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2018 Mitsubishi ASX pouts for a makeover

By Daniel Gardner, 15 Jun 2017 Car News

2018 Mitsubishi ASX pouts for a makeover

Mitsubishi could squeeze in one more ASX facelift before the new version ends the current model’s eight-year run

Mitsubishi’s popular ASX small SUV could be in line for one final facelift before the current model is succeeded, with the mild update that debuted at the New York motor show earlier this year still not ruled out for Australia.

With a replacement so close to launching globally and in Australia, a further update was previously deemed too close to the arrival of an all-new model. But with the debut date of the ASX’s all-new replacement continuing to drag out, a final fling is looking more likely.

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Speaking to WhichCar, Mitsubishi Motors Australia head of corporate communications Karl Gehling said the success of previous ASX updates combined with delays in the arrival of its replacement ASX strengthened the case for one last update.

“There hasn’t been confirmed timing for the ASX replacement so we’re still waiting but there have been regular updates. It wouldn’t be bad,” he said, “You can interpret from what you’ve seen internationally it would probably reflect that there is an opportunity coming up.

“We try to respond to the market demand.”

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Despite being on sale in Australia for nearly eight years, the ASX continues to draw a strong audience and remains at the top of the Mitsubishi sales pile ahead of the Outlander and Pajero Sport.

With 1742 registrations to the end of May this year, it leads the passenger and SUV segments in the Mitsubishi stable and almost outsold the Triton light commercial one-tonner, which has 1747 to its name.

While the ASX appears to have the stamina to continue attracting fans locally with a possible further facelift and, ultimately, the new version, its dominance as the favourite Mitsu model could be threatened by the imminent Eclipse Cross, according to Gehling.

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“We have a new model coming at the end of the year with the Eclipse Cross. There’s always an opportunity there,” he said.

The new SUV would slot into the range between the ASX, which would continue to look after the more compact end of the range, but below the Outlander, offering a competitor to other similarly sized crossovers including the Kia Sportage, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 - to name a handful in the bursting segment.