The Mitsubishi ASX ES is the baby SUV from the Mitsubishi stable. It has a great kerbside look and the dimensions that makes it your best friend in the city but it hasn’t had a true redesign and that means it has some solid competition from other compact SUVs, like the Kia Seltos, MG ZS and Suzuki Vitara.
In a market where technology and style are at the forefront, how does the ASX hold its own and what does it get right? This week, my family of three has been finding out for you!
Other items include 18-inch alloy wheels, one-zone climate control, two USB-A ports, Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking sensors, dusk sensing headlights, rain sensing windscreen wipers, carpet mats, automatic high beam function, and a digital radio. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
The price point for the ES places it as one of the more affordable options compared to its similarly specified rivals with the Kia Seltos S coming in at $29,500 and the Suzuki Vitara sitting at $31,490.
However, the MG ZS has a before on-roads cost of just $22,990 and you get a fair few more features than our test model. Some extra standard specification in the ES would make it stand out against its competition.
Design – Is there anything interesting about its design? 7/10
I love how the ASX looks. It has a wide stance and enough squared edges to not look too cute but its compact size should appeal to urban dwellers where space is at a premium.
The two panels at the front, which sandwich the chrome grille and house quad LED lights, add a lot of personality to the ES.
The two panels at the front, which sandwich the chrome grille and house quad LED lights, add a lot of personality to the ES. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
As do the 18-inch alloys and the way the lights jut out at the rear. There are multiple bright paintwork colours to choose from if you want to add your own flair.
Once inside, you’re reminded that you’re in a base-type model with the analogue instrument panel, traditional gear-shifter and handbrake, but I have fallen in ‘like’ with how old-school it is.
There are multiple bright paintwork colours to choose from if you want to add your own flair. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
The fabric trims feature a nice lattice-pattern and the dashboard is simple with just three climate dials to navigate.
Overall, the interior is no-nonsense but that might appeal to drivers who don’t want to be overwhelmed by their car and its tech.
Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside? 7/10
The ASX is roomier up front than in the rear, and taller occupants will be most comfortable in the front row. There is plenty of head- and legroom, and surprisingly for this class, there’s also a good amount of elbow room!
The front seats are comfortable and well padded and adjust manually but I miss having lumbar support on longer trips.
The fabric trims look nice and it’s great that carpet mats come standard in the ES.
The back seat offers an okay amount of room for my 168cm (5'6") height but taller occupants may feel squished.
The front seats are comfortable and well padded and adjust manually but I miss having lumbar support on longer trips. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
My son struggled at times to fit his large school bag through the smaller door apertures, as they are not as wide as the front. However, its 205mm ground clearance makes it an easy car to slide into most of the time.
The back seats aren't terribly comfortable because you feel like you’re perched on top as they sit straight like a church pew. Expect a few 'oomphs' from passengers when going around corners.
Individual storage options up front are good for this class with a deep middle console and glove box, two cupholders and two drink bottle holders. Plus, there is a little cubby in front of the gear shifter which is the perfect size for a phone.
2024 Mitsubishi ASX ES I Seats
2024 Mitsubishi ASX ES I Seats
In the back, there is a single map pocket and two cupholders but I would have liked to have seen at least one USB port, too.
As you might expect at this grade level, the amenities are very basic throughout the car. It takes a while for the air conditioning to hit the back row because of the one-zone climate control and lack of directional air vents back there. This is something my son reminds me of on hot days.
The technology matches the amenities with the 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system being super simple on graphics and options. It is responsive but basic to use.
The boot is a good size at 393L and you get a temporary spare tyre underneath the floor. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
There are two USB-A ports and a 12-volt for charging and it’s easy to connect to the wired Apple CarPlay. There is wired Android Auto for those users, too.
The instrument panel has a small digital screen that shows your trip information and average fuel usage but is otherwise analogue and easy to read. There is digital radio and Bluetooth connectivity but that’s it for the tech.
The boot is a good size at 393L and you get a temporary spare tyre underneath the floor. The load space is level and while the tailgate isn’t powered, it’s not a heavy lid to operate.
Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its engine and transmission? 7/10
The ES has a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine with a maximum power output of 110kW and 197Nm of torque. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
For manual enthusiasts, you can option a five-speed gearbox on the base GS model but I find the ES to be perfectly adequate to run about town in. And while it’s lacking a little in power, it has enough punch for open-road driving if need be.
Efficiency – What is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range? 6/10
The ES has an official combined cycle fuel economy figure of 7.7km/100km but my real-world usage came to 8.6L.
This is a disappointing figure considering how much open-road driving I do, so I would expect that figure to be higher in the city. Unfortunately, the ES isn’t as economical as I was hoping.
Based on a 7.7L/100km fuel cycle and the 63-litre fuel tank, expect to see a driving range of around 829km.
Driving – What's it like to drive? 7/10
I feel like I’ve gone back to basics with the ASX ES. I’m much more alert in it because it doesn’t have the same standard safety tech that I’m used to (more on that below) and it took me a few drives to stop throwing my keys into the cupholder because you need the key to turn on the ignition.
I've missed the good old-fashioned turning of a key. It’s a lot more satisfying than pressing a button.
It’s certainly compact with its 4365mm length and 1640mm height but that makes the ASX easy to park. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
Overall, the ES is an enjoyable little SUV to drive and there is enough power to allay any worries about whether it will make it up a hill.
The ES is solidly placed on the road and handles corners well but the steering is not exactly razor sharp and you have to make big adjustments. But you get used to that pretty quickly.
The ES is solidly placed on the road and handles corners well but the steering is not exactly razor sharp and you have to make big adjustments. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
In terms of ride comfort, the suspension is adequate for the smooth stuff but you’ll know it if you hit a bumpy road. The cabin noise also creeps up, which is annoying on a longer trip.
It’s certainly compact with its 4365mm length and 1640mm height but that makes the ASX easy to park. The sloping bonnet and relatively flat behind also make it easy to determine where the car starts and ends.
This is very handy because the reversing camera is a bit blurry and you miss out on front parking sensors at this grade level. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
This is very handy because the reversing camera is a bit blurry and you miss out on front parking sensors at this grade level.
Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating? 5/10
The ES has a basic safety package and it’s not until you’re in the higher grades that you enjoy items like rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure alert, or lane keeping assist.
The following safety features come as standard at this grade level, LED daytime running lights, forward collision warning, seat belt reminders, rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, dusk-sensing headlights and cruise control.
Models made after January 2023 are currently unrated by ANCAP but the previous ASX achieved a maximum five-star assessment back in 2014.
I’m not sure how relevant that is because it's unlikely this car would fare well with its current list of items against the updated ANCAP testing criteria.
It does have seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag but its rivals tend to have a few more safety features that come standard. The most similar rival would be the Suzuki Vitara S model.
If you need to fit a child seat or two (definitely not three), there are ISOFIX child seat mounts on the rear outboard seats and three top tethers across the rear row.
Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs? 9/10
The ASX comes with the ‘Diamond Advantage’ that Mitsubishi is well-known for and that means you’ll enjoy a 10-year, or up to 200,000km warranty, whichever occurs first.
What?! I know. Pretty great. In terms of duration, that’s much better than anything else on the market at the moment.
Worth noting, however, that a five-year/100,000km warranty is 'standard' and the 10-year cover only applies to cars serviced according to the factory schedule at an authorised Mitsubishi dealership.
If you do, you’ll also enjoy a 10-year or up to 150,000km capped-priced servicing plan.
And although the services average on the more expensive side for this class at $502 each, having those extra few years is a bonus.
Servicing intervals are reasonable at every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever occurs first.
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