Whether you’re just starting out with a family or already have a small family of your own, you would most probably start looking at bigger family cars to replace your compacts or sedans.
However, a full-sized sports utility vehicle (SUV) may seem too big for a small family; this is where a compact SUV would come in.
The Mitsubishi ASX, which is now locally assembled, is big enough to comfortably fit five adults as well as luggage, yet compact enough to manoeuvre around.
Both the 4WD and 2WD versions are powered by a two-litre 16-valve inline-four DOHC MIVEC with a maximum power of 148hp and peak torque of 197Nm which could take the car all the way up to 190km/h, paired with INVECS-II CVT with six-step sports mode.
The one we tested was the 4WD version, which could be driven in 4WD mode or 2WD mode, depending on the needs of the driver.
Despite its size, it was easily manoeuvrable in the city, and the parking assistance was especially helpful.
Even at higher speeds, we felt it to be comfortable and smooth, even on bumpier roads.
We also didn’t have a problem on winding roads, as it felt well-balanced and stable, taking the corners effortlessly with little body roll.
The cabin was also quite silent with no intrusive noises from outside, except when we pressed hard on the accelerator, but even then the sound wasn’t too loud.
We took the car for a drive up to Sik, Kedah for a wedding, and by the time we got there almost five hours later, we expected to be sore, but we didn’t feel the least bit of discomfort.
Passengers seated in the back wouldn’t suffer either, as the backseats are comfortable and spacious, with plenty of legroom and headroom.
Even though the occupants of the car were all around 5ft 5in and 5ft 6in, the driver and front passenger didn’t have to move their seats further forward to accommodate the passengers in the rear.
The folding rear seats also added convenience, as aside from giving extra storage space when needed, it can also be used by the back passengers to access the boot easily, perhaps to get something they need, without having to stop the car.
We also tried out the 4WD mode which can be activated on demand with the press of a button located near the gear lever, and found it to be smooth.
We tested it out on an uneven lot, and felt that despite all the stones and rocks scattered everywhere, not to mention the dirt, mud and sand surfaces, it was comparatively smooth and we didn’t feel bumped around too much.
The panoramic roof, which is only available in the 4WD version, makes the ASX look and feel even more spacious from the inside.
The main draw of the Mitsubishi ASX is that it’s an SUV that feels like a sedan, and we are inclined to agree.
Even being unused to driving big vehicles, we could drive the ASX easily, and it was as fun to drive as a good sedan.
Specifications of the Mitsubishi ASX 4WD
Engine: 1,970cc 16-valve inline-four DOHC MIVEC
Max power: 148hp @ 6,000rpm
Max torque: 197Nm @ 4,200rpm
Transmission: INVECS-II CVT with 6-step Sports mode
Top speed: 190km/h
Fuel consumption: 7.6L/100km
Safety features: Active stability control, traction control, hill start assist, anti-lock braking system, electronic brake-force distribution, brake override system, immobiliser, three airbags
Price: RM132,515.30 OTR with insurance