What is it?
This is the new Mitsubishi ASX; the Japanese maker’s new entrant to the compact SUV market. The big news is that the ASX gets the company’s new 1.8-litre turbodiesel engine. This 147bhp, 221lb ft all-aluminium unit is the first diesel engine fitted to a passenger car to feature variable-valve timing. The new tech allows the DiD engine to achieve 51.4mpg and 145g/km whilst still managing a sub 10sec 0-62mph time.
Drive is sent through a six-speed manual gearbox, and on our test car drove only the front wheels. The ASX is also available with a four-wheel drive system that can be set to full-time front wheel drive or automatic four-wheel drive.
A 1.6-litre petrol engine will also be available in the UK, but the two-wheel drive 1.8 diesel will account for the majority of sales.
What’s it like?
Very competitive. The only big drawback with the new engine is its lack of refinement. A bass grumble and high-pitch turbo whine is very audible in the cabin if the engine is under load, but the technology has paid off in that the performance is accesible and well-suited to the ASX’s generally relaxed nature.
There’s plenty of low-down torque available so it’s possible to leave the ASX in high gears around town and there will still be enough urge available for easy progress. Standard stop-start and a pliant, well-judged ride also helps to make the ASX an accomplished urban tool.