From £15,2495
Ageing ASX is spruced up with new front end and better technology, but can it cut it in such a competitive segment?

Our Verdict

Mitsubishi ASX

The Mitsubishi ASX packs some clever tech, but does that make it desirable?

  • First Drive

    Mitsubishi ASX 2019 review

    Ageing ASX is spruced up with new front end and better technology, but can it cut it in such a competitive segment?
  • First Drive

    2017 Mitsubishi ASX 2.2D Auto AWD 5

    Mitsubishi's small SUV is no-nonsense and functional, but still trails its rivals in most areas and this range-topping version looks expensive
Rachel Burgess
10 June 2019

What is it?

It’s hard to ignore the Mitsubishi ASX’s perennial problem: outstanding rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai and Seat Ateca. The ASX is an aged car - first launched in 2010 and with numerous facelifts since - so it’s no surprise that it’s time for another reinvention to keep up with newer models

Why no all-new ASX yet? Word is that Mitsubishi has held off launching a new model until it can fully utilise the platforms and technology provided by its alliance with Renault-Nissan, formed in 2017. 

Then there’s the recently launched Eclipse Cross. Confusingly, it’s also a Qashqai rival, but the plan is that a next-gen ASX will be more compact than today’s, aligning it with the Nissan Juke. For now, the ASX and Eclipse Cross are competing in a similar space, albeit with the ASX being slightly smaller and cheaper.  

This latest ASX facelift includes a new front end, bringing the design in line with the revised L200, extra safety systems such as a low-speed braking system and updated infotainment, increasing the screen from seven to eight inches as well as offering TomTom nav and real-time traffic information.

The engine line-up is also simplified with just one option, a 148bhp 2.0-litre petrol with five-speed manual or CVT and two- or four-wheel drive. 

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What's it like?

Behind the wheel of the four-wheel-drive, CVT-geared model, predicted to be the most popular in the line-up, it’s quickly comfortable with good ergonomics and easy-to-use functions, something that Mitsubishi says is intentional with the ASX.

On the road, it’s hard to hide the fact this is a near 10-year-old car with failings far beyond its newer rivals.

On flat roads with sensible, linear acceleration, the ASX is pleasant enough; it's not slow, the CVT is fairly smooth and refinement is acceptable. But push it beyond the most gentle of throttle openings, and the engine's roughness becomes apparent and the CVT gearbox noisily flares the revs in an effort to deliver the requested acceleration.

The steering is nicely weighted but always a little lacking in responsiveness and feedback, which makes mild cornering less enjoyable given the ASX demonstrates decent enough body control to allow some fun around the odd bend.

And there’s the ride comfort, which only worsens as you get faster. It’s softly sprung yet seems to pick up every undulation in the road, even at times when the road appears smooth.

That, then, is not a great school report for the driving dynamics of the ASX, especially when compared with its main rivals. But for all our grumbles, its buyers - typically empty nesters or young families - are most likely to drive the car at its best temperament (gently, with no sharp acceleration or movement) and won’t experience the same foibles that we have.

We didn’t have the chance to test the ASX’s 4WD capabilities but we're told it does have better ground clearance, at 190mm, than its slightly bigger sibling, the Eclipse Cross.

Inside, the bigger touchscreen features Apple CarPlay, DAB and Bluetooth as standard, while the top trim Dynamic has TomTom sat-nav. The touchscreen is rudimentary in comparison to rivals, particularly the Volkswagen Group-owned Ateca and Skoda Karoq, but there is a charm in its simplicity: there’s no delay on the touchscreen and it’s easy to find the desired function – which isn’t the case with many far pricier cars.

There’s also good rear leg space for the segment, though a 6ft peer proved head room isn’t quite good enough. Materials can’t match the Ateca, but plastics – at least higher up – appear good quality and soft to touch.

Should I buy one?

The ASX can’t compete with its rivals for driving and interior appeal, but there are a couple of areas in which it excels: equipment and aftersales reassurance.

