It has been almost eight years since the first Mitsubishi ASX debuted and as sales have increased year after year, there have only been a few updates in style, keeping it fresh. This cheap city SUV started out with a two-litre petrol model, which is still a powerplant, and a 1.8-litre diesel which was replaced with a 2.2-litre turbo in 2013.
Despite it being almost eight, the outside design is still relevant and as a small SUV goes the stylish exterior has a feeling of being bigger than what it is. When parked next to other SUVs in the segment, the ASX is on the larger side however this gives it an SUV “classic” style and more room inside.
From the moment you step into the interior you can tell it is an SUV. Although there is more room inside compared to other models in the segment, it is still a little on the small side, beside the head room which there is plenty of.
The layout is clean and simple and in the centre of the dash there is a touchscreen that dominates where the eye travels. It looks a lot like an oversized iPhone, although it has fewer features. There are daps of silver and some nice gloss back accents and Mitsubishi has stuck with the round dials, which is a little old skool, however works with the overall feel.
Being the number one selling small SUV in Australia, the interior shows there are a number of reasons why that is. As the dimensions show, 4365mm long, 1810mm wide and 1640mm high, the ASX is bigger than its closest rival. This means there’s a lot more space for people and cargo in general. Those numbers also mean decent luggage space with 393 litres (seats up) and 1143 litres with them folded flat.
Between the front seats are two cupholders and a deep storage console with a power source while in front of the gear selector and under the touchscreen is a storage shelf with two USB points, a switch and another power source.
The back seat passengers are given a decent amount of room, better than other small SUV’s, however it is a little tight. If you are in the back and need to charge your mobile device you will have to get the front seat passenger to plug it in to one of theirs as there is nothing in the back. There are also no air vents but there are cupholders in a pull-down divider.
The ASX LS ADAS is powered by the 2.0-litre four cylinder petrol engine that produces 110kW and 197Nm and paired with the six-speed CVT in front wheel drive format. With Mitsubishi saying the ASX has a combined fuel usage of just 7.6 litres per 100km, we could only manage a best of 8.5 with very mixed driving conditions.
The 2WD ASX is fitted with a large-for-the-segment 62-litre tank.
Driving an SUV is never going to be an exhilarating experience although there is a level of expectation that comes from such a vehicle. The ASX delivers the expectation of an SUV, and that is of averageness.
This is not a bad thing as everything the ASX does is perfect, for an SUV; you just cannot expect to ask a lot out of any of these types of cars. It drives in a straight line well, turns with ease and although not that fast, it will get you up to speed and out of trouble with little to no fuss.
The CVT does take a bit to get used to if you have not driven one before as there is no shifting feel and you can think you are going nowhere need the speed limit when you are already over it.
During our testing week, the weather was terrible and there was always lots of water on the road. Something the ASX did really well was handling the wet and flash flooded roads with ease. Limited to no understeer and all of the driving features did their job to a tee without taking over from the driver.
As with all Mitsubishi’s the passive safety is high. With seven airbags (dual front, front-side, curtain and driver’s knee bag), along with the usual suite of traction and braking aids and being an ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist System) model, the ASX has forward collision warning and lane departure warning.
A reversing camera, parking sensors and hill-start assist join the standard features list, and the ASX scored the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating when it was tested.
Car and Bike News Opinion
Being a larger small SUV we did expect a little more when it came to room for rear seat passengers however they still had more than enough. The comfort is high and although a little old in design, nothing is out of place.
If Mitsubishi could add a couple of USBs to the rear and potentially rear air vents, the model would almost be perfect for its price. It drives great and safety is not a question. Overall it is clear to see why this is number one in its class.
Price: $28,500 plus on road costs.