For 2012 Mitsubishi has added its prospect to the already good-looking crossover SUV market in South Africa.  Enter the Mitsubishi ASX (Active Sporty Crossover), an all-new model born from a special relationship between Mitsubishi and French partners Peugeot and Citroen, the same three that previously brought us the Mitsubishi Outlander.  Mitsubishi says the ASX offers young active families the perfect blend of urban ease-of-use (think shopping, errands and school runs) and utility for sport and leisure (think active weekends away and off the beaten-track).

Looking from the outside, the ASX seems to be exactly what several people would like to buy right now.  It is compact, attractive and has that typical SUV-like commanding and higher ride position that everybody currently loves (ground clearance of 195mm).  There is the typical oversized grille and “frowning” headlight arrangement which is similar to mostly all other new Mitsubishi models available locally, however the rear is different and new with its light-within-a-light arrangement.  The ASX has a rear spoiler with an integrated brake light and front and rear fog lamps too.  Depending on which model is chosen, the ASX is kitted with either 16 inch or 17 inch alloy wheels, and the spare, which is located beneath the flat boot floor, is a full size alloy.

The 5-seater ASX is spacious inside and the seats are cloth in the standard model with leather being available in the 2.0 CVT.  Seats are firm and all models offer a 60/40 split at the rear.  The load area, with the rear bench tumbled forward, will swallow more than 1100 litres of goodies and the absence of a load sill ensures loading larger bulky items is a breeze.  Up front there are large dials and buttons on the centre consol with an easy to use driver information display unit in the instrument cluster.  Plastics are black in colour and hardy-looking which should stand the test of time and use.  Specifications on the base 2.0 model includes a radio/CD sound system, USB and auxiliary input, park distance control, a steering wheel adjustable for height and rake and an electric adjustment for the driver’s chair.

Mitsubishi ASX cars for sale in South Africa features a 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine with 4x2 front-wheel drive.  The two base models include a five-speed manual transmission while a third higher spec'd model will offer an automatic six-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT).  The engine develops at 110 kW at 6000 rpm and reaches a maximum torque of 197 Nm at 4200 rpm.  Manufacturer figures on combined consumption are quoted at 7.5 litres per 100 km.

In terms of safety, the ASX has been awarded a five star EuroNCAP rating.  There are seven airbags and ABS and EBD come as standard.  Buy a car like this and you will also get extra active safety features including active stability control (ASC) and brake assist while the CVT model adds traction control and a hill start assist programme which prevents the car from rolling backwards on steep inclines.

The ASX is up against some stiff competition – Mitsubishi sees it competing with the likes of the Hyundai ix35, Kia Sportage, Jeep Compass and Nissan Qashqai.  The pricing ranges from R279 900 to R319 900, and includes a three-year/100 000 km warranty and a five-year/90 000 km service plan.  Service intervals are every 15 000 km.  (Prices are subject to change according to various factors so please consult your dealer for the latest price.)

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