– Article/photos by Rod Fuller –
SUV’s (including utilities) are now Australia’s most popular vehicles. Mitsubishi’s SUV range offer’s excellent value, versatility, durability, style and comfort for any prospective novated lease owner, no matter what their lifestyle or stage of life. I sampled three of Mitsubishi’s SUV’s recently and found a lot to like about them.
Mitsubishi ASX Exceed –Small Family Fun
ASX, Mitsubishi’s smallest and apart from Triton, it’s most popular SUV, is an ideally sized SUV for fleets zipping about town, or novated lease buyers with a smaller family or a couple ‘fur babies’. A 2.0lt 16V 4 cylinder petrol engine (110kW/197Nm) is standard across the range powering the front wheels only with a CVT transmission, although the base model ES is also available with a five speed manual transmission.
Driving the Exceed about town it feels unfussed, comfortable and quite pleasant. On the open road/motorway though it felt a little less at home. Primarily, when pushed the combination of engine and CVT seemed to make a lot of noise and effort for not much oomph. Don’t get me wrong, it gets there, it just takes a little longer. The CVT also has two modes ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’, with the latter livening it up a bit. Fuel economy is listed at 7.6lt/100km combined and with a 63lt tank, gives it a theoretical range of over 800km, impressive.
A stylish small SUV, ASX presents well in all trim levels, but is yet to adopt the edgier styling of it larger siblings like Eclipse Cross and Triton, making it feel slightly dated. Inside ASX Exceed there are leather seats (heated in front) and a panoramic glass roof adding an extra feeling of space in the car. Being a SUV, it is very easy to get into and out of both the front and rear seats, with plenty of space for all occupants. There’s good leg room in the back, but you sit very upright so head room is a bit compromised and best left to the kids on longer trips. Boot space is good at 393lt (rear seats up) and 1143lt (rear seats down).
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18 inch alloy wheels feature across the range with 225/55R18 Bridgestone tyres and a temporary spare. Although, a full sized alloy wheel and spare tyre is available as an option.
Apple Car Play/Android Auto is standard across the ASX range as is DAB radio, seven inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth and a four speaker stereo. Exceed though scores two extra speakers and keyless entry and start. Two 12V and two USB are provided (in the front) as well. Climate control A/C is standard across the range, but didn’t feel befitting a ‘top of the line’ model like Exceed and surprisingly I found that you cannot close off individual air vents, which I thought quite strange.
ASX retains its five-star ANCAP rating (from 2014) and offers Forward Collision Mitigation, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Departure Warning across the range.
Value though is where ASX really shines with pricing for the range starting around $24K for the ES through to $31.5K for the Exceed, giving it much more ‘Bang for your Buck’ than some of its competitors like CX3 and Kona.
Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed – Versatility and Value
Versatility, practicality, space, comfort and economy are key offerings of Outlander and what makes it such a value proposition for fleets and novated buyers in the medium SUV segment; it’s Mitsubishi’s third most popular vehicle (behind Triton and ASX) and in the top ten of all vehicle sales. Available in petrol or diesel and very keenly priced (from under $46K for the petrol and less than $49K for the diesel driveaway) the AWD ‘Exceed’ certainly does when it comes to expectations.
I drove the 2.2lt turbo diesel (110kW/360Nm) with a six speed automatic transmission (petrol models get a CVT) with three selectable drive modes (Eco, Auto and Lock) complete with paddle shifters. It’s a very comfortable/pleasant drive and whilst it’s no Ferrari, it’s not meant to be either. Outlander does everything that it sets out to do and does it well. Fuel economy is listed at 6.2lt/100km combined. 18” alloy wheels feature across the range with 225/55R18 Toyo tyres with a full sized alloy wheel/spare tyre.
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Inside, Exceed continues to impress, with dual zone climate control and leather seats all round (heated in front) with plenty of space for everyone. Outlander Exceed has the versatility of seven seats, which come in very handy when you suddenly have to ferry a few extra kids home from soccer practice. Being the ‘Top of the line’ it also scores other niceties, such as power tailgate, keyless entry with auto-fold mirrors and a sunroof.
Cargo volumes are, seven seats 128lt, 5 seats 477lt and two seats a massive 1608lt. Plus the second row seats split 60:40 and the third row seats 50:50, allowing much versatility in using this space to carry whatever you need to. And if you need to carry even more stuff, diesel models have a two tonne towing capacity.
