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2020 Mitsubishi ASX review

Mitsubishi's ASX is 10 years old, but continues to draw buyers in the thousands.

The ASX is perhaps the definitive small SUV success story.

Fundamentally unchanged in its decade long production, the ASX continues to win the hearts of Australian buyers en masse.

Having received its most recent update in late 2019, the ASX has a new look, new spec levels, and even a new engine option to freshen it up – we hope for one last time – before a new-generation is finally unveiled.

So, is the refreshed ASX still worthy of your attention in 2020? We answer the most frequently asked ASX questions so you can decide if this is the right small SUV for you.

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✅ What do we love about the Mitsubishi ASX?

We like that the ASX is sized just right for most of Australia’s urban-dwelling population, that its most recent update added some desperately needed multimedia and drivetrain improvements, and we like its new look, which has somehow managed to keep a decade-old car contemporary.

Mitsubishi have managed to keep a decade-old car contemporary. Mitsubishi have managed to keep a decade-old car contemporary.

✅ What do we dislike?

We dislike that Mitsubishi is overdue to replace the ASX with an all-new generation car and, as a result, much of its interior feels dated. The CVT automatic – which is the only transmission available across much of the range – makes for a hardly inspiring drive experience, and we think the back seat lacks amenities for passengers.

The back seat lacks amenities for passengers. The back seat lacks amenities for passengers.

✅ How much is a Mitsubishi ASX?

One of the most appealing ASX facts is that it has always been an affordable small SUV option. Mitsubishi likes to offer a drive away price, rather than RRP or MSRP, and its five-variant range spans from $24,990 for the base ES manual to $35,990 for the top Exceed auto across two engine options. A CVT automatic comes at no extra cost on all but the base ES which otherwise has a five-speed manual.

The ASX ES Manual. The ASX ES Manual.

 See our price list below for a full breakdown of the ASX range.

Mitsubishi ASX 2020 price

 2.0L five-speed manual2.0L CVT automatic2.4L CVT automatic
ES$24,990$26,740--
MR--$28,490--
LS--$30,440--
GSR----$32,490
Exceed----$35,990

✅ Where is the Mitsubishi ASX made?

✅ What does ASX stand for?

✅ How much storage space does the ASX have?

The ASX has decent but perhaps not stellar storage throughout, continuing to trade off of its original smartly-sized dimensions.

Front passengers get cupholders in the centre console, a very small area under the climate controls for phones, a smallish centre console box, and a glovebox for passengers, there are an extra two cupholders and small trenches in the door cards.

The ASX has decent but perhaps not stellar storage throughout. LS variant pictured. The ASX has decent but perhaps not stellar storage throughout. LS variant pictured.

Rear passengers get no storage amenities whatsoever, with no cup or bottle holders in the doors, nor pockets on the backs of the seats. There is only a drop-down armrest.

The ASX has a luggage capacity in the boot of 393-litres (VDA) which is about the size of some generous hatchbacks, but still decent in this segment. Boot space dimensions are cropped slightly in the Exceed due to its subwoofer.

The ASX has a luggage capacity in the boot of 393-litres (VDA). The ASX has a luggage capacity in the boot of 393-litres (VDA).

As such the ASX offers 1193-litres with the seats down across the range, apart from the Exceed which offers 1143-litres. We found it was just enough to take a large disassembled set of shelves.

Increase space to 1193-litres with the seats down. Increase space to 1193-litres with the seats down.

If those boot dimensions aren't enough, storage can be expanded via roof racks ($544) for the roof rails (standard on LS, GSR and Exceed), or secured through the addition of an optional cargo barrier for the boot ($1134). A parcel shelf cover is standard, but a carpet or plastic boot liner comes on the optional extras list (costing between $72 and $111).

The Exceed’s subwoofer eats up 50 litres of storage space. The Exceed’s subwoofer eats up 50 litres of storage space.

✅ What colours is the Mitsubishi ASX available in?

The ASX is currently available in eight colours, which have been refreshed for its most recent facelift.