Design, the entry-level trim, includes features such as heated front seats and a rear-view camera, while the Dynamic top trim adds leather seats, sat-nav and some driver assistance systems. This level of equipment on rivals typically comes at a far greater price. The most expensive ASX is likely to cost from £26,500. The most similar Seat Ateca, albeit with better performance, costs four grand more.

Mitsubishi also offers a five-year warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion perforation warranty, and the ASX particularly has a growing reputation for reliability. 

Factor in those benefits, attractive styling not representative of the ASX’s age and a core of conservative customers who are namechecked by Mitsubishi for their loyalty to the compact SUV, and you can see why a niche number of buyers could be in the market for an ASX.

Mitsubishi ASX AWD auto Dynamic specification

Where Lisbon, Portugal Price £26,500 (est) On sale September Engine 4 cyls, 1998cc, petrol Power 148bhp at 6000rpm Torque 192lb ft at 4200rpm Gearbox CVT Kerb weight 1470kg Top speed 118mph 0-62mph 12.2sec Fuel economy WLTP figures tbc CO2 WLTP figures tbc Rivals Seat Ateca, Nissan Qashqai

Join the debate

Comments
20

10 June 2019

Personally I found the ride good, the refinement dire and the manual gearbox spiteful but it looks decent and is a useful size, it does really needs scrapping now.

11 June 2019

I liked the look of the original ASX, but this revision has scrubbed up well.  Makes me laugh when I read negative comments about interiors because they all appear fetching to my eyes, but I guess that's to be expected given that my car is 12 years old. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 July 2019
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11 June 2019
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11 June 2019

For £26k you should be getting something pretty good that you enjoy driving, this sounds anything but.

Also, only a 5 speed manual gearbox option in a 2.0 car, is it the nineties?

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

11 June 2019
xxxx wrote:

... only a 5 speed manual gearbox option in a 2.0 car, is it the nineties?

LOL!

It does the job without that added weight, expense and complexity. It's also warranted to the same extent, or more, as all competitors. In other words, it's 'fit for purpose'.

11 June 2019
jason_recliner wrote:
xxxx wrote:

... only a 5 speed manual gearbox option in a 2.0 car, is it the nineties?

 

LOL! It does the job without that added weight, expense and complexity. It's also warranted to the same extent, or more, as all competitors. In other words, it's 'fit for purpose'.

Last, but by no means least, it's significantly (10 - 20%) more affordable than competitors, at least here in Australia.  It's what happens when you let engineers spec products instead of marketing departments.  That approach appeals to me and others but, granted, not all.

11 June 2019
jason_recliner wrote:
xxxx wrote:

... only a 5 speed manual gearbox option in a 2.0 car, is it the nineties?

 

LOL! It does the job without that added weight, expense and complexity. It's also warranted to the same extent, or more, as all competitors. In other words, it's 'fit for purpose'.

LOL indeed, 1500kg of car and they leave out the 6th cog to save weight. You're on the wrong website, try a gardening one

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

11 June 2019
xxxx wrote:

jason_recliner wrote:
xxxx wrote:

... only a 5 speed manual gearbox option in a 2.0 car, is it the nineties?

 

LOL! It does the job without that added weight, expense and complexity. It's also warranted to the same extent, or more, as all competitors. In other words, it's 'fit for purpose'.

LOL indeed, 1500kg of car and they leave out the 6th cog to save weight. You're on the wrong website, try a gardening one

Here's the thing: you don't save 100 kg on one component.  You save 1 kg each on 100 components.

I'm guessing you've never designed anything...

11 June 2019
jason_recliner wrote:

xxxx wrote:

jason_recliner wrote:
xxxx wrote:

... only a 5 speed manual gearbox option in a 2.0 car, is it the nineties?

 

LOL! It does the job without that added weight, expense and complexity. It's also warranted to the same extent, or more, as all competitors. In other words, it's 'fit for purpose'.

LOL indeed, 1500kg of car and they leave out the 6th cog to save weight. You're on the wrong website, try a gardening one

Here's the thing: you don't save 100 kg on one component.  You save 1 kg each on 100 components.

I'm guessing you've never designed anything...

Just admit you wrong. And to say they're saving weight and complexity by not having a 6th gear option is dumb.

I'm guessing you used to an Auto..

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

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