April 22, 2015 @ 12:59 PM

Review: Mitsubishi ASX 4WD tested

Finally, the Mitsubishi ASX gets 4WD, but does it make it a better? We review and rate Mitsubishi’s compact SUV

 
Finally, the Mitsubishi ASX gets 4WD, but does it make it a better? We review and rate Mitsubishi’s compact SUV 
 
The Mitsubishi ASX you see here isn’t put together in Japan but right here in our backyard. To be specific, the ASX is assembled in Tan Chong’s plant somewhere in Segambut. The CKD program brings two things to the table. One: a healthy slash in price for the 2WD ASX and the introduction of the 4WD ASX. We drive the 4WD ASX and find out if it is the ASX to get.
Exterior (Score: 3/5)

Unless you’re gunning for the Designer Edition ASX, the only visual difference between the 4WD and the 2WD is the larger wheels and chrome trim. Which is good; the equality is appreciated. Other than that, the ASX looks the same as it did when it was launched so many years ago. With that jet-fighter nose, well sculptured sides and a chunky rear, this SUV projects a more rugged outlook that is only bested by the newer Subaru XV.
Interior (Score: 3/5)

Functional would be the best word to sum up the interior. The centre console, although it’s laid out nicely with a touchscreen multimedia interface, doesn’t have any design accent that plays with the eyes or impart any sort of ambience. Salvation comes from above, or in the ASX’s case, the panoramic glass roof. I fail to recall of the top of my head, another SUV with a front-to-rear glass roof at this price point. 

Spaciousness is another thing to touch on. The ASX offers impressionable boot space, even with the rear seat up. Not that is it class leading but the ASXs amount of versus the money you need to fork out for one will be a major deciding factor. You see, post-GST, the price for the 2WD ASX is RM114,043.50 (OTR without insurance) and RM128,179.50 (OTR with insurance), which is close to the price of a standard 2-litre C-segment car. 
Power & handling (Score: 3/5)

The 4B11 2.0-litre MIVEC continues to be Mitsubishi’s workhorse engine. The 148hp and 197Nm of torque are channeled to the same INVECS-III CVT and down to the wheels, be it two or four. The gearbox allows for six pseudo-ratios that you can shift with the stick or the paddle shifters, which are exclusive to the 4WD variant.

But let’s face it, the ASX was never meant to be driven hard, although it does display moments of glory with its grip and enthusiasm in carving up the corners. Of course, the 4WD will come in handy too. At the very least, it will give you a fighting chance when city roads start to turn into foot-deep wading pools, as experienced last December. Or even before that, the 4WD gives you some semblance of control when you hit a patch of road slicked with torrential rain and grease. The system isn’t turned on the moment you start the engine to life. A button in the centre console lets you decide if you want to continue to run with the fuel efficiency of a 2WD or have the added stability a 4WD affords. 
Tech & safety (Score: 4/5)

Mitsubishi has actually updated the ASX with a few nifty tech. The SUV gets Active Stability Control, Traction Control on top of the ABS with EBD and Hill Start Assist. Inside, the front passengers have dual air-bags with an extra knee bag for the driver and seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters. For convenience, there’s even a reverse camera for easier parking. While the 4WD version gets everything, the 2WD version has to make do without the stability and traction control.

So you see, even the 2WD version gives you plenty of value for your money. But you’ll go for the higher specced SUV, more for its additional safety features than anything else; that extra peace of mind is always welcomed.

Summary

Again, it would be hard to end this review without touching once more on the price. It seems Mitsubishi wants to make it as difficult as possible for you to put money down for that sedan, or even a higher-priced SUV. And if you’d like some ritz in the ride then get the limited Designer Edition for not much more money. Even so, the ASX still offers a lot of kit for such a low price. Mitsubishi is driving a hard bargain for this one.

Overall Score: 13/20
Mitsubishi ASX 4WD
Price
RM128,179.50 without insurance
Engine
1998cc, inline-4, MIVEC, DOHC,  148bhp @ 6000rpm, 197Nm @ 4200rpm 
Transmission
INVECS-III CVT with 6-step Sports Mode
Performance
Max speed 190kph
Length/width/height (mm)
4295 / 1770 / 1615
Weight
1415kg
 
 
 
 

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Topics:  First Drive

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