Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) have been with us for a long time now even when many of us did not know much about them.
With market trends, the SUV family has grown to include compact or crossovers that are relatively small in design but a bit raised.
Crossovers offer comfort and off road agility but at the same time come in low prices compared to the large ones.
Some examples include Suburu Forester, Mitsubishi ASX and Renault Duster.
However, today we focus on the Mitsubishi ASX and Renault Duster whose agility on the road not only offers inner satisfaction but brings out the tight competition currently among crossovers.
From afar, Mitsubishi ASX also called the Outlander Sport in other markets, looks like a hatchback but at a closer look, you understand why it fits the bill of a crossover SUV.
The ASX is available in 2WD and 4WD and its big grille gives it an aggressive look.
It has reverse cameras and the clear viewing can be accessed with a touch screen on the dashboard.
It is a 2.0 litre powerhouse that uses a lightweight aluminium block to navigate city streets and open highways. It features a MacPherson strut front and rear multi-link suspensions for smooth and rough roads. It also provides a surprisingly elevated seat position that, with the sloping hood design, gives a better view of the road for easy maneuver.
The ASX uses one centrally located button that permits the system to freely switch between three drive modes depending on driving condition. The drive mode selector can easily change from the fuel efficient 2WD to 4WD Lock Mode.
It was first released in 2011 but received a facelift last year. It is available in both 2WD and 4WD. Its ground clearance was slightly increased from 205mm to 210mm.
It is a practical car but affords a number of luxuries such as modern upholstery, a seven-inch touch screen, bluetooth connection, phone pairing, climate control, cruise control and a speed limiter.
It is fitted with cruise control, adjustable outside rear view mirrors, automatic air conditioning and multi-information display, which offer the 210 mm high ground car an opportunity to conquer tough terrains. The Eco mode option delivers up to 10 per cent of fuel efficiency.
The Renault Duster structure gives the car great agility and contributes to its off-road performance.
The steering wheel is complemented with user-friendly steering mounted controls that offer easy handling of audio devices.
It also allows the driver to find the most comfortable driving position with the tilt steering. The trip computer helps the driver to keep track of distance travelled, average speed and distance.
It comes in two variances with the 2WD coming in 1.6 petrol format while the 4WD comes with a 1.5dCi diesel engine.
The ASX and Duster are both available in 2WD and 4DW with varying costs. The ASX costs $26,000 (Shs93.3m) before taxes with a warranty of three years or 100,000 kilometres while the 4WD Duster costs $33,000 (Shs118.3m) after taxes.
The 2WD goes for $27,000 (Shs96.7m) with a general warranty of three years or 100,000 kilometres.
ASX’S Full flat rear seat
The rear seat of the ASX can be folded down to a flat converse to create space for luggage and relatively long items.
It is equipped with a seven-airbag system that provides increased safety for every passenger as well as an additional knee airbag that is fitted to protect the driver’s legs in case of a head-on collision.
The ASX uses an active stability control system to analyze the vehicle’s motion and identify lateral wheel slippage, which controls the braking system as well as maintain stability and traction control.
THE amount in shillings that a MITSUBISHI ASx costs before taxes.
THE amount in shillings that a 4WD Renault Duster costs after taxes.