Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Fri 15 Nov 2019



The Northern Territory news Fri 15 Nov 2019

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT






Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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News Corp Australia

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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News Corp Australia



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04 MOTORING NTNE01Z01MO - V1 Mitsubishis ASX is the Roger Federer ofSUVs. Defying longevity and younger,fresher competition, it just keeps on winning and showing the cooler SUV kids how to fly out of showrooms. The bones of this ASX have been with us since 2010 an eternity in car model life terms but for 2020 theres a shiny new face, more powerful 2.4-litre petrol engine for rangetoppers, and improved infotainment and safety. Come December, sportier-looking MR and GSR grades with black alloys and trim arrive, trying to woo more male buyers to the ASX. Typically, Mitsubishi reckons, its small SUV PRICE Slight increases about $1000-$1250 over current drive-away prices but the ASX remains good value. TECH Touchscreen enlarged from seven to eight inches, runs Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and DAB. Exceed grade gets pumping Rockford Fosgate premium audio and TomTom navigation. Electrochromatic rear view mirror and AEB now standard. Still no digital speedo. PERFORMANCE New 2.4-litre for Exceed and reviving a Lancer badge GSR grades is still not great for excitement or thrift. DRIVING Sporty grades are more about attracting male shoppers than performance fans. GSR gets paddle-shifters to extract more from leisurely CVT. Best to cruise along on comfy suspension. DESIGN New LED lights all-round, new bumpers and bonnet, plus Triton-esque Dynamic Shield front styling. Running lights, indicators and fog lights make a funky combination. New Sunshine Orange and Red Diamond colours. WHATS NEW finds more favour among women, young families and older buyers. Fleets and rental firms love it too, accounting for roughly 40 per cent of total sales, and it topped the small SUV sales charts in 2017 and 2018 with tallies of nearly 20,000 each year. Itll be the same this year the ASX is thumping second and third placed Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Kona yet again. The 2020 model updates, the most comprehensive in a decade, will trouble the rivals further. Its marginal gains in style and equipment are allied to the ASXs trump cards. First, size. A small SUV straddling the medium segment, its large enough to provide reasonable rear seat and boot space, unlike, say, a Mazda CX-3. Anecdotally, its seat height is ideal for access for retired folk with dodgy hips and knees. Many an ASX gets recommended down the bowls club. Second, price and running costs. You can drive away the cheapest ES grade with manual gearbox for less than $25,000 and services total a mere $597 over three years. Only Toyotas C-HR trumps it at $12 cheaper. Mitsubishi is turning the screw a bit more. Until years end, its giving two years free servicing plus a seven-year warranty. Its not all sunshine and rainbows. In the cabin, the larger eight-inch touchscreen with smartphone mirroring dominates the central dashboard but the layout, giant knobs, clunky buttons and plain swathes of black plastic (not too hard) feel a bit, well, 2010. The lack of a digital speedo, for example, harks back to a time when we didnt get fined for going 1km/h over the limit. The boot, rear seats and storage leave little to complain about. That said, I watched older drivers struggle with the tailgates weight theres no power option, even for the Exceed range topper. Otherwise, theres good specification for your money. The entry ES ($26,740 on the road with continuously variable transmission) gets 2.0-litre base engine, 18-inch wheels, autonomous emergency braking, LED lights, cruise control and rear camera. An additional $2500 buys a comprehensive suite of active safety kit. The mid-spec LS ($30,240) includes this safety gear plus smart key and roof rails. For $35,740, the Exceed gets the 2.4-litre, power heated leather seats, massive panoramic sunroof, navigation and enhanced audio. Mitsubishi product strategy executive Owen Thompson has high hopes for the new sport range GSR and MR grades. The styling along with the more powerful engine in the GSR, he says, will really capture the attention of customers who may have previously been in the market for a small sedan or hatch. Blokes, basically. ON THE ROAD The MR and GSR are, of course, all bark and no bite. They look the part with black body highlights but the engines non-turbo fourcylinders wont deliver thrills or great economy. You need to find the higher revs to enjoy any reasonable response but things get a bit noisy. The CVT doesnt help matters but in the GSR you get paddle-shifters to exercise some control. Treat the ASX as most will as town transport and highway cruiser and the engines are fit for purpose. They chug along without fuss and the CVT is a smooth operator, if lazy to wake up at low speeds. The suspension is also a pragmatic choice, erring on the soft side for pleasing comfort and the ability to soak up most road bumps. If youre after driving excitement, best to look elsewhere. VERDICT hhhkj The fuss-free ASX wins by being just the right size with just enough equipment and for 2020 theres improved styling too. The new 2.4-litre isnt powerful enough to entice sportier shoppers and the drive experience will never thrill. But the price and low ownership costs including the current seven-year warranty will maintain its No. 1 small SUV ranking. MITSUBISHI ASX PRICE $24,990-$35,740 drive-away WARRANTY/SERVICING 7 years/150,000km until end of 2019 ; $597 for 3 years/45,000km with first two free until end of 2019 ENGINE 2.0-litre 4-cyl, 110kW/197Nm; 2.4-litre 4-cyl, 123kW/222Nm SAFETY 5 stars, 7 airbags, AEB, rear camera (comprehensive safety pack is $2500 option ) THIRST 7.6L-7.9L/100km SPARE Space-saver BOOT 393L AT A GLANCE F I R S T D R I V E The ASXs sales success is down to size and kit. Now it needs blokes to buy it IAIN CURRY SHELL BE RIGHT

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