HomeAnalysisMitsubishi ASX set for Zim

Mitsubishi ASX set for Zim

Andrew Muzamhindo

The all-new Mitsubishi ASX is set for Zimbabwe in the next few weeks. It has been treated to one of its biggest updates yet. It has a fresh face, a new engine and a major tech spruce-up.

A number of companies and individuals have started placing orders with Zimoco, the Mitsubishi official dealership in Zimbabwe. It will land in the country in the next few weeks. This vehicle is targeted at car rental companies, company fleets, sales representatives, junior managers and those who are after value for money but demand more from a car.

It has a sharp new look, improved around-town performance from the 2,4-litre engine, larger eight-inch infotainment, maintains its key appeal and is cheap to run. It is a hugely popular small crossover you might be interested in. It competes with Mazda’s CX-3, the Honda HR-V, Subaru’s XV, Renault Duster and the Hyundai Kona, among many others

This is a crossover vehicle that has been popular in Europe and Australasia where it has outsold more than 20 competitors. It does not take commercial genius to figure out that Mitsubishi could have kept rolling out the same old version and continued neatly and perhaps dominating business indeed. And that a new face, new under-bonnet gear and a bit of range-fiddling might, all things considered, actually risk robbing some key appeal from the great many who buy them.

Those who buy them, according to Mitsubishi, are young females, young families on a budget, and older empty-nesters. Car rental companies account for a whopping 40% of ASX sales in Europe.

Exactly why the ASX is popular as a hire car should be considered if you are thinking of buying privately. And the formula that has done the nameplate so many favours for so long is this: its “perfect” size is compact to drive yet practical enough for interior space; its non-turbocharged powertrains offer dependable reliability; and it is affordable to buy and cheap to run.

The 2020 update is actually comprehensive by ASX measure, though understandably not much of the new stuff greatly differs in the essential user experience.
There are much fewer changes inside than out. The design, instruments and controls are all familiar, unpretentious in materials and execution, with little concession to modernisation bar the new eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Digital radio and a newer, second-generation CarPlay and Android Auto integration featured across the range, though the flagship Exceed adds proprietary TomTom sat-nav. Plus, there is Rockford Fosgate nine-speaker sound, which adds a subwoofer in the boot that robs about 50L of luggage space.

Visibility is great, seating comfort is more acceptable than generous, and there is just about enough room for four adults without long-haul punishment. There is a pair of USB ports plus a handy phone cubby slot up front.

Its popularity as a rental is testament to practicality that, with 393 litres of boot space, offers travellers enough room for two decent-sized travel cases.
Through its CVT transmission driving the front wheels, there is enough response and quieter operation provided you are not heavy-footed. Is it a fair trade-off for the convenience of cheap fuel and running costs? For a good many buyers it most certainly will be.

The ASX seems happier as an around-town runabout and grand tourer tackling the tyranny of long distance. There is some pleasant, soft compliance built into the fundamental suspension tune that does a decent job of ironing out large and sharp road imperfections at lower speeds.

The MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension makes driving on rough roads smooth and comfortable.The shock absorbers and stabilisers are precision-tuned for responsive handling and sporty, comfortable performance.

It has an Active Stability Control (ASC) system which uses onboard sensors to analyse the vehicle’s motion and identify lateral wheel slippage. By governing engine output and applying braking power to the appropriate wheels, the ASC helps to maintain stability and control.

The guided reversing camera and excellent outward visibility mean the crossover is a doddle to park, too. All variants now get autonomous emergency braking, though it is only fleet-spec ES and ES-based MR sports versions that miss out on the fulsome ADAS suite of safety systems we consider almost essential fitment for the ASX.

From automatic high-beam to rear cross-traffic alert, the array covers all conventional active safety bar lane-keeping assistance, and the AEB includes pedestrian-recognition smarts. Its seven-airbag system helps protect every passenger in every seat. For protection in frontal collisions, front passengers get front airbags and a knee airbag on the driver’s side. In a side collision, front passengers are protected by side airbags, while both rows are protected by curtain airbags.

This vehicle is an inevitable byproduct of a range with increasingly mature roots keeping relevant and maintaining vibrancy with the advancing times.
Engine Capacity: 2L
Power: 110kW
Horsepower: 50hp
Rev. at Max Power: 6 000rpm
Torque: 198Nm
Transmission: Automatic/ Manual with five gears forward.
Fuel economy: 7,6L/100km with fuel tank capacity of 63 litres.
andrew@muzamhindo.com

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