Mitsubishi has given its popular ASX SUV a makeover for 2013. AOL Cars had an exclusive first drive
What is it?
The ASX is Mitsubishi's alternative to the SUV mainstream, which boasts a family-friendly interior and the tried and tested platform from the larger Outlander off-roader. For 2013, the ASX has received a nip and tuck to the styling. The once bold Evo X-like front grille has been toned down to bring it more in-line with forthcoming Mitsubishis such as the Mirage. Other changes include a new rear bumper, revised suspension and a handful of interior trim modifications to keep the ASX looking fresh.
What's under the bonnet?
There's a 115bhp, four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol engine that's only available in two-wheel drive form. Or, the 114bhp 1.8 DiD turbodiesel that we tested in mid-range "3" form. Top speed is 115mph; 0-60mph is 10.6 seconds; while CO2 emissions are 138g/km. Combined MPG is a respectable 54.3.
What's the kit like?
Very good, all models have alloy wheels, air-conditioning, electric windows and keyless go. Top 4 spec includes leather trim, Bluetooth, a reversing camera and satellite navigation. Prices for the 2013 version remain unchanged over the outgoing 2012 car: £16,499 to £22,745.
The ASX competes in a busy segment. The Kia Sporrtage, Hyundai ix35, Skoda Yeti and the Nissan Qashqai are all difficult rivals to beat. That's not to forget the SsangYong Korando and the Dacia Duster which are generally cheaper and do the same job.
Is it any good?
The ASX is a pleasing car to drive. It's very comfortable and roomy inside, while 4x4 variants are surprisingly good off-road. It's just a shame the 1.8-litre diesel lacks low-down torque – something we would expect more of from a modern diesel engine.
The AOL Cars verdict
Mitsubishi's ASX is a credible car in the SUV market, and has found many happy buyers in the UK. The new 2013 version does little to change this – the modifications are very minor and will not alienate traditional ASX owners. We would like to have seen some more radical changes, though – but as the saying goes: "if it ain't broken..."
Model: Mitsubishi ASX 1.8 DiD 3 4x4
Engine: 1.8-litre, turbodiesel
Power: 114bhp, 300Nm
Max speed: 115mph