Driving report: Mitsubishi ASX plug-in hybrid: New impetus

Take a Renault Capture and swap out the lozenge in the front grille for Mitsubishi's three-diamond logo.

Driving report: Mitsubishi ASX plug-in hybrid: New impetus

Take a Renault Capture and swap out the lozenge in the front grille for Mitsubishi's three-diamond logo. Then the lettering of the Japanese on the rear - the new Mitsubishi ASX with production site Valladolid, Spain is complete. Where the Renault Capture rolls off the assembly line. The price is largely the same, as is the engine. So what should make the ASX palatable to potential customers?

At Mitsubishi, those responsible can think of a few things. For example, that Mitsubishi offers a five-year guarantee. Or that the equipment is slightly different. Above all, it is hoped that long-standing loyal customers will simply stay with the brand when looking for a compact SUV. At least 380,000 of its predecessors were sold in Europe. For Mitsubishi, the new generation of the ASX is also an object of hope: After actually giving up the local market two years ago, the ASX should now become a symbol for the return: We're back. And the necessary energy should bring the alliance with Renault / Nissan.

The 4,228 mm long Mitsubishi is also a consistently good car as a clone. The design is up-to-date, the inside is tidy, offers space and a pleasant ambience. The seats - the driver's is height-adjustable - are comfortable and offer proper lateral support even on sharp bends. Even longer distances are not stressful. At the back it only gets a little cramped on the 16 centimeters adjustable seat when there are giant seats in the front. The loading space normally holds 422 liters.

The functions that you want to access easily while driving - such as air conditioning - can be adjusted using switches and buttons. So you don't have to laboriously torment yourself through various submenus. The seven-inch screen in the middle of the dashboard provides a clear navigation image, the shelf contains good old USB sockets and the digital instrument cluster in front of the driver (analogous to the basic version) is clear and informative.

The ASX (the abbreviation stands for Active Sports X-over) is offered with five engine options: in the basic version with a three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, which produces 67 kW / 91 hp from a liter displacement and reaches 168 km/h, then two 1.3-liter mild hybrids with 140 and 158 hp and a top speed of 196 and 204 km/h, respectively, a 1.6-liter full hybrid with 105 kW / 143 hp system output and a top speed of 170 km/h and finally one Plug-in hybrids with a system output of 117 kW / 159 hp and a top speed of 170 km/h from one petrol engine and two electric motors. The 10.5 kWh battery is fully charged after three hours. The WLTP test cycle shows fuel consumption of 1.3 liters per 100 kilometers for the plug-in, which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 30 g/km.

In any case, the plug-in of the ASX is a pleasant and cultivated contemporary. He hangs well on the gas, the multi-mode automatic accelerates him without noticeable shifting interruptions. And you are also well served acoustically: Even when switching from electric to electric mode, little of it can be heard. The petrol engine only gets loud when you press the accelerator pedal all the way down. The steering: precise. The suspension: Firm, but still comfortable - nothing rumbles even on bad roads and the ASX stays stoically on track. Only when you drive it out of the curve with your foot on the accelerator does it briefly flap its rear end, but the electronics catch it again quickly and safely. Depending on the selected driving mode, the ASX can recognize the cornering situation and, if necessary, brakes each wheel individually to improve the track.

In any case, the plug-in of the ASX is a pleasant and cultivated contemporary. He hangs well on the gas, the multi-mode automatic accelerates him without noticeable shifting interruptions. And you are also well served acoustically: Even when switching from electric to electric mode, little of it can be heard. The petrol engine only gets loud when you press the accelerator pedal all the way down. The steering: precise. The suspension: Firm, but still comfortable - nothing rumbles even on bad roads and the ASX stays stoically on track. Only when you drive it out of the curve with your foot on the accelerator does it briefly flap its rear end, but the electronics catch it again quickly and safely. Depending on the selected driving mode, the ASX can recognize the cornering situation and, if necessary, brakes each wheel individually to improve the track.

Mitsubishi offers four equipment lines for the ASX. The basic version with the pure petrol engine starts at a price of 24,690 euros. The driven plug-in is available from 39,390 euros. Even the standard equipment is relatively extensive. These include bi-LED headlights and automatic cruise control, voice recognition, connection to Apple's Siri or Google Assistant, air conditioning, smartphone connection, heated exterior mirrors and a whole set of driving assistants.

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