Mitsubishi introduced the ASX, or Active Smart Crossover, in 2013 with a sparkling set of safety features that earned it a 5-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating. Recently Mitsubishi Motors SA held a ladies day to once again highlight these safety features.
Driving the ASX
In addition to the ladies day, we each got to keep an ASX for a week. Before we tell you which safety features we experienced as demonstrated by ex-racing driver Deon Joubert, we’ll let you in on our driving impression.
Our steed for the week was the ASX 2.0 MPi CVT GLS. This top of the range leather clad crossover scores high marks for pizzazz when it comes to the interior. It has nice lines and offers a feeling of refinement above what one might expect for its class. The seats are very firm, which is not everyone’s cup of tea – we’ve had comfier but they weren’t half bad. The Rockford Fosgate sound system didn’t harm the image of sophistication either and I enjoyed listening to the crystal clear tones emanating from podcasts, via the USB port.
The touchscreen Infotainment system was easy to use and I had it figured out in no time. However, the Bluetooth hands-free system would not connect to my phone, which was disappointing. If the car was mine, I would have been a bit more persistent in getting this resolved. The panoramic glass roof with automatic sliding shutter was a nice touch, although as a driver you don’t have much leeway to stare through the transparent ceiling, but my kids enjoyed the novelty.
This SUV has a roomy feel and the raised ride height is a favourable feature when it comes to visibility. The boot is spacious and I managed to fit in two horse riding saddles, a large (1mx30cm) tack box, plus other paraphernalia without having to fold the back seats forward.
However, the downside of this comfortable, spacious and safe crossover is the engine. It’s incredibly noisy, almost like an older diesel mill, especially when you pull away and up to about the speed of 70kph, after which the din dies down. The CVT wasn’t a favourite either. However, from about 80kph, the SUV cruises comfortably and the handling was always fair without causing excitement. Perhaps I was expecting a bit much. What I wasn’t expecting was a low-slung performance-driving dynamo, however I was hoping that Mitsubishi could have squeezed a bit more power and torque from this 2-litre engine and that it would hug the corners a tad more enthusiastically. It’s not that it can’t do the job. It can. It just doesn’t do the job with oomph.
Still, it is an SUV well worth considering when you look at the whole package. This car offers everything a family could want in safety, comfort, space and refinement.
On the ladies day, the Cape Town rendezvous was the Killarney Race Track, where ex-racing driver Deon Joubert was at hand to give us a safety demonstration in the ASX.
Deon demonstrated various stopping distances when he slammed on the brakes at 60, 120 and 150kph respectively. The vehicles ABS activated and with new grippy tyres and a perfectly manicured race track the ASX was brought to a stop in the quickest way possible.
We were told at what speed Deon would be travelling and where he would slam on the brakes and had to guess where the car would stop. Most of us got it wrong on all three occasions. Our guesses relating to the 60kph brake exercise were closer to reality, but as the speed increased so did our ignorance.
Braking distance is proportional to the square of the speed – which means that it increases considerably as speed increases. This visual display of physics was quite eye-opening. And here conditions were perfect. Travelling downhill on a wet road and with tyres that are slightly worn in a car with less safety features would result in a completely different outcome where the stopping distance would be dramatically increased.
After this demo, Deon took us for a literal spin around the track. The ASX has electronic traction control (ETC) among its glowing list of safety features and by switching it off he demonstrated the difference in the vehicle’s handling compared and how the ETC compensates for driver error.
It’s quite impressive to experience first-hand how this technology could very easily be the difference between life and death.
On the subject of death, we were informed by Penny Mars – founder of of Wheel Well, the only NGO in South Africa that focuses on child safety within vehicles – that the leading cause of death for children in South Africa is car accidents. She also relayed how these deaths and injuries could be dramatically reduced with the correct and consistent use of child car seats and booster seats.
This is where Wheel Well aims to make a difference and Mitsubishi Motors SA has partnered with the NGO to support Penny in her efforts. Mitsubishi has donated R25 000 to the cause and has announced that a customised training module will be added to their dealer training curriculum, to ensure that all their customers are aware of the critical importance of child seats.
Wheel Well is actively collecting, cleaning and refurbishing child seats that are then donated to needy families. Any donations of used car seats are welcomed and more information on donations and collections are available at www.wheelwell.co.za
The Mitsubishi ASX 2,0L MIVEC 6-Speed CVT GLS is priced at R374 900 and comes with a 5 year/90 000km Service Plan.
The manufacturer claims a fuel consumption of 7,6 l/100 km, however we used 11,6L/100km commuting to the office and back in a bit of traffic bu there weren’t long distances of stop/start driving.
Engine: 2.0-litre, four cylinder, naturally aspirated
Transmission: Six-Speed Automatic
Power: 110 kW
0-100 km/h: 11,5 Seconds
Top Speed: 190 km/h