The ASX is currently available in eight colours. LS variant pictured. The ASX is currently available in eight colours. LS variant pictured.

Those colours include: White Solid (free), Starlight Pearl ($740), Sunshine Orange ($740), Red Diamond ($940), Black Pearl ($740), Lightning Blue ($740), Sterling Silver ($740), and Titanium Grey ($740).

The ASX is not currently available in other colours like green, brown, or yellow.

 

✅ How does the ASX interior look & feel?

Despite no less than four updates to a 10-year-old vehicle, there is nothing stopping the ASX from feeling its age.

The model featured below is the 2020 Mitsubishi ASX GSR

Explore the virtual Mitsubishi ASX
 

This is mainly to do with interior design elements, although the ASX's interior could also do with a few more soft-touch surfaces. The dash is now dominated by a new multimedia screen, and the ASX now offers a leather-bound steering wheel across its range.

The dash is now dominated by a new multimedia screen. The dash is now dominated by a new multimedia screen.

The seat trim and quality varies on variant chosen, with full leather-appointed trim only available on the top-spec Exceed. See our interior photos of the second-from-the-top ASX GSR for more.

✅ What are the key stats & specs of the ASX engine?

The ASX is now available with two engine options.

The first is a carryover 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder which will be familiar from previous iterations. The engine specs are 110kW/197Nm and it can be chosen with a CVT auto or a five-speed manual depending on the spec level chosen.

The 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder will be familiar from previous iterations. The 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder will be familiar from previous iterations.

The second engine is new to the ASX lineup in Australia, a 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol. The extra engine size results in a corresponding output increase to 124kW/222Nm. This motor is only available in the top two GSR and Exceed variants.

A 2.2-litre turbo diesel option (110kW/360Nm) with all-wheel drive was axed from the range in 2018. This model was equipped with a diesel particulate filter (DPF).

The 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is available in the GSR and Exceed specs. The 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is available in the GSR and Exceed specs.

 

✅ Does the ASX have any common problems, issues or faults?

As the ASX’s drive components are relatively simple and use tried and tested Mitsubishi parts, our ASX problems page identifies very few common faults or complaints found by our readers.

One item worth considering is the CVT transmission, which can stutter at low speeds when it goes wrong. Turbo diesel variants in the past had a traditional six speed torque converter auto gearbox instead.

Our readers have identified very few faults with the ASX. Our readers have identified very few faults with the ASX.

Our readers seemingly haven’t experienced issues with rust, clutch concerns, or suspension, reporting some minor issues with engine noise and vibration on older cars, as well as some 2012 and prior models experiencing carbon build-up in the EGR valve.

Our readers haven’t reported any diesel problems, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the diesel particulate filter (DPF) which is known to cause issues in some other vehicles.

For more have a browse of our Mitsubishi ASX problems page

✅ Are there any must have accessories?

The ASX is available with a wide-ranging catalog of accessories. For the exterior these include aesthetic touches like spoilers, skid plates, bumper protectors and mudflaps, as well as weathershields, mirror covers, and chrome finishes for the door handles.

Inside you can add seat covers for the front and rear, floor mats in two different styles (carpet or rubber) and various sills, plates, and even ambient lighting.

There are also genuine towing accessories, and various roof rack attachments provided by Thule.

These items can be packaged together on the ES, ES ADAS, and MR trim levels in either the Style set ($2199), Adventure kit ($1699) or protection pack ($999).

✅ Is the Mitsubishi ASX 4wd and can you use it off-road?

Since 2018 Mitsubishi has discontinued the all-wheel drive (AWD) ASX variants. As such, its off-road ability is rather limited to well graded gravel trails.

The ASX does have a ground clearance mm advantage over a hatchback, but that is about the extent of its extra ability, even with off road tyres. As such our adventure section does not currently feature an ASX off road review.

Despite the presence of a ‘4WD’ button in earlier all-wheel drive variants, there has never been a true 4WD low-range capable ASX. And now, all models are front wheel drive 4x2 versions.

