Sam Philip02 March 2010

Geneva show: Mitsubishi ASX

Japanese Qashqai rival gets pointy face and lots of nice green tech

Mitsubishi ASX

Mitsubishi is celebrating its 140th birthday this year - the Evo I, of course, being launched in 1870, boasting a mighty 1bhp and all-hoof drive - and in celebration has unveiled this, the thoroughly smart-looking ASX crossover.

In essence, it's the production version of the CX concept we saw in Frankfurt a couple of years ago, and it'll reach British roads this summer with the express intention of muscling in on Nissan Qashqai territory.

So it's a smallish, tallish five-seater available in both front- and four-wheel drive, but with far less of an off-road focus than most Mitsu-stuff.

Though it shares a platform and a wheelbase with the Outlander, the ASX is 34cm shorter - and almost exactly the same size, in fact, as a Qashqai - and gets plenty of good green tech on board.

There's a new 148bhp 1.8-litre diesel, which gets stop-start and brake regeneration technology as standard and - in front-wheel drive form - returns 145g/km of CO2. The 1.6-litre petrol manages 135g/km.

As for the styling - well, we reckon the ASX looks pretty good. Mitsu's now-sort-of-signature ‘jet fighter' grille works nicely and, though it might be damning with faint praise, the interior is much smarter than Mitsubishi's often-utilitarian fare.

But pray disagree. We know, deep down, that you'd take the Gallardo Superleggera, but if you had to choose, would you take the ASX over a Qashqai?

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