Sometimes cars come onto the market and they blaze brightly , with stunning looks and performance, that captivates the market and then they fade over time to potential market obscurity. The Mitsubishi ASX is not one of those. Amazingly the ASX has been around for about 12 years. To look at it is unremarkable, neither blaringly attractive not offensive, just an average looking small SUV. Perhaps because of that the ASX has been a top seller for Mitsubishi throughout that time and still sells up a storm despite lasting for almost two model cycles. We tested the latest ASX. GSR and came away impressed.
Our time with the ASX GSR for this test proved that this is still a worthy car in the small SUV market. It is still stylish, well equipped well priced and performs and handles Australian roads particularly well.
Like the Mitsubishi Triton GSR we also tested recently for our LCV section, the ASX we tested featured Mitsubishi’s rich bronze paint colour that we believed perfectly suited the little SUV. The colour certainly makes it easy to identify in a big parking area.
Part of our time with the ASX saw the need to drive from Newcastle to Mt Panorama for the annual Bathurst 12 Hour race. That meant we tackled one of our favourite its of road, the Bylong Valley Way. In another time a fast sporty coupe or V8 sports sedan may have been more desirable for this drive, however given the recent floods and excessive rainfall, the damage to roads means a little SUV like the ASX GSR proved ideal for the task.
Not only was it good around town, economical and comfortable, but it handled the give and take and at times badly damaged tarmac of the Bylong with ease and without fuss .
Under the bonnet of the ASX is Mitsubishi’s 2.4 litre twin cam 16 valve four cylinder engine which produces 123kW of power and 222Nm of torque and that is plenty enough urge to keep things buzzing along. It is mated with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) which effectively gives an infinite number of gear ratios, finding the sweet spot to match the performance being asked of the engine. It drives the front wheels, and despite being a small SUV there is no 4WD available.
We’re generally not fans of the CVT, but they are getting better and the Mitsubishi one is particularly good, and we had no problems squirting the ASX over the Bylong on that quick trip to Bathurst and back. Likewise around town it works well and we enjoyed its responsiveness and nimbleness.
The GSR and range topping Exceed both get the 2.4 litre motor, but the lower grades are powered by the smaller two-litre Mitsubishi twin cam.
Inside the ASX the interior was given a modernisation and makeover a couple of years back receiving a larger infotainment screen, updated controls and improved seats. Importantly it received Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, which we reckon is a must these days. The screen is an 8.0-inch touchscreen with AM/FM and digital radio as well as Bluetooth as standard, but without a navigation capability, but with CarPlay and Android Auto, this is not great issue as ewe prefer to use the nav apps on the phone and display them on the big screen as these are generally more user friendly.
While the infotainment screen is up to date, the instrument panel in front of the driver could do with an update. It is fairly basic with just an analogue speedo and tachometer and no digital display.
All the controls for the infotainment, air-conditioning and other switch gear are well placed and easy to use, and the cabin materials look and feel good.
Visibility is very good as a result of the ASX’s large glass area and wide side mirrors lenses
While the improved, bi-LED headlights deliver excellent vision at night on both low and high beam.
The GSR we tested comes with a full suite of safety technology, as does the LS and the Exceed, a package which the three lower grades do not come with. The safety tech includes Autonomous emergency braking, forward collision mitigation, lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert, active stability control, active traction control and hill start.
In terms of other passive safety features the Mitsubishi ASX is equipped with seven airbags including two front, two side and two curtain airbags, as well as a driver’s knee airbag. It comes with a five star ANCAP safety score.
On the road the ASX is really well mannered and fun to drive. As we mentioned it is nimble and can be hunted along on twisty roads with confidence, while the brakes and steering only serve to enhance that feeling of confidence.
The other aspect of the ASX we really liked was its fuel efficiency and economy. During our time with it we averaged 8.4L/100km , and you can also run it on the less expensive 91 octane regular unleaded.
The interior comfort of the GSR ASX. Was impressive with very supportive driver’s and Passenger seats in the front and plenty of room for a couple of adult passengers I the back. The SUV design means there is good head and shoulder room, while there is plenty of luggage in the rear load space accessed via the hatch back.
There are plenty of nooks and crannies for stowing water bottles phone and coffee cups and there are a number of USB outlets to charge and connect phones to the audio system.
An attraction for Mitsubishi is its conditional 10 year warranty, which only stretches out to the full decade if the car is serviced at a Mitsubishi dealer at the recommended intervals across all ten years. If you miss a service or go to a local mechanic, the warranty reverts to five years and 100,000km. Some might get a little bent out of shape around this but we reckon it’s still a good deal, particularly with capped price servicing. Ten years is a long time and
Mitsubishi’s capped-price servicing means that it will cost you $299 across the first five visits and then $599 for the sixth, eighth, and tenth visits. So for roughly around $4000 across ten years, or an average of $400 per year you get a very good safety net that makes the ASX look like a pretty safe proposition.
The ASX is also priced very well with a sticker price of $35,340 drive-away, which when compared with opposition models makes it a pretty pleasing proposition.
After a great drive across one of our favourite roads along with a few days battling urban traffic , the ASX measured up particularly well in our eyes. We liked it a lot, mainly because of its unpretentious honesty and its impressive performance. It is practical, well priced and well equipped and it is easy to see why it is such a strong seller for Mitsubishi. The ASX and particularly the GSR is well worth a look.