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Mitsubishi ASX 3 1.8 Diesel 2WD Review & Road Test (2010) Part 2

Fri, 12 Nov 2010

Mitsubishi ASX Review and Road Test Part 2

The 1.8 litre diesel engine fitted to our Mitsubishi ASX 3 1.8 Diesel 2WD is perhaps the most individual part of this new ASX, offering as it does a world first – variable valve timing on a diesel engine. That makes for free-revving engine which offers more oomph than you would expect.

The ASX is better than much of the competition to drive, thanks in part to this 1.8 litre DiD lump. It offers good responses and some impressive mid-range grunt (well, impressive for a 1.8 litre diesel), making overtaking surprisingly pleasant.

The gearbox isn’t as smooth and inviting as the engine – it’s a bit notchy – but it’s up to the job, just a bit less good than you’d hope. The steering is direct enough and the ASX does go where you point it, but you don’t feel a great deal back.

But maybe that doesn’t matter on a car like this. Maybe it’s enough to go where its pointed and do so more like a car than an off-roader. Maybe it’s the very willing engine that makes you want more from the steering and suspension and brakes than you have any right to expect.

And the handling is also more than adequate on the ASX. It’s perhaps a little on the crashy-bashy side at times, but it’s on the crisp side of average with no nasty quirks to throw you a curved ball when you’re not concentrating.

What you do get from the ASX is economy. We averaged out pretty much what Mitsubishi said we should. We got a very impressive 50.1mpg – only a shade short of the official 51.4mpg – when we would have expected at best mid-40s when we were busy chucking the ASX about (although we did hit a low of 34mpg on one particular brisk run). So frugal was the ASX that Carla even thought the fuel gauge must be broken on her day out.

Much of the economy is down to the very able engine, but a chunk of it is down to Mitsubishi’s eagerness to throw a pile of eco-toys at the ASX, with regenerative braking, stop-start, low-power lights, electric power steering and low rolling-resistance tyres as standard kit. Even the oil is low viscosity to reduce friction and the ASX is remarkably aerodynamic.

So the ASX is decent looking – inside and out – and quite well equipped. It offers a decent amount of performace but couples that with very good economy. On road it handles like a reasonably well-sorted hatchback – which is what the crossover market wants – and off-road it’s… we don’t know.

No, we didn’t fancy taking this 2WD softroader off-road. We’re sure it’s just as good when the going gets slippery as any of the competition, and we’d expect that if we’d had the 4WD version of the ASX that Mitsubishi’s undoubted off-road expertise would allow the ASX to acquit itself commendably.

But most ASX buyers won’t care if the ASX can go off road, so the ASX ticks a lot of boxes. We just wish it was a bit less generic and a bit more individual.

But that shouldn’t stop it selling well.

Full Mitsubishi ASX 3 1.8 Diesel 2WD specification, data and price

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By Cars UK