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Mitsubishi ASX 2020 review: GSR

The whole ASX range has had an update for 2020

SUVs don't necessarily mean huge off-roaders anymore. With the small SUV category including cars like the Mitsubishi ASX which starts at $24,990, it's now easier to swap your city hatch for a more roomy SUV, especially if you have a family.

The ASX competes with cars like the Honda HR-V and the Mazda CX-3, and it's on the larger side of the small SUV category so still feels like a decent sized car.

The whole range has had an update for 2020 and I test drove the ASX GSR which is second from the top of a range of five, and costs $32,240 drive-away. Here's how it performed for this week's family review.

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How does it look?

The Mitsubishi ASX now has much more modern exterior than the last model. It's less boxy with a new headlight shape and rear light shape, too.

It feels like it's entered this decade with a design worthy of 2020 and that makes you feel better while driving it.

  • The whole ASX range has had an update for 2020. (image: Dean McCartney) The whole ASX range has had an update for 2020. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • The Mitsubishi ASX now has much more modern exterior than the last model. (image: Dean McCartney) The Mitsubishi ASX now has much more modern exterior than the last model. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • It's less boxy with a new headlight shape and rear light shape, too. (image: Dean McCartney) It's less boxy with a new headlight shape and rear light shape, too. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • It's on the larger side of the small SUV category so still feels like a decent sized car. (image: Dean McCartney) It's on the larger side of the small SUV category so still feels like a decent sized car. (image: Dean McCartney)

Inside has also been ramped up, and the interior of this model is stylish.

Yes, there is still an abundance of man-made materials along the dash and doors, but it doesn't feel like it's been made on a budget. The suede-look seats actually feel almost luxe and come with a red stitched trim to add flair. There are matt metallic touches throughout the interior and the whole effect is one of a well designed vehicle.

There is still an abundance of man-made materials along the dash and doors, but it doesn't feel like it's been made on a budget. (image: Dean McCartney) There is still an abundance of man-made materials along the dash and doors, but it doesn't feel like it's been made on a budget. (image: Dean McCartney)

How spacious is it?

It's still a small SUV, so it's not huge, but there is enough room in the front for me and the taller members of my family, with a good amount of leg and head space. You're not rubbing shoulders with the passenger in the front seat either, and it doesn't feel cramped like some small SUVs can.

The back had enough room for my six- and eight-year old children. They were happy to play games and strapped their toys in the seat belt in the centre seat (one toy each, they were very diplomatic).

  • I can comfortably sit in the rear at 161cm and there was enough room in front of my knees to mean that taller adults and teenagers will be fine back there. (image: Dean McCartney) I can comfortably sit in the rear at 161cm and there was enough room in front of my knees to mean that taller adults and teenagers will be fine back there. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • The back had enough room for my six- and eight-year old children. (image: Dean McCartney) The back had enough room for my six- and eight-year old children. (image: Dean McCartney)

I can comfortably sit in the rear at 161cm and there was enough room in front of my knees to mean that taller adults and teenagers will be fine back there over long distances.

The boot is on the larger end of the small SUV boot scale. At 393L it fits the bulky CarsGuide pram with extra space for groceries or school bags on top.

It's not the biggest in the category but not the smallest either -  it's smaller than the Honda HR-V but larger than the Mazda CX-3, and while I would always prefer a huge boot, I found this adequate for a week with my family of four.

  • The boot is on the larger end of the small SUV boot scale. (image: Dean McCartney) The boot is on the larger end of the small SUV boot scale. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • At 393L it fits the bulky 'CarsGuide' pram with extra space for groceries or school bags on top. (image: Dean McCartney) At 393L it fits the bulky 'CarsGuide' pram with extra space for groceries or school bags on top. (image: Dean McCartney)

How does it drive?

The ASX GSR has a 2.4L engine (lower specs get a 2.0L engine) and for me it got up hills quite well. I also felt confident when overtaking on the highway.