All ASXs from 2018 onward are front-wheel drive and have an unladen ground clearance of 205mm, approach angle of 20.1 degrees and departure angle of 31.4 degrees.

Lift kit? We found some for a few hundred dollars on eBay but you’re on your own there.

✅ How much can a Mitsubishi ASX tow?

The ASX is available with an optional towbar kit ($1024), as well as a corresponding brake controller ($631) and has a towing capacity of 750kg unbraked or 1300kg braked regardless of which engine is equipped.

At the time of writing we do not have a towing review of the ASX.

✅ What is the Mitsubishi ASX's fuel consumption?

The ASX’s fuel economy depends on the variant chosen. The official/combined petrol consumption figure for the 2.0-litre automatic ASX is 7.6L/100km, and for the 2.4-litre variants it is 7.9L/100km.

Our 2.4-litre GSR tested for this review returned 8.9L/100km over a week of combined testing.

The ASX’s fuel economy depends on the variant chosen. The ASX’s fuel economy depends on the variant chosen.

Some rivals can get better mileage out of smaller capacity turbo engines, although the ASX is not particularly thirsty for a segment where older 2.0-litre engines are common. There’s no eco mode or stop-start system to mitigate fuel consumption further.

For those interested the claimed/combined diesel fuel economy for the now-discontinued 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesels was 6.0L/100km.

✅ Which configuration of the Mitsubishi ASX is the best?

Our pick of the bunch in Mitsubishi’s ASX range is the base ES with the ADAS (active safety) pack. The ES ADAS presents the best value for money in the ASX range, as it comes with all of the main big-ticket spec items.

While it still misses out on some basic things like keyless entry and push-start ignition available on rival models, it has all most drivers will need with a fully equipped multimedia and active safety package at a competitive price of $29,490.

The upgraded power available from the GSR and Exceed grades is welcome, but unnecessary, carrying a premium of at least $3000 vs the ES ADAS models.

This all having been said, the ASX range is still cheap, with the most expensive Exceed coming in at just $35,490 looking very good in comparison to the more modern but expensive Kia Seltos GT-Line ($42,690).

✅ What are the dimensions of the ASX?

The ASX is a ‘small SUV’ in the true sense in that it is higher, but overall not much larger in size than a hatchback.

Its dimensions alter slightly depending on the variant, but the base car measures 4365mm in length, 1640mm in height, and 1810mm in width.

Dimensions alter slightly depending on the variant - GSR pictured. Dimensions alter slightly depending on the variant - GSR pictured.

Interior dimensions measure in at 1000mm of headroom, 1056mm of leg room and 1428mm of shoulder room for front passengers.

Weight ranges from 1350kg for the base ES manual to 1390kg for the top-spec Exceed auto.

✅ What features come standard with the ASX?

Standard features on even the base ASX ES ($24,990) include an 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth connect tech, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, rear lights, and DRLs, a reverse camera, city auto emergency braking, auto-dimming rear vision mirror, dual ISOFIX child seat mounting points, automatic door lock, single-zone climate control air conditioning and cruise control.

The expected safety features including ESP, ABS, and hill-start assist are also standard on every car.

Parking sensors do not arrive until the MR grade ($28,490) which also includes black 18-inch wheels and matching highlight trims, keyless entry with push-start, and voice control to the media system.

Featuring 18-inch alloy wheels. Featuring 18-inch alloy wheels.

Only the top grade Exceed comes with leather-appointed seat trim and GPS built-in navigation system.

There is currently no ‘sport edition’ style limited models, but the sportier looking MR and GSR are permanent additions to the range.

There’s no official snorkel or bullbar offered, even on the optional adventure kit ($1699), but there is an alloy nudge bar replacement which can also be separately applied ($932).

The spare tyre is a space-saver across the range, although it can be optionally upgraded to a full-size spare ($228).

The spare tyre is a space-saver across the range but can be upgraded to a full-size. The spare tyre is a space-saver across the range but can be upgraded to a full-size.

