Australians have long had an appreciation for the trusty 4×4. We love the vehicles because of their versatility and cargo space, ability to drive through our rugged terrain and fulfill the needs of a Aussie busy family. But as the category has evolved and four-wheel drives of all shapes and sizes emerge, we’ve become used to wanting even more.
Enter the crossover. Lots of room in the boot and power on tap, but with the sexy stylings of a sports compact. These vehicles have given the market a happy medium, and their popularity only grows as families and busy commuters look to trade out their estates and people movers for something more manoeuvrable.
The latest crossover models are even slicker and more comfortable than ever. Anyone on the hunt for a new car for their dynamic lifestyle should consider two of the most viable models on the market: the Ford Kuga and the Mitsubishi ASX.
Designed in Europe, the Kuga has impressively sleek exterior and comfortable interior that exceed the expectations of the market.
Awesome features like a hands-free tailgate let you feel more in tune with your car. Anyone holding the key fob in their pocket can simply walk up to the rear bumper and waggle their foot. A sensor will then pop open the hatch and let you set down your heavy load in the boot without ever having to use your hands.
Most impressive, though, is the model’s vigorous ecoboost engine. These high-compression, direct-injection engines let drivers enjoy loads of power with fuel-sipping economy.
The latest ecoboost offering for the Kuga is a retooled version of the Falcon’s 2.0 L petrol setup. This delivers a whopping 178kW/345nM— the best in the compact SUV/crossover class.
Other features like intelligent AWD, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and automatic parallel parking keep you safe and feeling luxurious in an economical package.
Mitsubishi ASX = FUN
This compact Mitsubishi received a handsome upgrade in 2014 to look more desirable than ever. It retains its sportscar-tuned handling and zippy demeanor from the previous iteration.
The Japanese automaker also tweaked the suspension to give it more stability and refinement, making it more fun to drive through the turns. That feature coupled with the sturdy build makes the ASX suitably nimble when riding in city traffic. The 4WD 2.2L diesel version gives the vehicle plenty of leeway in a more rugged setting, too.
Like the Ford Kuga, all versions of the ASX come with 5 star ANCAP safety ratings and a seven-airbag system. You also get 17-inch alloy wheels and options like a panoramic glass canopy. All of these come at a cheaper price point with the ASX, albeit without some of the goodies that Ford can offer like the hands-free tailgate.
In the end, choosing between these two offers no bad deals. They are both affordable, reliable, fun to drive and are as far removed from the behemoth 4x4s of the bygone days as possible. Come visit our showroom to see these models in person to find specific pricing on the make and model you have your eyes on.