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Mitsubishi ASX


Jeep Renegade

Summary

Mitsubishi ASX

You can never be completely sure about the age of a car, but I reckon the Mitsubishi ASX has taken over as the elder statescar after the demise of Holden's Captiva. The old Holden was commissioned by the pharaoh Khufu while the ASX arrived a few years later... in 2009.

Over the last near-decade, the ASX has consistently sold without any major changes. Evolution has been the name of the game (ironically), with now-annual running changes to the ASX to try and keep it fresh.

The compact SUV segment is enormously competitive, with new entrants squeezing the ASX harder than ever. Amazingly, despite being ready for the pension, it still manages to post excellent sales figures when by rights it should be languishing near the bottom - old cars are old news.

Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L
Fuel TypeRegular Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency7.7L/100km
Seating5 seats

Jeep Renegade

Jeep's Renegade might be late to the mini-SUV party but it comes with a pretty impressive back catalogue to suggest that this is a SUV that can cash the cheques its name can write.

The top of the range Trailhawk can write even bigger cheques than the lower models, bringing with it a range of off-road tech toys to let you really get down and dirty.

Safety rating
Engine Type2.4L
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency7.5L/100km
Seating5 seats

Verdict

Mitsubishi ASX6.3/10

It might be as old as the hills but the ASX keeps going. It's tempting to say it's on life support, but it still does the job, and with the new ADAS package, there's still life in the old dog. It's also cheaper than before, although why you'd want to spend money on the Exceed when you have everything that's worthwhile in the ES ADAS or LS is beyond me. As for the pick of the range, I'd go for the LS - it has the nicer interior trim and better seats.

The ASX will be with us for a while yet - as the newest member of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, whatever was on the way has been delayed. So for now, the ASX is the roomiest, cheapest and among the best-equipped in its class. It's just a shame it has to be so boring.

Does the ASX do what you need or is the old-timer too far off the pace? Tell us what you think in the comments below.


Jeep Renegade6.4/10

Rugged, dependable and good off-road are the most obvious qualities of the Trailhawk. It stands out from the rest of the mini-SUVs by being able to do the S and the U with plenty of vigour.

It's just a shame that its on-road manners can't match that of its big brother, the Cherokee. Unless you're planning on proper off-roading, the Trailhawk might not be quite what you're looking for.

How do you think the Renegade Trailhawk matches up to its small SUV rivals? Tell us in the comments below.

Click here to see more 2016 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk pricing and spec info.

 

Design

Mitsubishi ASX5/10

The early cars were a study in minimalism and looked so bare they could have come straight out of an early Grand Theft Auto game, such was the lack of detailing. These later models feature lashings of chrome and a far less timid approach, on the nose at least. The profile has been the same for the better part of a decade, with just the occasional addition like new wheels or wing mirrors.

The 18-inch wheels give the car a good solid stance and the paint looks pretty good these days. But that's pretty much it. The ASX is a box on wheels with doors that clang when you shut them.

Inside has once again had a going-over. The last proper update to the cabin made it a much better place to be. The part-suede interior of the LS is the one to go for, the Exceed's leather merely adds to the overall cheap-feel. The ASX is entirely unpretentious - no soft plastics, no attempt to cover gaps or blanks (the fifth cupholder is now covered by a dodgy-looking cap) and the switchgear is a mix-and-match arrangement to get the job done. Nothing wrong with that, but it might leave an aesthete twitchy.


Jeep Renegade7/10

In what is absolutely not a coincidence, the Renegade immediately conjures up the Wrangler. Upright grille from the Willys Jeep (references abound here), round headlights, squared off wheel arches to mimic the Wrangler's guards, short overhangs and big rear view mirrors.

The 17-inch wheels look completely lost in the wheelarches which are even more cavernous owing to the Trailhawk's 50mm of extra ride height. The wheels are also a bit cheap looking but will probably survive the belting the car is intended to take.

Less rugged is the interior, despite a fairly self-conscious effort to make it look and feel chunky. The front seats are flat and unsupportive with the rears just as lacklustre making sure everyone is sliding around together. Luckily, front passengers get a dash-mounted grab handle.

It seems quite well put together, however, but with carpets and easily-marked plastics, you'll hope your passengers don't bring the mud in with them too often. And the "Since 1941" stamped into the steering wheel can go.

The dashboard is reasonably clear and has plenty of information to share via the screen between the dials but whoever thought marking the redline with a water splash graphic in bright orange should probably rethink their design decisions.

Storage is limited to two cupholders up front, door pockets in each door and nets on the front seat backs.

Practicality

Mitsubishi ASX7/10

Straight up, I'll answer a common question - how many seats? The ASX is as near as you'll get to a five-seater in this segment. Interior photos show generous interior dimensions, its boxy exterior design delivering a good size cabin.

Front seat passengers score a pair of cupholders and a decent-sized central bin with a lid on top doubling as an armrest. Rear seat passengers miss out on many things - there's just one seatback pocket but there are two cupholders in the armrest.