✅ What features can you upgrade?

The ASX has a long list of genuine accessories which can upgrade many of this SUV’s parts.

With the standard wheel upgraded to an 18-inch alloy, there are no longer alternative wheel options (like smaller 17-inch alloy wheels) available in the ASX’s parts catalog, nor is there a ‘luxury pack’ with only the top-spec Exceed exclusively available with leather seat trim.

There are LED lights for all variants. There are LED lights for all variants.

Full LED lighting (headlights and tail-lights) is fitted even on the base ES (so forget about halogen or xenon lamps), and as such there is no upgradable accessory for that either. Mitsubishi do not offer an official light bar attachment. You don't need to add on those aftermarket daytime running lights, either, as there are LED ones on all variants. 

There’s no sporty body kit pack, but you can have some of the tougher accessories in the adventure pack. There are some single items which can upgrade the ASX’s appeal like a rear spoiler, front and rear skid plates, and chrome mirror covers.

Some single items can upgrade the ASX’s appeal like a rear spoiler. Some single items can upgrade the ASX’s appeal like a rear spoiler.

The LS grade serves as more or less a ‘convenience pack’ stand in for ES base cars including keyless entry and push-start ignition. And only the Exceed comes with a panoramic sunroof.

As already mentioned, you can upgrade the space-saver spare to a full-size spare.

✅ Does the ASX come in diesel?

✅ Does the ASX have a manual or automatic transmission?

✅ Does the ASX have Apple Carplay & Android Auto?

All ASX variants are currently equipped with an 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with Apple CarPlay (for iPhone mirroring) and Android Auto connectivity (for all the Android-based smartphones out there). They are also equipped with Bluetooth and the top-spec Exceed has built-in navigation.

All ASX variants are currently equipped with an 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen. All ASX variants are currently equipped with an 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen.

✅ How much does the ASX cost to service?

Mitsubishi only includes three years of capped price servicing alongside its standard five-year warranty. This is frustrating since many competitors offer capped price services for at least the life of their warranties (five years and beyond).

Service costs, thankfully, are very cheap, coming in at just $199 per yearly/15,000km interval for the first three years. For the full schedule of Mitsubishi capped price servicing for 2020 see here.

✅ Is the Mitsubishi ASX reliable?

We understand the Mitsubishi ASX has been historically reliable, with few issues presented by its tried and tested drivetrain. For an overview of problems our readers have experienced, check out our Mitsubishi ASX problems page.

We don’t have a solid set of reliability ratings in Australia – the closest you can get is consumer survey agency Canstar Blue’s new car reliability rankings which rated Mitsubishi Motors a clear #1 for customer satisfaction when it comes to reliability.

The Mitsubishi ASX LS. The Mitsubishi ASX LS.

✅ How many seats does the Mitsubishi ASX have?

The ASX has always had five seats. It is not large enough for a seven-seat variant. All seat trims are cloth, aside from the GSR which comes with a faux suede/leather-appointed dual trim, and the Exceed which has leather seats (well, leather appointed).

 

✅ Does the ASX have a timing belt or chain?

All currently available Mitsubishi ASXs have timing chains.

✅ What is the fuel capacity of the ASX?

Every ASX regardless of engine option has a fuel tank size of 63 litres.
The Mitsubishi ASX GSR. The Mitsubishi ASX GSR.

✅ How good is the ASX's sound system & infotainment set-up?

The ASX has a much-improved multimedia setup from previous iterations. It now consists of an 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, digital DAB radio, and Bluetooth.

There is no longer a CD player or DVD player, even optionally, in the ASX range.

Most of the ASX range has a less-than impressive four speaker sound system. The high spec GSR has six speakers, while the top-spec Exceed has nine speakers including a subwoofer which eats 50L of boot space.

Even then, most high-spec competitors have better looking infotainment setups and branded premium audio systems.

✅ Is the ASX a safe car?

The ASX has gradually improved its safety technology over time and now has been augmented with a suite of active safety items.

