hall / hall – Mitsubishi is going backwards. Three years ago, the Japanese announced that they would no longer launch any new models in Europe. The numbers sold and above all the costs of the new development threw a spanner in the works. Models offered over the years have included the Skystar, ASX, Outlander and most recently the Eclipse. Sales of the ASX and Outlander were stopped in this country two years ago.
So now Mitsubishi has changed its mind and wants to bring something new to Europe. Sudden changes in mood have obvious causes. Mitsubishi can get more power from the alliance with Renault and Nissan, of which the brand has been a member since 2016. This means that technically you can use the offerings from the group and thus save costs for the development of your own new model. The compact SUV Mitsubishi ASX, which can now be driven for the first time, is the result of this new strategy for Europe. The ASX will be available from March for 24,650 euros. Mitsubishi has set a high standard for itself. Since the compact model went on sale in Germany in 2010, it has been sold more than 100,000 times. The new model should build on that. At the same time, Mitsubishi is driving forward the power supply of its models. The ASX will be available as a plug-in hybrid, a full hybrid and a limited hybrid. The manufacturer thinks that the hybrid version that can be charged will be the sales leader. In addition, there is a small three-cylinder gasoline engine (91 hp) without electric assistance.
The new ASX looks like an old man, the shape looks familiar. That is not surprising, because apart from a few design modifications, it is a copy of the Renault Capture, which was made possible by the members of the brand alliance mentioned above. This is not necessarily a disadvantage for the Mitsubishi clone, because the Capture is one of the best-selling SUVs in its class. The 4.23 meter long ASX shows that its design has been continuously developed in the direction of the face of the brand, which Mitsubishi calls “Dynamic Shield Design”. What is surprising is the more clearly designed front end with a large Mitsubishi logo in the middle. Strong, high skirts and a side line that rises sharply towards the back are body-oriented and are meant to indicate a certain playfulness. On the road, the car seems more powerful and powerful than it is, so it lowers the figure very well among its peers. The optionally available two-tone paint also contributes to this. LED headlights and taillights are standard.
ASX has got in equipment, which includes modern digital instruments and modern connectivity. Partial automation should protect the system that independently influences traffic conditions. Several drive modes allow the drive to be adapted to driving needs. Depending on the equipment line, the driver sees an analog instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch screen, a configurable digital instrument cluster with a seven-inch screen, or a customizable 10.25-inch digital display. Information from the 3D navigation system is also displayed here.
As the first kilometers of tests have shown, driver assistance systems are reliable and very sensitive in helping to identify risks at an early stage and intervene if necessary, sometimes too boldly, but better than too hesitant. The collision warning system and emergency brake assist – including pedestrian and cyclist detection – were found to be very useful and attentive when driving in the city centre, and the lane departure warning system too it works powerfully if you get off the right track. In the upper equipment lines, there are, among other things, a blind assistant and a high beam assistant. The display not only serves as a control center for the infotainment system, but also allows the new Multi-Sense system to be controlled, with which the driver can individually adjust the behavior of the steering wheel, chassis control and traction. In addition to Eco and Sport modes, a Pure electric-only driving mode is also available for the plug-in hybrid model. The manufacturer specifies the range in this electric program (10.5 kWh car battery) as 49 km. 41 km were safely reached in the first trips. Driving calmly in the city, the mark of 50 km should fly. Mitsubishi cites 63 city kilometers as a technically feasible range in electric-only operation.
All engines will be available at the launch of the market in the spring of 2023. Entry makes a three-cylinder turbo with 1.0 liters and 91 hp. The 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine is also available in two output levels. It has either 140 hp with a six-speed manual gearbox or 158 hp with a two-speed dual-clutch gearbox. At the top of the range is a plug-in hybrid with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and two electric motors (system output 159 hp). The new ASX is also the first Mitsubishi model to be sold in Europe with a full hybrid powertrain. Here, the 94-hp 1.6-liter gasoline engine with automatic transmission, supported by a small electric power (143 hp in total), ensures low fuel efficiency. When decelerating and stopping, energy is always restored. This stored energy helps the petrol engine accelerate and produce additional torque, which was registered as an increase in driving pleasure on the test laps. The ASX scores with solid road holding, comfortable damping, great handling and a delightfully direct ride, as was evident on twisty, hilly roads.
Inside, the ASX offers good space, as is typical in the class. Adults also sit comfortably in the back, you only have to pull your head when you get in, but inside there is enough air above your head. The rear seat bench can be moved by 16 cm, which is also good for rear passenger legroom. The plug-in hybrid’s trunk holds 221 liters, which is a bit tight and respectable for the large rear battery. However, the amount will seem to be sufficient for daily use. If you lower the backs of the rear seats, the cargo volume increases to 1,118 liters. The basic gasoline engine provides more trunk space, at 351 or 1,275 liters, respectively, because no additional battery space is needed.
With the ASX, Mitsubishi upholds the old promise of service from the brand. There is a five-year warranty (up to 100,000 km). Models with plug-in hybrid and full hybrid drive also receive an eight-year warranty on the battery (up to 160,000 km), which should also attract customers. Conclusion: With good catching genes on board, the ASX’s relaunch in Germany should be successful. There, many customers had also taken the Mitsubishi Colt minivan to their hearts. The prospect that he will return is not bad, it was heard.
Specifications Mitsubishi ASX with plug-in hybrid
Drive: 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with electric motor, system output 159 hp, circuit: automatic transmission
Top speed: 170 km/h,
Consumption: rate of 1.3 liters / 100 kilometers, in the test 5.6 liters
electric range only: 49 km
Height: 4.23 meters
Trunk: 221 to 1,118 liters
Price: from 39,390 euros
1.0 liter three-cylinder petrol engine, 91 hp, 168 km/h, average consumption 5.7 l/100 km, from 24,650 euros
Compact combination: 1.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with electric motor, 140 hp, 196 km/h, average consumption 5.7 liters/100 km, from 28,390 euros
Hybrid: 1.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with electric motor, 158 hp, seven-speed DSG, 204 km/h, standard usage yet to be determined, from 33,890 euros
Hybrid: 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with electric motor, 143 hp, 170 km/h, average consumption 4.7 liters/100 km, price: from 30,990 euros