Apple Car Play/Android Auto is provided working well through the cars six speaker stereo, but the use of a single speaker for the phone in the front passenger footwell makes sound quality of phone calls ‘tinny’ and echo. Therefore making it frustratingly difficult to hear at times. A seven inch touchscreen controls the cars infotainment systems including DAB radio and Bluetooth. Two 12V outlets (1 front and 1 boot) and two USB’s are provided, but you have to use your smartphone for Sat Nav.
Safety features for Outlander Exceed include:-
- Forward Collision Mitigation
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Lane Departure Warning and Lane Change Assist (Audible Warning only)
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Multi Around Monitor
Outlander Exceed from the outside is very easy on the eye with chrome touches and accents highlighting its very stylish and well-proportioned design. It not only can carry the goods, but looks the goods as well.
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLX – Comfort beyond the road
Pajero Sport GLX is the surprise packet of the three Mitsubishi SUV’s I drove. It differs in two ways from the Outlander and ASX (and not just the size). Firstly, it’s a proper serious 4WD and can handle terrain and get into places that the other two could only dream of which is great for fleet drivers in regional areas. Secondly, it’s the ‘entry level’ model of the Pajero Sport range, whereas the other two were ‘top of the line’.
Having said that though, there is nothing ‘entry level’ about Pajero Sport GLX. It comes loaded with features that are both needed and appreciated when you are out and about in it. You can happily pop down to the shops in it, for some smashed avo and a latte, or tackle the toughest of outback tracks. It’s a vehicle that proves the comfort doesn’t stop, even when the road does.
At its heart is a 2.4lt MIVEC Turbo Diesel engine (133kW/430Nm) coupled to an eight speed automatic transmission (complete with paddle shifters) and the Super Select II 4WD system. Fuel Economy is listed at 8.0lt/100km. Four drive modes are provided to best match vehicle performance with road or off road conditions, from highway cruising to tackling sand/snow or mud. Additionally, both Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist are standard, making your driving experience that much easier.
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When off road or rather ‘no road’ gets really rough, Pajero Sport has serious 4WD capabilities, such as a wading depth of 700mm, climb inclines up to 45⁰, approach angle of 30⁰, departure angle 24⁰and a ramp/breakover angle of 23.1⁰. And back in the urban jungle, an 11.9m turning circle certainly will help manoeuvre it into and out of tight parking spaces. Add to this a 3.1 tonne towing capacity and Pajero Sport will pretty much go anywhere and let you take everything with you as well.
The GLX mightn’t get leather seats, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t comfortable, with plenty of room for five people. A third row seat is available for GLS and Exceed models. The cabin has quite a high quality feel to it, with nice premium finishes on the console and leather steering wheel. Luggage room is huge at 673lt with the back seat in place and 1624lt with it folded up.
Apple Car Play/Android Auto is standard across the Pajero Sport range, as is Bluetooth and DAB radio, with a seven inch touchscreen controlling functions. Two USB’s, three 12V and one 220V AC outlets are provided. Sat Nav isn’t provided, so you’ll need to link your Smartphone to the car for that. Climate control A/C is single zone only in GLX, but ceiling mounted vents for the rear seat and cargo area keep the entire car cool.
GLX gets most of Mitsubishi’s intuitive Technology systems (MiTEC), with Forward Collision Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control, but Blind Spot Warning and rain sensing wipers are the preserve of the higher grade models.
Front end styling is very attractive with chrome accents and LED DRL’s, along with 18” alloys (265/60R18 Bridgestone tyres including full size spare), reinforcing Pajero Sport’s sleek image. The taillight design is polarising to say the least. It’s somewhat confronting at first, but over the week I had the car I warmed up to it.
Value, is the absolute winner in the equation for the Pajero Sport GLX. Priced at around $43K driveaway, this much 4WD, with this much comfort and versatility, is virtually a ‘no-brainer’ in my mind.
All Mitsubishi SUV’s come with a Diamond Advantage five year 100,000km warranty and 12 month 15,00km service intervals. So if you see a SUV as your next novated lease, consider the durability, comfort and value that Mitsubishi SUV’s offer your lifestyle and see if they Exceed your expectations.