Last week we saw the Triton bakkie get a few cosmetic changes and the ASX was next in line.
Launched around two years ago and facelifted early this year, Mitsubishi has now added some extra niceties and a five-speed manual gearbox, taking the ASX model count up to five.
All derivatives are front-wheel-drive and powered by the familiar 2.0-litre petrol engine which produces 110kW of power and 197Nm of torque. The powertrain delivers exactly what it promises to do and can get the ASX moving swiftly without driving it too hard.
The five-speed manual gearbox is for the driver who enjoys a more engaging drive, although a six-speed derivative would have been welcome. The six-step CVT transmission is also still available.
Mitsubishi claims a combined fuel consumption of 7.5 litres/100km in manual guise.
Perhaps what Mitsubishi is most proud of, though, is the heavy presences of standard features across the ASX range, particularly when the brand is competing in such a fiercely competitive segment with all the big players present. The five models in the ASX range are the GL, GLX (a new derivative), GLS CVT and GLS with Rockford audio system mated with either the five-speed manual gearbox or CVT.
You’ll be forgiven if you can’t spot the upgrades and differences immediately and while the exterior hasn’t seen any changes, some of the interior alterations include a dark titanium-colour centre panel, an upgraded audio system with four speakers and two tweeters on the GL and GLX models as standard.
This is all in addition to the wide range of other features that have been carried over from the previous models, including hands-free Bluetooth connection to a mobile phone. The Mitsubishi Link system is available across the board. Link is voice controlled, allowing dialling features through software which also has a learning component. The phone is also controllable from the steering wheel.
Park distance warning, fog lamps, multi-information display, rear luggage cover over the spacious luggage compartment and leather-covered steering wheel and gear knob are also standard across the range. All models now have heated exterior rear-view mirrors, cruise control that can be operated from the steering wheel, rain-sensing windscreen wipers and automatic lighting control according to the ambient light, to name a few.
Of course safety hasn’t been neglected either and drivers of the ASX will still benefit from a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP evaluation. Thanks to standard safety features like seven airbags, Mitsubishi’s DAKAR developed a Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) safety cell. ABS brakes with electronic brake distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BAS), with ISOFIX fittings for child seats are also standard.
Mitsubishi has tried to cram the ASX with a host of creature comforts to make it more appealing and try fending off a few competitors and while there’s no denying the ASX has a strong price positioning, you can’t help but gaze over at the Renault Duster, which is also packed with features and is a truly capable SUV at an attractive price.
That’s not taking anything away from the ASX, which does everything it’s supposed to and a little bit more by not ripping a hole in your pocket.
The Mitsubishi ASX comes standard with a 5-year/90 000km service plan and is covered by a 3-year/100 000km warranty.
Pricing: ASX GL manual R284 900 ASX GLX manual R309 900 ASX GLS manual R322 900 ASX GLS CVT R339 900 ASX GLS CVT R349 900