The Mitsubishi ASX was a concept vehicle that was displayed to the public at the North American International Auto Show in 2001 and sold as the Car Plaza at Mitsubishi Japan dealerships. The entry-level version of the ASX uses 1.6 liter petrol engine and is available only in two-wheel drive, delivering adequate performance but nothing too spectacular. There is also the 1.8 liter diesel engine which is available in both two and four-wheel drive and is definitely the stronger option for those who have the need for speed.
The overall ride and handling of the ASX is fairly unimpressive and has a decent about lean when going around sharp corners. The steering for this vehicle is also not quite what it should be and is a bit unresponsive at times. Those who place a great deal of emphasis on comfort, however, may find that this is the perfect vehicle for them. This crossover SUV has big tires and a supple suspension that make it a very smooth ride, even on the bumpiest of roads. While the ASX’s overall handling could definitely be improved upon, it is still a comfortable ride to be sure.
One of the primary issues with the ASX’s petrol and diesel engines is that they are fairly noisy, especially the diesel. Many people who have purchased this vehicle have complained about a loud whistling noise from the turbocharged engine, though it is not something that will matter to everyone. Road and wind noise can also be a problem with these vehicles, though it is once again a matter of personal preference. This vehicle’s spacious cabin and well-controlled ride as well as its efficient diesel engine still make it an attractive option for those who are looking for this type of vehicle.
The arrival of the ASX marked Mitsubishi’s entrance into the very popular SUV market which has spread to markets all over the world. This vehicle has all-season and off-road capabilities with its high ground clearance and 4-wheel drive while still offering the emissions, size, and economy of a car. The Mitsubishi Airtek, which is based on the ASX concept vehicle, was initially introduced to the Japanese market in June of 2001 with a number of engine choices, including a 126 PS 4G63 2.0 liter or a 139 PS 4G64 2.4 liter GDI mated to a standard INVECS-II 4-speed semi-automatic transmission.
The Outlander, as it is known in North America, was first introduced in 2003 and replaced the Mitsubishi Montero Sport, receiving a modified front grille as well as headlights which increased its length by around 130 mm. This vehicle shares its platform with the Mitsubishi Grandis, which was introduced in 2003 as well. There is a version of the 4G64 powerplant that was offered first, and the 4G69 2.4 liter SOHC MIVEC I4 produced a total of 120 kW or 160 PS and 220 N m of torque. The turbocharged 4G63T first appeared in 2004 and came with the option of either fornt or four-wheel drive.
The third and latest generation of the ASX is a plug-in hybrid variant called the P-HEV. The production version of this vehicle was first displayed at the Paris Motor Show in 2012. This hybrid uses a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder MIVEC gasoline engine and an electric powertrain that is derived from the electric systems found in the Mitsubishi MiEV. Sales of this vehicle started in January of 2013 in Japan and was the first SUV plug-in hybrid on the market at the time. This vehicle has experienced massive sales in the Japanese domestic market as well as international attention for its innovative design.