Young, fun ASX still looks the part for city slicking
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New Zealand's compact SUV market is one of the most popular segments — and it continues to grow with more younger people opting for this style of vehicle over the once-popular hatchback.
And when I say younger, I mean 30-somethings not first car buyers, but that brings down the age demographic of SUV owners impressively.
The Lancer-based ASX debuted in 2010, replacing the RVR, and ASX stands for Active Sports Crossover (note for your next pub quiz).
Although it came smack bang in the middle of the GFC, the ASX was what the New Zealand public wanted: a small SUV that looked the part and was economical.
Nine years on, and the ASX still rates in the top 10 new vehicle sales, despite the compact SUV segment exploding. The ASX has competition from Mazda's CX-3 and Hyundai's Kona but the figures don't lie: Kiwis love this little Mitsubishi.
Last year 2436 ASX's were registered in New Zealand and year to date 1224 are on our roads.
Mitsubishi is taking a sledgehammer to the price of the entry model XLS with it now $26,990, down from $36,690.
You can image the stampede to dealerships because new compact SUV prices rarely dip to $30,000 or lower — and when they do, they are snapped up. Just ask Kia New Zealand when it launched its latest Sportage for $30,000.
For nearly $27,000 you get a two-wheel drive 2-litre petrol engine that produces 112kW of power and 200Nm of torque with fuel efficiency of 7.6l/100km while paired with a CVT automatic transmission. It has 18in alloys.
We liked that it has keyless entry as standard, plus a renewed 7in touchscreen infotainment system. It looks great and with the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it's set to attract first-time new car buyers.
For anyone who spends much time in their vehicles (let’s not talk about traffic jams), CarPlay, etc is essential to answer or send texts legally — plus it is your own satnav system.
The ASX is 4365mm long, 1810mm wide, 1640mm high and weighs 1970kg, with ground clearance of 205mm. That’s ideal for city slicking, which is what we did with our ASX.
We needed to head to a busy shopping mall so we left the large test SUV at home and hopped into the ASX. Ditto with a dash to the supermarket. The ASX was simple to park and manoeuvrable.
Inside, we liked the clutter-free cabin. The layout was simple and stylish and there is enough room on the second row for two adults or three kids at a squeeze.
We noted the next petrol model up, the VRX, had blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert as standard — but you’d have to pay $40,590.
MITSUBISHI ASX XLS
$26,990, 2-litre petrol (112kW/200Nm)
Plus: Great price
Minus: No BSM