Size isn’t everything, but it can make a big difference when you’re trying to squeeze into that car park mere metres from the front door, or wedging that final shopping bag into an already packed boot. The challenge for the urban dweller is to find a car that does both, and does it with style.
It’s all well and good to fit into those tricky parking lots and flit through bustling streets, but no one wants to do it in a boxy cube on wheels. Mitsubishi’s latest compact SUV, the ASX, nails the compromise between compact dimensions and roomy interior, all wrapped up in a stylish package that will make heads snap on the street. There’s no reason to sacrifice style for substance when the ASX offers both in spades!
The two range toppers of the ASX line-up, the sporty GSR and premium Exceed, are distinctly different in their style, options, and ultimately the statement they make on the kerb.
The GSR, which landed here in December last year, has a clear sporting pedigree. Housing the punchy 2.4L MIVEC engine shared with the Exceed, the GSR wears impressive 18-inch alloy wheels in gloss black and matches its accessories with a blacked-out front grille, door mirror covers and rear spoiler.
The dark theme continues inside with black suede-covered seats trimmed in red stitching, which has ever been the calling card of the sports car. Where the latter typically leaves its occupants with little room to spare, the ASX is built to pack life in; five friends and a full boot of luggage can easily escape the city for a weekend away, and do it in comfort.
Where the GSR screams sleek athleticism and matches black accents with dark intent, the Exceed is alight with lashings of silver and luxury goodies. If the former is a Little Black Dress, the latter is surely a ballgown.
Starting at the two-tone 18-inch alloys, the Exceed exudes luxury with chrome accents along the sweeping lines of its sleek silhouette and topped by a huge panoramic glass roof.
Inside, heated leather front seats step comfort up another notch, while ears are sated with a top-end Rockford Fosgate nine-speaker audio system. The Exceed also makes navigating the chaos of the city easy with an Integrated Satellite Navigation system, networking seamlessly with your music and phone apps so you don’t miss a beat from your favourite playlist.
The huge 8-inch touch screen with Apple and Android connectivity is standard across the ASX range, and the reversing camera, reverse sensors and Rear Cross Traffic Alert allow you to effortlessly back into that fluke city parking spot without the traffic stacking up behind you.
The Exceed has eyes on the side as well, with Blind Spot Warning and Lane Change Assist helping to make both city and highway merging safer. It even takes away the need to switch on your wipers or lights, with rain-sensing windscreen wipers and dusk-sensing headlights all part of its long list of standard inclusions, allowing you to focus on simply enjoying the drive.
The biggest challenge may be finding which ASX fits both your style and your lifestyle the best; even if choosing between the GSR and Exceed is, err, a black and white decision.