HOW refreshing that – as most cars get bigger with each generational change –
there are a wave of smaller and lighter compact SUV contenders stepping in.
latest example is the Mitsubishi ASX, an Outlander-based four-door wagon with
dimensions that make it seem barely larger than a Lancer small car’s.
take a look at the top-line Aspire AWD to see how it feels and behaves from
behind the wheel.
Model release dates: August 2010 - May 2015
MITSUBISHI’S been down this sub-compact SUV path before, with the chunky iO, a
Daihatsu Terios-style baby 4x4 with an urban focus.
But the difference between
iO and ASX is all summed up in the Pajero prefix – the former had surprisingly
formidable off-road ability, compared to the newcomer’s soft-road approach.
Nevertheless, despite the booming SUV market at the time, the iO fell between
the two segments and never really caught on with consumers.
Two body styles
were offered, a two-door Hardtop powered by a 75kW/135Nm 1.6-litre
petrol/five-speed manual combo, and a four-door wagon using a 86kW/165Nm 1.8L
petrol in manual or four-speed auto variants.
Both engines were usurped come
facelift time in October 2001 by a more suitable 95kW/177Nm 2.0L petrol unit
offered in either manual or auto transmission.
Sales remained slow
nevertheless, so Mitsubishi pulled the plug on the iO when the larger,
first-generation Outlander arrived in 2003.