This is Mitsubishi’s new ASX.

When UK sales begin in July, the company sees the £15,000-£22,000 car as head-on competition for the likes of Nissan’s top-selling Qashqai. And, like its Nissan rival, this is what the industry terms a ‘crossover’, meaning that it has the beefy looks and lofty stance of an off-roader but not necessarily its four-wheel-drive or off-road ability.

Mitsubishi says it targets customers who would otherwise buy more conventional cars such as a Volkswagen Golf or a Ford Focus and also those looking to down-size from a bigger estate car or full-sized off-roader.

The range will largely be two-wheel-drive, putting power to the front axle. There’ll be a choice of two engines: a 1.6-litre, 115bhp petrol and a 1.8 turbodiesel producing 147bhp. Petrol models will be two-wheel-drive and power is delivered through a five-speed gearbox , while the diesel models offer the option of four-wheel drive.

Standard equipment includes alloy wheels, air conditioning, stability control and traction control, keyless entry, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, seven airbags. In addition, each has automatic stop and go, which halts the engine whenever the car is halted and the gears are put to neutral. Top-line models add, heated seats, privacy glass, climate control, auto-on lights and wipers. Petrol models promise up to 36.7mpg across a mix of journeys, while two-wheel-drive diesel models will return up to 42.2mpg. Four-wheel-drive versions will achieve 40.9mpg.

Stephen Jury


May 6, 2010