Boot space starts with 393 litres, which is near the top of the class. If it's maximum luggage capacity you're after, drop the 60/40 split-fold rear seat and you'll have 1193 litres.

Despite looking like it's on stilts, the ground clearance is 205mm, which is significantly higher than the segment's low-rider, the Mazda CX-3. As you might expect, if you're this low-slung - and without 4 wheel drive, off-road ability is compromised.

The 4.4m long ASX's turning circle is a small-ish 10.6 metres.


Price and features

Mitsubishi ASX7/10

The MY19 upgrade - one of many over the ASX's long and fruitful life - has brought some changes to the price list and a rejig of the available models. There's a new entry-level model, the ES, the mid-point LS and a range-topping Exceed. All pricing is RRP and how much you pay is between you and your dealer. The drive-way price is helpfully listed on the Mitsubishi website, however. Our model comparison features the full price range.

A big change for MY19 is the end of the all-wheel drive (AWD) for the ASX, with just front-wheel drive on offer. So no more AWD option, meaning if you're after an off-road review, you're out of luck.

The new entry-level ES means it's now $1510 cheaper than before for the cheapest ASX.

The ASX now starts at $23,490 for an ES with a manual gearbox and $25,490 for the CVT automatic transmission. The value proposition is pretty reasonable - you get 18-inch alloys, four-speaker stereo, climate control, reversing camera, halogen headlights, leather gear shifter and steering wheel, power folding rear vision mirrors, cruise control, power windows all round, cloth trim and a space saver spare tyre.

The ES ADAS is $26,990 and is essentially the ES with a safety pack, which you can read about in the safety section.

Moving on to the second of the three models, the LS starts at $27,990 and is auto-only - so no manual transmission. To the ES spec you can add keyless entry and start, the 'ADAS' safety package, rear parking sensors, fog lights, auto high beam, auto headlights and wipers and partial leather seats with fake suede inserts (which are rather good, actually).

The $30,990 Exceed adds leather, two speakers to make the speaker number six as well as a sunroof.

The ES and LS comes with a four-speaker sound system while the top of the range Exceed scores six speakers. All of them have the same 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system. What is standard across the range is iPhone and Android integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto respectively. The new screen looks good and the updated software is easy to use, but it's not very well integrated - for instance, Apple CarPlay's clock disappears off the edge of the screen.

There is no sat nav (hmmm) or CD player (far enough, it's 2018), but there is digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity and a baffling screen that displays your GPS co-ordinates.

There are seven colours available - black, 'Lightning Blue', 'Titanium' (grey, obviously), red, 'Sterling Silver' and 'Starlight' all cost an extra $590 while white is a freebie. Not surprisingly, orange and brown are off the menu.


Jeep Renegade6/10

The Renegade range starts at $28,000 for the 1.6-litre Renegade Sport manual front-wheel drive, climbing between $2000 and $3000 through the Sport Auto, Longitude Auto, Limited Auto with a final jump of $4000 to the 2.4-litre auto-only Trailhawk.

Standard is a nine-speaker stereo with Bluetooth and USB, 17-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and start, cruise control, electric front seats with heating, satellite navigation, automatic bi-xenon headlights, auto wipers, leather trim, roof rails, front and middle bash plates, full size spare, heated leather steering wheel, privacy glass, trailer sway control and tyre pressure monitoring. 

The lairy Omaha orange is $500, part of an eleven colour palette with only two no-cost paint options (black and white).

You can add lane departure warning, auto-parking and a black painted roof for $500 each, a removable and retractable roof called My Sky Roof for $2200 or a more conventional electric sunroof for $1900.

The Beats-branded nine-speaker stereo is run via Fiat-Chryser's UConnect system, accessible through the 6.5-inch touchscreen. While it improves with every attempt, it's still quite clunky and when the sat-nav is added, becomes a bit of a mess.

Thankfully, not every function has been crammed into the touchscreen interface, so you'll spend more time with your hands on the wheel rather than working out which bit of the screen has the climate control.

Engine & trans

Mitsubishi ASX5/10

The ASX's model simplification extends to the drivetrain. Gone is AWD and diesel, leaving just one petrol engine. The engine specs read fairly adequately - the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder delivers 110kW/197Nm. As with the rest of the segment, engine size and power seems to be legislated to almost these exact specifications.

The 0-100 acceleration performance is best described as leisurely and noisy. The motor, codenamed 4B11, uses a chain rather than timing belt, which should help keep service costs down and improve long-term reliability. The 4B11 is capable of producing a lot more horsepower, but sadly the version of the engine in the Evo X is not available.

On the upside, this simplicity means no turbo problems or diesel problems and in this unstressed spec, engine problems are unlikely to occur with regular servicing.

Power reaches the front wheels through Mitsubishi's ubiquitous continuously variable transmission (CVT). LS buyers can choose a less than bang-up-to-date five-speed manual, but that's probably down to the fact almost nobody buys a manual.