It's a smooth drive but it's not going to dazzle you with its engine superiority. It does the job and gets you around suburbia perfectly fine.

There's no AWD option in the ASX, everything is a 2WD including this GSR model. (image: Dean McCartney) There's no AWD option in the ASX, everything is a 2WD including this GSR model. (image: Dean McCartney)

The steering wheel turns nice and easily so it never feels like you're working too hard to drive the car.

The model featured below is the 2020 Mitsubishi ASX GSR

Explore the virtual Mitsubishi ASX
 

There's no AWD option in the ASX, everything is a 2WD including this GSR model.

It has a small turning circle which means it's easier to do U-turns than larger cars and I found it easy to squeeze into parking spots this week. There's a large reverse parking camera though it's not super high definition.

The ASX GSR has a 2.4L engine (lower specs get a 2.0L engine) and for me it got up hills quite well. (image: Dean McCartney) The ASX GSR has a 2.4L engine (lower specs get a 2.0L engine) and for me it got up hills quite well. (image: Dean McCartney)

How easy is it to use every day?

There isn't a huge amount of automation on the ASX GSR, though the park brake does turn off automatically which is quite huge for a car in this price bracket.

There is keyless entry but the front seats are adjusted manually. There are also gearshift paddles on the steering wheel in this spec which makes for easy driving if you prefer using them.

Inside has also been ramped up, and the interior of this model is stylish. (image: Dean McCartney) Inside has also been ramped up, and the interior of this model is stylish. (image: Dean McCartney)

You'll find two cupholders in the front plus a small spot for keys and a phone and a large centre storage bin for a car this size. There are also two cupholders in the rear centre armrest for back passengers and bottle holders in each door.

The boot is a good height off the ground to load things and the car is also a good height for young children to climb in and out of. There are no directional air vents in the back seat though and my kids really do miss that instant feeling of cool air on very hot days. The air flow from the front does come through the car eventually.

How safe is it?

The ASX range features advanced safety like auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warnings and blind spot warnings.

I test drove the ASX GSR which is second from the top of a range of five, and costs $32,240 drive-away. (image: Dean McCartney) I test drove the ASX GSR which is second from the top of a range of five, and costs $32,240 drive-away. (image: Dean McCartney)

There are airbags that cover driver and front passenger and side curtain airbags that extend to the back row.

In the back there are two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for children's car seats. It gets a maximum five star ANCAP rating, but it was tested a while ago, in 2014.

What's the tech like?

The multimedia system has been up-sized to an 8.0-inch touchscreen. With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto installed, you'll never have to touch your phone while driving, everything is controlled on the touchscreen. Listen to music and podcasts via your phone's apps and use your maps app to navigate. It's instantly easy to use because the interface is the same as your phone.

How much does it cost to own?

The Mitsubishi ASX GSR costs $32,240 drive-away. Fuel consumption is a claimed 7.9L/100km.

It's covered by Mitsubishi's five year/100,000km warranty and servicing is required every 12 months/ 15,000km.

It feels like it's entered this decade with a design worthy of 2020. (image: Dean McCartney) It feels like it's entered this decade with a design worthy of 2020. (image: Dean McCartney)


The Wrap

While it's not going to blow away the competition, especially with some of the newer designed cars in the category, the Mitsubishi ASX is still a solid contender among small SUVs.

It's a good size with a decent boot that makes it practical for families, and if you're not caught up on having a super snazzy engine, this ASX GSR does the trick for an affordable price. Plus it has good safety and technology.

I gave it a family rating of 7.5 out of 10 and my kids gave it a seven , orange is their least favourite colour but they were happy it wasn't black.

Likes

Interior design
Advanced safety
Generous boot

Dislikes

Modest power
No rear directional air vents
Low-def reversing camera

Scores

Nedahl:

3.8

The Kids:

3.5

$30,740

Based on new car retail price

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