Included on the the base ES is auto emergency braking (AEB), but when the ES ADAS pack is equipped the active safety suite expands to include lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, high beam assist, and rain sensing wipers.

The ASX has gradually improved its safety technology over time. The ASX has gradually improved its safety technology over time.

This suite is not bad considering the price although some competitors have more advanced inclusions like high-speed emergency braking, active cruise control, lane keep assist, and traffic sign recognition.

The expected traction, brake, and stability controls are present, alongside seven airbags (dual front, side, curtain, and driver’s knee).

The ASX carries a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating, although this result dates back to 2014.

✅ Does the ASX have ISOFIX points?

✅ How fast is the ASX?

The ASX is not fast, nor is it pitched to be. As such Mitsubishi does not offer official 0-100km/h acceleration times. They would not be impressive.

The ASX is not fast, nor is it pitched to be. The ASX is not fast, nor is it pitched to be.

Independent testing from across the web has the 2.0-litre model returning 0-100km/h sprint times of over 11 seconds.

Extra horsepower can now be had in the GSR and Exceed grades from a new 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine. It’s certainly faster to get up to speed, but we have not done a 0-100km/h test.

✅ How does the ASX feel to drive?

The ASX is easy and predictable to drive, which is probably why it has won the hearts of so many Australian customers.

It is showing its age though, with a rubbery continuously variable transmission killing any suggestion of performance, even from the more powerful 2.4-litre models.

The new 2.4-litre engine does bring some welcome additional grunt over the underwhelming 2.0-litre however.

The ASX’s suspension is certainly on the soft side, barely transmitting sharp bumps through to the cabin, although it can have the side-effect of becoming bouncy and unsettled on frequent corrugations. Multi-link rear suspension (as opposed to a cheaper torsion-bar setup) is welcome for keeping the ride even.

The ASX is easy and predictable to drive. The ASX is easy and predictable to drive.

Despite large alloy wheels, the ASX seems to have road noise under control, and engine noise is largely distant, unless it is really pushed, too.

The ASX’s small dimensions give it a friendly turning circle (10.6m) for city streets, and the perhaps overly light steering helps with manoeuvring in tight quarters like car parks or alleyways.

At speed, the steering’s lightness can be a tad unsettling, as it loses much of its feeling when cornering. It is also subject to a fair amount of body roll in the bends.

Overall the ASX lacks some of the dynamic appeal and driving confidence of many more recently developed small SUV rivals, but offers a comfortable and easy solution which is about right for its price point.

The ASX lacks some of the dynamic appeal and driving confidence of many more recently developed rivals. The ASX lacks some of the dynamic appeal and driving confidence of many more recently developed rivals.

✅ How many years and km's does the warranty last?

Mitsubishi’s standard warranty is five years/100,000 kilometres, although at the time of writing the ASX range was covered by a promotional seven-year/150,000km warranty.

The seven-year warranty makes it amongst the longest warranties in the segment (alongside the Kia Seltos, MG ZS and SsangYong Tivoli) and its five-year warranty is competitive but it falls behind others in having a kilometre limit.

Outside of a dealer warranty there’s no way to optionally extend the manufacturer warranty, so keep an eye out for those promotional warranty extensions.

Mitsubishi’s standard warranty is five years/100,000 kilometres. Mitsubishi’s standard warranty is five years/100,000 kilometres.


The Wrap

Is the Mitsubishi ASX a good car?

The key to the ASX’s success is clear. It’s affordable, predictable, sized just-right, and manages to tick a lot of boxes for many of Australia’s buyers.

Still, it’s worth looking at rivals, many of which feel more modern and offer superior drive experiences to Mitsubishi’s ageing small SUV hero.
 

Likes

Comfortable power from new engine
Much improved safety and multimedia
Cheap

Dislikes

Feels its age
CVT auto makes for lifeless drive
Basic back seats

Scores

Tom:

3.4

The Kids:

$25,990

Based on new car retail price

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