The Road Ahead : October 2012
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 66 THE ROAD AHEAD OCT/NOV 2012 MITSUBISHI'S SMARTLY-STYLED ASX has proven a hit with buyers, even in its brief lifetime. With used examples still carrying the balance of Mitsubishi's long new car warranty, a used ASX could prove a sound buy. Its five-door wagon body has the same wheelbase as Outlander, is substantially lighter, but isn't as tall. There are plenty of model choices, starting with the front-wheel-drive version powered by an all-alloy, 2.0-litre petrol engine matched to a CVT auto or five-speed manual. There are also an entry level all- wheel-drive and a more luxuriously appointed Aspire AWD model. Both can be had with the petrol engine and CVT, or a 1.8 turbo-diesel only with six-speed manual. No less than seven airbags, including a driver's knee airbag, and stability control on all models, complemented by a five star ANCAP crash rating takes care of safety. The technically sophisticated diesel with variable valve-timing pumps out 300 Nm of torque and is the pick of the engines, combining better performance with good fuel economy. No auto gearbox will turn many buyers off the 'oiler', though. Class competitive, rather than class leading, on-road ability is ASX's stock in trade. The practical space, plus easy driving feel and interior presentation similar to Lancer, will appeal to many. All-wheel-drive models use the Outlander's electronically-controlled drive system with selectable FWD, AWD and AWD lock mode for 50/50 power distribution. Off-road ability is limited to forestry trails and the like, rather than hard-core bush bashing. ASX appears to be budget friendly when it comes to operating costs. And we didn't uncover any nasty secrets to taint its reliability reputation, either. Like any used vehicle though, check for careful scheduled servicing, including engine oil and coolant. Servicing of vital engine fluids for the all-alloy diesel, plus all filters and scheduled valve clearance adjustment, is critical for long-term durability. As always, a professional pre- purchase inspection is important. UNDER THE PUMP ASX will use between 6.3 litres and 10.8 litres of petrol, or 4.9 litres and 8.6 litres of diesel every 100 km, depending on model and driving conditions. PRICE RANGE From $20,800 to $34,900, depending on year and model. (Note: price guide information is current at time of writing, but lower prices for new MY13 ASX are likely to impact used prices also). NEED HELP? RACQ CAN HELP WITH CAR LOANS (CALL 1300 361 316), VEHICLE INSPECTIONS (CALL 13 1905) AND INSURANCE (CALL 13 1905). REVIEW JOHN EWING MOTORING USED CAR REVIEW COMPETITORS HYUNDAI iX35, 2010 ONWARDS Entry level fwd 2.0-litre petrol (manual or auto), or two higher spec AWD models with 2.4-litre petrol or 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, both six-speed auto only. Scores well for safety. Practical interior. Well finished. Ride and road holding need more polish. NISSAN DUALIS (series II), 2010 ONWARDS Plenty of choices with FWD, AWD, manual and CVT auto gearboxes, plus five or seven-seat versions. Average performance from 2.0-litre petrol engine, no diesel option though. Base model ST or more luxuriously appointed Ti SUZUKI GRAND VITARA, 2008-2012 Choice of 2.4-litre petrol, 1.9-litre turbo-diesel or 3.2-litre V6. Average on-road ability, but provides low-range gearing and superior off-road skill compared to most compact SUVs. Six airbags and stability control standard. mitsubishi asx, 2010 onwards Compact SUVs are the popular tool of choice for many urban couples and smaller families chasing practical transport solutions.
August 1st 2012