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.
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.
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.
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.
See our price list below for a full breakdown of the ASX range.
ASX is an abbreviation of Active Sports Crossover, although it is not the only name for this SUV worldwide. It is known as the Mitsubishi RVR (Recreational Vehicle Runner) in Japan and Canada, or the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport in the United States.
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.
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).
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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Explore the Mitsubishi 2020 ASX GSR in 3D
Explore the Mitsubishi 2020 ASX GSR in 3D
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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