If you're interested in the tank size, oil type and weight, the owners manual lists these things. The CVT seems a hardy if unspectacular unit, so gearbox problems appear unusual in my sweep of the usual internet forums. The CVT's abilities, however, are another thing entirely.

Towing capacity is rated at 750kg unbraked and 1300kg braked.

Just in case you're wondering, there is no LPG (or gas) option.


Jeep Renegade6/10

The Trailhawk is powered by Fiat's 2.4-litre four naturally-aspirated four-cylinder producing 129 kW and 230 Nm. Jeep reckons you'll get 7.5L/100km on the combined cycle. Our mostly city driving with a longish motorway run produced an 11.0L/100km average over a week.

The transmission is a nine-speed ZF automatic driving all four wheels.

The Trailhawk also has Jeep's five mode Selec-Terrain system which should cover pretty much every eventuality – Auto, Sport, Mud, Sand and, just for the Trailhawk, Rock. The Trailhawk is rated to tow 400kg unbraked and 907kg braked.

Fuel consumption

Mitsubishi ASX6/10

Mitsubishi says the ASX's fuel economy figures are 7.6L/100km of 91 RON petrol. Fuel tank capacity is listed at 63 litres. If you can eke out this sticker figure mileage you could squeeze out nearly 800km of range. We found its real-world fuel consumption is closer to 11.5L/100km in a mix of city and highway driving.


Driving

Mitsubishi ASX5/10

The ASX is the archetypal appliance on wheels. It's one of the least involving cars you will ever drive. The inconsistently-weighted steering completely insulates you from the road. It seems to need an extra quarter turn to do anything and that gets tired pretty quickly.

The CVT auto is rudimentary at best, completely outclassed by that in the Honda HR-V. The pronounced rubber band feel is something that takes some time to get used to and requires a keen eye on the speedo.

The all-around independent suspension promises much but delivers the workmanlike performance of a bored politician who knows they're resigning before the next election. Sharp bumps resonate through the cabin and body control is lacking - turn the wheel left to right and it ties itself up in knots. But once you're up to speed, it's a comfortable rider.

The safety systems seem to work reasonably well, although we did find the reverse cross traffic alert to have longer range sensors than the Starship Enterprise.


Jeep Renegade6/10

The Trailhawk name suggest that things are going to get muddy – compared to the rest of the range, the range-topper rides 50mm higher and has exposed, easy-to-reach tow hooks in the fairly unlikely event you get stuck. It also has a 20:1 low-range crawl ratio and Active Drive 4x4 which means it can switch between front and all-wheel drive. It'll also wade through almost half a metre of water. It's a genuine mud-plugging proposition and will take on some much bigger machinery out in the bush.

On the road, where we spent all our time in the Renegade, it's not what you'd call particularly inspiring. There's a number of sources of noise that contribute to a less than quiet cabin and having to constantly correct your course at freeway speeds adds to the tiring nature of the Renegade.

It's much better at lower speeds, pottering around but then again, its nine-speed transmission needs a lot more work on the shift mapping because it seems to forget which gear it needs to be in when you sink the right foot. If you don't need the Trailhawk's extra off-road goodies, consider the 1.4 litre Limited or Longitude.

Safety

Mitsubishi ASX8/10

Across the range you get seven airbags, ABS, stability and traction controls, reversing camera and emergency brake assist.

If you need to load up a baby car seat, there are three top-tether anchor points and two ISOFIX anchors.

In the interests of transparency and for an opportunity to self-deprecate for your amusement, about a year ago I wrote that the ASX was missing advanced safety systems and was unlikely to see them anytime soon.

A few weeks later, Mitsubishi released an update which included forward AEB, something that is standard on its CX-3 rival.

That update is called the ADAS package, optional on the ES and the same features are standard on the Exceed. ADAS includes lane departure warning, lane change assist, forward AEB and rear cross traffic alert. You also get auto wipers and headlights and rear parking sensors.

Irritatingly, the LS loses blind spot warning, lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert with no apparent way to get them on that spec. The Exceed's package also picks up automatic high beam.

The ASX has a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating, awarded in 2014.


Jeep Renegade7/10

Seven airbags (including driver's knee bag), traction and stability controls, roll mitigation, blind spot monitoring, ABS and brake assist.

The Renegade does not yet have an ANCAP star rating although it scored five EuroNCAP stars in 2014.

Ownership

Mitsubishi ASX7/10

The ASX now has a five-year/100,000km warranty with one year of roadside assist in the form of membership to your state or territory's motoring organisation (eg RACV, RACT, NRMA). The three-year capped price servicing regime also includes extending that membership another 12 months.

Each service will cost you $240 which isn't especially cheap nor is it overly-pricey. Annoyingly, the car demands to be returned to the dealer at the 1000km mark for a free look-over.

A quick search reveals an absence of common problems, faults or issues. It seems a pretty solid sort of car, with few common complaints from owners. Resale value is heavily dependent on the model, with early cars not doing as well as later updates.