Mitsubishi ASX HEV: Screenshot

Mitsubishi ASX is seen in a completely new light, or almost: it is a perfect copy of the Renault Captur. While it was a significant revival for the brand, some drivers were able to find their accounts.

The news had a (small) bombshell effect in 2020: Mitsubishi announced that it would definitely leave the European market. However, within the Alliance, Renault tried everything to justify the mark on the Old Continent. A tempting campaign to keep a loved one by agreeing to compromise and offer more gifts. And not least because Renault thus offered to share certain platforms and production tools with the firm Three Diamonds. Nothing new in industry tropes, sharing is common.

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However, the arrival of the Mitsubishi ASX was a real surprise. Or it can be said that it is nothing more than a restyled Renault Captur without any cosmetic effort, even if the manufacturer dares to mention the appearance of the radiator grille. Dynamic Shield. A masterstroke for Mitsubishi, offered on a silver platter enough to replace the previous generation ASX that came out in 2010, and despite five restylings, it was long past its useful life! So the line continues, but the formula changes radically. Thanks to the solid small area, the real concentrate of the Pajero, the ASX becomes nothing more than a well-behaved and very clean urban SUV, if not cleaner. Indeed, it not only restores the body of the Captur, but also carries all its engines, including the e-Tech hybrid and the plug-in hybrid. The ability to add low-emission vehicles to the brand is an environmental and administrative necessity.

The same traction chain

Therefore, we find the Mitsubishi ASX HEV with a “simple” hybrid motorization, which should represent the vast majority of the model’s sales (on the nails, we are also talking about e-Tech). As required by the common CMF-B platform, it uses the same powertrain aboard the Renault Clio e-Tech and Nissan Juke Hybrid. It consists of an old Nissan HR16 soldier, 94 hp for 148 Nm of torque and two electrical units: one of 49 hp providing traction and a 20 hp alternator-starter. All of this is powered by a 1.2kWh battery (0.85kWh useful) in this configuration and paired with an exotic dog crate. It still has reports dedicated to heat or electric motors and offers up to fifteen different combinations.

Without getting lost in the pages explaining the operation of this gas unit, the Mitsubishi ASX surprisingly features a partition that is exactly the same as the Captur. We rediscover the hybrid tandem that favors electric traction at start-up and under low load (up to about 35 km/h in acceleration), then releases the relay to the sound of the heat engine. This happens especially on highways, with always surprising stages and sounds in the hybrid series mode, which is well decorated with reality. However, the mechanical festival is more appreciable than on board the plug-in hybrid version, even if the motorization has little taste for demanding terrains. A paradox for the Mitsubishi car.

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Using efficient regeneration, the battery is often charged and allows several more stages of movement in full electric mode. On the road, it’s no different from the Captur we know. ASX’s mission is to do the minimum. Even the subcars did not undergo any mechanical changes to present a distinct character. No, the SUV drives like the Captur for better and worse. On the battery side, we benefit from a very well-learned chassis and controlled body movements and forget about the old version. On the face, first of all, say goodbye to the flexibility of the shock absorber learned for off-road and place it on a very fragile shock absorber on bumpy roads or at city speeds.

Should we prefer the plug-in hybrid version?

Therefore, the Mitsubishi ASX is also available in a plug-in hybrid version. Other than the different logos and the still-traditional box controls (the Capture has more attractive impulse controls), there’s still no noticeable difference. Operation is still similar to that of the Captur e-Tech PHEV. We enjoy a nice smooth ride in 100% electric mode for about thirty kilometers, a smooth operation in full battery hybrid mode with slightly more powerful components… and mechanical hysteria with an empty battery.

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Because in this configuration, the system always wants to charge the battery as quickly as possible. In addition, there is more capacity, which translates into a more durable, long and greedy spin. Driving pleasure is also drastically reduced. In electric mode, when accelerating to about 70 km/h, there is a hole where the system activates the heat engine, which allows the dog clutch to change gears. Between 90 and 110 km/h, to take off, the hybrid system also leaves the engine muffled in moments of hesitation, which is hardly pleasant.

The ASX PHEV also features a multi-spoke rear axle to accommodate a larger 9.8kWh battery. This is enough to further improve the already attractive dynamic balance with the hybrid version. But compared to the second one, the excess weight is also noticeable. In addition, the trunk loses its capacity and the spare tire is protected. But above all, consumption is more important. And with the loss of the bonus in this type of engine, the balance sheet is not in its favor.

The same internal universe

With the new ASX, Mitsubishi is playing the minimum service card. Only a few badging and equipment differences will mark the difference with the Renault Captur it gets. And it takes mechanical technology with complicated operation, but is transparent enough for those who don’t care what’s going on in the engine bay. Mitsubishi customers, on the other hand, will surely be delighted to discover a state-of-the-art, rigorously engineered car with flattering materials, useful onboard technologies and notable modularity with a sliding seat. Manipulating the central touchscreen always requires patience, but we find an attractive Renault universe there.

The hybrid version proves to be the most convincing solution both in terms of price and driving pleasure, as well as performance and fuel consumption. We averaged 5.7 l/100 km on a course with little highway, while the PHEV version climbed to 6.8 l/100 km on a similar route. In short, everything is in favor of HEV. Connoisseurs in particular will remember that Mitsubishi offers one of the benchmark plug-in hybrid systems under the hood of the Eclipse Cross. Admittedly, it’s bigger, more expensive and seriously dated inside, but regardless of whether the ASX will ever offer it again, it’s worth a look for anyone who wants compelling plug-in hybrid technology or just wants the benefit of all-wheel drive. is the model you need! Too bad, because even Toyota is making an effort with the Yaris Cross, which has the advantage of being more alert than the e-Tech system.

Is Mitsubishi ASX more expensive than Captur?

Therefore, in terms of configuration, the ASX differs from the Captur, with which it shares assembly lines at the Renault plant in Valladolid, Spain. As with the Mitsubishi, the price is “all-inclusive” and there is little more than metallic paint as an option. However, if we look at the provisional price list, the prices are higher than the Captur. This is even if the brand claims that the ASX is more affordable with equivalent equipment.

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These are the results of a car with no options, at least with the options installed. All you have to do to be sure is to compare the Captur hybrid in the Iconic version, equipped with the necessary options to upgrade it from its equivalent sibling. The two tops of the range rise to €36,500 (€34,400 without options) and €37,990 respectively.

With the exception of the Business trim, which is not compatible with the plug-in hybrid engine (!), the range opens with the Intense trim level, which costs €34,790 with the HEV engine or €39,990 with the PHEV. In either case, the extension must be added at a minimum of €3,000 to access the high-end Instyle trim. Pricing for the ASX is certainly not final, but it looks like it will need to put a little extra on the table compared to the equivalent Renault. Then to be confirmed. However, the Japanese SUV benefits from a contract warranty of 5 years/100,000 km compared to 2 years/unlimited km on the Renault. This is probably the biggest difference between these two models.

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