Compact crossovers, that comfortable middle ground between hatchbacks and 4x4s, is the segment that every car maker wants to compete in right now, mostly because it’s one of the few parts of the car market actually attracting buyers in any serious numbers. There are many Johnny-Come-Latelies entering the segment, but Mitsubishi is actually just bringing out a heavily-revised version of its compact ASX, making improvements and updates while many rivals are only just getting started. Perhaps that prescience is only to be expected from a company famed for its 4x4s and SUVs.
With prices starting form €23,950, the updated ASX comes with a choice of 1.6-litre petrol or 1.8-litre diesel models and Mitsubishi seems to be throwing the standard equipment bucket at the car, as the likes of cruise control, Bluetooth phone connection and automatic air conditioning are all standard.
Both petrol and diesel models have seen their emissions fall in this new ASX and, interestingly, both hit exactly the same mark – 137g/km of Co2. That must make the ASX one of the only cars where choosing petrol or diesel gives you exactly the same annual motor tax bill, €280 in this case.
The outgoing ASX achieved a five-star EuroNCAP safety rating and the new one aims to build on this class leading package.
To limit the effect of impacts from all directions, the ASX’s body incorporates high-tensile steel to reduce weight and increase stiffness, clever shape optimisation of the octagonal-section straight front side members for better energy absorption, a ‘Triple-leg’ bearing structure, linking the rear end of the front side member with the dash cross centre and lower members to efficiently disperse frontal impact energy, and a reinforced body construction, which helps to absorb crash energy.
All of these measures compliment Mitsubishi’s RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) uni-body, which, it claims, brings dramatic advances in multi-directional impact safety performance. As a fundamental starting point, this design disperses energy loads during side and rear impacts and controls distortion, enhancing occupant protection and also helping to protect the fuel system during a rear impact.
The exterior has been restyled with what Mitsubishi calls a “softer face” effect at the front and a re-profiled rear too. The ASX also now gets Mitsubishi’s recently-launched eight-year, 150,000km warranty.