MITSUBISHI, the Japanese carmaker that has its UK home in the heart of the Cotswolds, last week came up with its own Christmas gift for potential buyers: up to 10 per cent off the price of a “re-launched” car.
The Mitsubishi ASX, a crossover SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle), was first launched in 2010 with some 340,000 cars sold around the world since. The car has been deemed a success.
However, world economies have struggled but there are now signs of growth and Mitsubishi hopes that coupled with a price incentive and the “re-launched” ASX (the 2014 model arriving in dealerships) sales will get a boost.
Indeed, Mitsubishi’s November registration figures revealed that its passenger car sales were up by more than 42.43 per cent in a year. It obviously wants to continue that trend.
Now a 1.6 petrol manual ASX 2, which was £16,499, will cost £14,999. The 2014 ASX 4 (top-of-the-range) automatic version is priced at £23,899 (it was £26,295).
All this may be enough to get potential buyers interested — but what is the new ASX automatic like? I went to the launch just before Christmas and was impressed by the improvements to a car that has shown the potential to be a “stayer” in a hotly contested world market.
I like the new automatic gearbox. Us Brits have always been rather Neanderthal when it comes to automatic gearboxes. Americans love them and have wallowed in their fully automatic automobiles for decades. But British drivers, especially men, seem to think there is something sissy about an automatic.
But not me: I think in many cars now it makes great sense to utilise automatic transmission. Besides, now on new cars there are often several variables available, so you get fully automatic, plus paddle gears as on the ASX automatic (like on racing cars) and “clutchless” gearchanging.
Auto transmission is a welcome option on the ASX 4 2.2 Diesel 4WD I have been driving over the Christmas break. This engine achieves 48.7mpg on the combined cycle. Mitsubishi says this is better MPG than any of its near competitors.
What else is new on the ASX? The car is quieter inside due to better sound insulation, the ride has been improved by superior rear suspension, the new automatic gearbox (from the very likeable Outlander) is a definite plus, and the new seats make the car more comfortable.