and easy going nature will likely see it becoming a stand-out city star. A commanding ride position (the ASX’s ground clearance is a useful 195mm) should also appeal to those who prefer to be in control.
NEAT AND TIDY
Inside the cabin, the black hard plastics feel hardy and should stand up to use quite well. The large dials and buttons on the centre stack and the driver’s no-fuss information display in the instrument cluster should prove quite easy to use, too.
If space is more your thing, the load area, with the rear bench tumbled forward, will swallow more than 1100 litres of goods while the absence of a load sill should make light work of loading large and bulky items.
If you prefer your car to provide the bulk, the ASX is filled with a range of modern convenience items. Equipment on the base 2.0 includes park distance control, a rear spoiler with integrated brake light, front and rear foglamps, 16-inch alloy wheels, a steering wheel adjustable for height and rake, seven airbags, and electric adjustment for the driver’s chair. ABS and EBD are standard, while the CVT model adds traction and stability control, and a hill start assist programme.
Services are required at 15 000-km intervals and the ASX is sold with a five-year or 90 000 service plan. A three-year or 100 000km warranty is standard.
2.0 manual - R279 900
2.0 manual - R299 900
2.0 CVT - R319 900