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Dynamic shield: Mitsubishi ASX gets slick new makeover ahead of September sales blitz

By Paul Connolly

Mitsubishi’s small SUV, the ASX, has undergone a complete revamp inside and out.

The latest model, the third generation, gets a new look, cabin and tech overhaul ahead of going on sale in September.

The exterior of the crossover gets the same ‘Dynamic Shield’ design language seen in the manufacturer’s latest SUV range: the larger Eclipse Cross, Outlander and Shogun Sport.

This brings the company’s SUV offerings all together in a design suite it hopes will offer something for everyone. It also means the Japanese manufacturer has a complete suite of SUVs, ranging from small to large.

The ASX, known in some markets as the Mitsubishi RVR and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, has its roots in the 1990s, where it was built as a people carrier from 1991 to 2002.

In 2010, it then remerged in third generation guise as a small SUV/crossover. This model has received several facelifts, including this latest one.

The new ASX goes on sale this September following a grand reveal at the Geneva Motor Show.

The new car has a new external and interior design and a new engine to boot.

The outside sees big changes, with the ASX now receiving the Mitsubishi ‘Dynamic Shield’ design language which now mirrors the rest of the SUV range.

This includes a new grille, higher clamshell bonnet, squarer front wheel arches, LED headlights, new skid plates front and rear and a new front bumper. New 18-inch alloys also help give it a more muscular look.

An upgraded powertrain is offered, replacing the previous 1.6-litre petrol engine with a new 2.0-litre petrol power unit offering 30% more horsepower (150hp vs 115ps) and 27% more torque (195Nm vs 154Nm).

The new engine upgrades performance – the old model did 0-62mph in 12.2 seconds, bit the new 2.0 ASX manual will do the same sprint in 10.2 seconds. Top speed is now 118mph, up from 114mph.

There are for now two trim levels: Design and Dynamic. Each comes with both 2WD and 4WD options.

Included on Design trim are Active Stability and Traction Control system with Hill Start Assist, leather steering wheel & gear shifter, keyless operation, rear view camera and 18-in alloys.

Dynamic trim takes everything from Design and adds extras like extra engine choices, panoramic glass roof with roof rails, leather interior, and TomTom sat nav.

A new INVECS-III CVT gearbox also incorporates a Sport mode, similar in concept to the system fitted in the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, which employs a ‘step-up’ shifting control system to emulate the driving experience of a more traditional automatic transmission.

Both drivetrains retain the front McPherson struts and a multilink rear arrangement but (braked) towing capacity is increased by 100Kg to 1,300Kg (braked) for both front- and four-wheel drive versions.

The cabin gets an effective upgrade, with better quality materials and leather trim abounding.

Improved air-con and switchgear has also been installed, and the central instrument panel has been enhanced with a piano black finish and a new larger eight-inch Smartphone Link Display Audio (SDA) system.

The new SDA system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and DAB radio. Higher trim models also feature built-in TomTom navigation.

As with other manufacturers, Mitsubishi has invested in driver, passenger and pedestrian safety technology.

Extra safety kit that comes as standard on Dynamic models includes Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The system uses two radio wave radars located behind the rear bumper to warn the driver – via door mirror warning lights and audible alarms - of vehicles approaching from the rear and side during lane change manoeuvres.

It can also warn of vehicles or pedestrians approaching the car’s blind spots while parking or reversing.

Mitsubishi’s RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) system gives a stiffer architecture and seven SRS airbag arrangement.

The new Mitsubishi ASX goes on sale in September 2019. Pricing and full spec details including cabin images, have yet to be revealed, but as a rough indicator the current generation car starts from £19,585.

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