Thursday 26 April 2018

Families looking for more space as Mitsubishi trio take to the road

Mitsubishi ASX
Mitsubishi ASX
Mitsubishi L200
MItsubishi Outlander
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Politicians are not alone in looking for additional seats.

More families are switching from five to seven-seaters too - or at least from smaller crossovers to larger ones.

It's all simply because people are looking for extra room.

Even in the case of a seven-seater, they seem to like the extra luggage space when the third row is folded flat when it's not in use.

At least that's the word coming back from Mitsubishi dealers around the country, I'm told.

The marque's spokespeople say that, as a result, they expect greater demand for roomier crossovers - and more seats - next year.

They looked forward to that as they unveiled a trio of new or revised models here recently: the new L200 Pickup, the revised Outlander mid-size SUV and their compact SUV/Crossover ASX which now has a 1.6-litre diesel.

They've made a big effort to make the L200 look more muscular - apparently buyers thought the old one was a bit tame looking. No accounting for taste.

Importantly, in keeping with the demand for space, they have increased cabin length - there is more rear room - as well as improving the quality of materials and equipment in it.

These pickups, including L200 rivals such as the Volkswagen Amarok and Ford's Ranger, are all about mixing workhorse duties with those of a saloon/SUV; most buyers are in the construction, farming or small business sectors so the vehicles have to be both rugged and comfortable at the same time.

Elements such as the 5.9-metre turning circle and a larger cargo bed are important.

But people want a bit of comfort too, hence the emphasis on front seats that slide 14mm more rearwards, a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, multi-function infotainment system, two Isofix child seat anchors, DAB, USB/i-Pod, Bluetooth and air con as well as seven airbags.

Powering the L200 is a new 2.4-litre 4cyl diesel which, because of extensive aluminium use, is 30kg lighter and has more torque at lower revs. Power is up slightly on the old one (181bhp v 178bhp).

There's a claimed 17pc increase in fuel economy and emissions are down from 204g/km to 173gkm. The new 6spd manual transmission helps those figures too.

Prices start at: €33,250 (including VAT, €27,777 excluding VAT).

The mid-size Outlander has been heavily revised and gets here next month.

This is one of the cars where extra space and seats are in real focus - you can pick five or seven-seat versions.

They claim better insulation from engine, road and wind noise while the chassis and steering have been re-tuned. And there is more standard equipment.

They are gone mad with this new black-wood panel theme throughout the cabin. I'm not that enthusiastic about it, I must say. I like a bit of colour in cabins; they can be dull otherwise.

But this drove well; the 2.2-litre DiD 150bhp diesel had plenty of pull.

And so . . . back to space: You can get a 4WD 7-seater with 6spd manual or automatic transmission. Road tax is from €280.

Shortly after that arrives there will be a 5-seater with 2WD (€270 road tax).

And they will have an Outlander Business 5-seat 'commercial' version - mostly for those registered for VAT - which will have €333 road tax.

Standard across all will be rear parking sensors, front fogs, Hill Start Assist, seven airbags, Bluetooth, dual air con, cruise control etc.

The 4WD seven-seat versions (fold, stow, recline) get leather upholstery as standard and 18ins alloys. There are three driving modes: 4WD Eco, Auto and 4WD Lock.

Rivals include the Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan X-Trail and KIA Sorento.

Prices: €38,450 for 7-seat 4WD; €31,450 for November arrival 2WD 5-seater.

And then there is the compact ASX crossover/SUV. This seldom-mentioned contender in the Qashqai class now has a new 1.6-litre diesel.

With emissions of 119g/km, road tax is €200 (a saving of €80 on the old 1.8-litre though it loses a smidgen of power - 114bhp v 116bhp). There is also a 1.6 petrol 2WD.

Standard spec includes leather, touchscreen audio display, rear-view camera, LED daytime running lights, 18ins alloys, electric windows, fogs etc.

Prices start from €24,450 for the petrol with the diesel from €27,450 ex-works.

It's worth remembering that Mitsubishi has an eight-year warranty.

Indo Motoring

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