A HARD week at the grind stone. It’s Friday, and your ready to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city to pretend you don’t have any responsibilities. What you really need is a super hero car, and Mitsubishi has delivered with the 2018 Mitsubishi ASX XLS 4WD.
It’s a car that can act like your every day joe, do the nine to five haul, and be responsible. It’s a car that is practical and reliable, it’s something that’s easy to drive and fits everywhere.
But when duty calls, it can change it’s demeanour and become something loaded with energy and excitement, capable of braving harsh country conditions. Its official title is the 2018 Mitsubishi ASX XLS 4WD 2.2L DSL AT. Phew. A mouth full right?
But this car is full of great gear, and we reckon a long line of acronyms was the only way to get that across. We approached the soft roader ASX with more enthusiasm than should be allowed for a toy 4WD.
We did this because it’s a Mitsubishi, and as soon as you hear that name, you think hardcore rally bred sports cars, that dominate on the tarmac and out right rule on the dirt.
You think of a long history of reliability and tested Japanese motor engineering. But does it deliver on its history? Why yes, yes it does.
Nicknamed the Mitsubishi alphabet in our office, the 2018 ASX XLS comes bundled with a 7-inch touch screen infotainment system, featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but oddly found wanting by a lack of SatNav.
We’re working on the theory that Mitsubishi knows most people will happily run maps from their mobile device, thanks to live updating and traffic information.
The ASX pays you back in spades for your faith in the ability for the brand to find the right balance of hard shiny bits, with piano black and chrome trims, and soft comfy bits, with leather appointed seats and a leather steering wheel.
Flick the switch in the ceiling mounted console and the roof curtain retracts to reveal a generous moon roof too.
To enhance this, as the sun sets, the adjustable interior roof lighting adds in another level of style that will have you smiling at your little 4WD’s slightly odd character.
Externally, there’s more of that balance of soft and shiny, with aggressive lines highlighting the new look, along with good looking 18-inch alloy wheels.
Completing the show on the outside of the ASX are LED daytime running lamps, halogen headlamps, fog lamps, rear spoiler and a shark fin antenna.
In case you’re wondering what all those acronyms stand for, the DSL AT bit is the diesel automatic, which sees a 2.2-litre 4-cylinder common rail turbo diesel delivering 110kW of power and 360Nm of torque.
That means this thing takes off like a bullet for a small 4WD, and has power available pretty much instantaneously. You have to watch yourself because it will surprise you if you’re not thinking about it, and you’ll find yourself speeding and at the mercy of the law.
Claimed fuel consumption is 6.0-litres/100km and it’s pretty much bang on. We drove from the Sydney CBD, to an industrial park, and then out of the city to the M1, before hitting the Pacific Hwy to put the 2018 ASX XLS through it’s paces.
We even knocked out some dirt roads for a real feel of the 4WD capabilities, and it handled everything beautifully. Helping you through the gears is a 6-speed auto transmission with paddle shifters, and this is where we hit our first snag with the ASX.
The paddle shifters are mounted to the steering column which is far from ideal when trying to change gears through a corner. It runs well in manual mode too, not trying to force us back to full auto unless it thought we’d hurt it.
Onto that 4WD capability. Obviously you will never take this thing serious four wheel driving, but what it does offer is a stable system allowing you take this city dwelling machine off the beaten track, out of two wheel drive mode and into auto 4WD or locked 4WD at the touch of a button. No need to stop the system changes on the move.
There’s stacks of storage in the boot, thanks to a space saver wheel, with Mitsubishi offering the option to upgrade to a full spare, and make a slight sacrifice on rear space. In a nice touch, there’s also vents in the floor for rear seat passengers.
But the rear seat love stops right there. Head and leg room in the back are poor, and there’s no rear lighting either – not so handy at night.
Overall though, it’s a pretty complete package for a compact SUV. It’s got Bluetooth, a couple of USB sockets, and heated seats, as well as solid performance and handling.
Our 2018 Mitsubishi ASX XLS 4WD is the top of the rangeat $39,990 drive away, with the base model LS manual (the only model variant with a manual gearbox) hitting the road at $24,990.
It comes in White Solid, Starlight, Stirling Silver, Red, Titanium, Lightning Blue, and Black. White Solid is the only free colour, with all others costing an extra $590, unless of course you buy the range topping XLS, in which case you can choose any colour you like for free.
The 2018 ASX XLS comes with Mitsubishi’s Diamond Advantage, providing a five year warranty, four years roadside assist and three years capped price servicing.
Our road test vehicle was supplied by Mitsubishi Australia. To find out more about the 2018 Mitsubishi ASX XLS 4WD, contact your local Mitsubishi dealer.