Road Impressions – Mitsubishi ASX 2.0 GLS CVT

Barely a year after doing a full refresh of the local Mitsubishi ASX range, the flagship model – the 2.0 GLS CVT – had its makeup retouched to give it a more upmarket look.

This involved a new front grille design with added chrome garnish, revised bumper design with a sporty honeycomb pattern above the lower spoiler, fitment of LED daylight running lights (DRL), rear diffuser and a LED rear fog lamp.

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Other cosmetic changes included a redesigned centre console with decorative trim in a geometric pattern of brightwork featuring two USB ports and a mobile phone tray with removable padded liner. Changes to the design and materials used in the centre console, the dashboard centre panel and power window switch panels were also made.

Mitsubishi has also redesigned the CVT shift lever, included a new seat design with red stitching, as well as soft-touch knee pads on the outside of the centre console along with 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels and a new silver body colour with enhanced brightness.

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The most important single feature of this model is the gearbox – now the newest version of Mitsubishi’s INVECS-III CVT with 6-step Sports Mode.

My feelings about CVT gearboxes remain unchanged and undiluted. They are not my favourite. However, this effort from Mitsubishi is one of the best I have driven in recent years and manages to fairly intelligently find the right gear at the correct time with a minimum of that frantically annoying CVT whine.

Even better is when it is clicked over to Sport mode. The ASX then gets quite lively and it feels as if the gearbox is trying to work in tandem with driver throttle input – enough that I believe it should come with flappy paddles as standard fitment.

The Mitsubishi ASX is powered by a 2.0 MIVEC petrol engine. This engine is equipped with Mitsubishi’s Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control System (MIVEC) and multi-point injection that produces 110 kW at 6 000 r/min and 197 Nm of torque at 4 200 r/min.

Despite being a ‘revvy’ engine an average fuel consumption of 7,6 l /100 km is achievable. Fitted with a 63 litre tank, this gives the ASX a range of around 800 km.

Sitting just shy of R420 000, the ASX is compeitively priced in a crowded market and it offers a soft-feel leather interior including a leather-covered multi-function steering wheel.

It boasts a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and, like all, ASX models features Mitsubishi’s proprietary Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) body shell, seven air bags, ISOFIX child restraint mountings and a range of dynamic safety systems that include anti-lock braking, electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assistance (BAS).

The GLS CVT also comes standard with Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA).

Other standard features include a chromatic rearview mirror, a rearview camera, rear Park Distance Control, heated and fold-away side mirrors with built-in indicator lights, LED daytime running lights and a keyless Operating System.

It is fitted with a full-length panoramic glass roof with a UV protective coating and one-touch cover, as well as adjustable LED mood-lighting for every occasion.

Luxury features  on offer are Bluetooth with voice control, cruise control, a multi-function steering wheel, power windows, air-conditioning, rain-sensing wipers and a Rockford Fosgate sound system.

Not too shabby at all.

The ASX is a pleasant space in which to be. Seating is comfortable – firm enough to constrain when press on mode is engaged and supportive enough to minimise fatigue on the long-haul runs. Steering on our test unit was precise with enough feedback at speed to allow confident entry to tight corners.

With a wheelbase still short enough to respond quickly to steering commands, it fits the desciption of ‘nippy’ rather well, yet does not compromise on front or rear seat space to achieve this.

As with the rest of the ASX range, the GLS CVT is covered by a 3-year / 100 000 km manufacturer’s warranty and a 5-year /90 000 km service plan with 15 000 km service intervals.

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