Mitsubishi gets a makeover

Bobby Cheetham

MITSUBISHI’s ASX Compact Crossover has undergone a facelift and Associated Motor Holdings (AMH) since taking control of selling the brand from Mercedes-Benz last year, is hoping the vehicle under their supervision will continue to attract buyers in greater numbers.

What is it?

The crossover since its launch in South Africa in 2011, has sold 1500 vehicles and has developed a loyal following of fans. There’s space for five adults and their luggage and has a limited capability of driving off tar roads, such as in game parks and on farm roads.

Anything more would be asking too much from this vehicle.

The newly-styled vehicle, launched in Johannesburg last week, is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine with variable valve timing combined with a choice of manual or CVT gearboxes.

How does it look?

The ASX has a sleeker, fresher look, thanks to a redesigned front grille, new front and rear bumpers, subtle chrome accents, and revised fog light surrounds.

Generous glass areas and the high seating position allows good all-round visibility, while handsome alloy wheels round off the package.

What’s it like to drive?

If one’s not in a hurry to get to your destination, the ASX should suit most families down to the ground. However, to light the fire under the horses in the engine compartment, one needs maximum revs and lots of cog swapping.

The 2.0-litre engine pushes out 110 kW, achieved at 6000rpm and has a torque peak of 197Nm a 4 200rpm. The result is a 0 to 100km/h acceleration time of 9.6sec, and a top speed of 196km/h.

Any special features?

We liked the idea of a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system which is offered as an option on the top-end GLS version. Sound levels are automatically adjusted to vehicle speed.

Should you buy one?

Sales figures of 1 500 units since 2011 speak for themselves about the popularity of the vehicle. This model should add more buyers to meeting AMH sales targets.

ASX prices are:

2.0 GL – R279900

2.0 GLX – R304900

2.0 GLS – R334900

2.0 GLS (with Rockford) – R342900. There’s a three-year/ 100000km warranty and a five- year/90000km service plan.

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