The Mitsubishi ASX is another one of those city SUV’s churned out at a phenomenal rate by just about all manufactures. The hugely popular segment continues to go ballistic, and while that remains the case there’ll be no end to the trend. The Mitsubishi ASX is a common sight on our roads, and it’s just returned from a visit to the cosmetic surgeon. I’ve spent two weeks in the newly trim, taught and terrific ASX.

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The 10 Minute Test Drive

The latest generation ASX was an adequately attractive car. But now a mix of simple yet effective styling improvements have glammed up something that was aging faster than Julian Assange. Standard additions including Daytime Running Lamps (DRLs), privacy glass, black roof rails, fresh 17-inch wheels and chrome bits and pieces inside and out reignite the ASX’s appeal.

Inside is largely untouched, with the exception of a gloss black centre panel and black floor console garnish. It has that typical Mitsubishi feel about it, sub-premium but far from disappointing.

photo 3 (3)The ASX is available in LS or XLS spec with the latter replacing the “Aspire” nameplate. The centrepiece of the cabin is either the 6.1” QVGA full colour touch-screen or the Mitsubishi Multi Communication System (MMCS) which shines brightly via a 7” colour touchscreen which gains satellite navigation and SD Card input.

Comfort wise there’s little difference between the cloth trim of the LS or the leather-bound seats of the XLS. They’re not the most supportive pews around, really only suitable for zipping around the urban world. Long haul trips may produce symptoms that mimic bed sores.

I tested the five-speed manual petrol model which was easy enough to live with, providing just enough zip when pushed. The six-speed automatic diesel as with most diesels these days is the vastly superior option. It’s faster and far less taxing when looking for some extra zing.

The ASX sports a stable, solid feel on road. The 15MY version makes some claims about better noise insulation, ride comfort and handling. I’ll say that it never felt overly noisy, uncomfortable or ungainly. However as you’d expect the centre of gravity does feel a tad high, the steering is a little woolly and it’s far from whisper quite.

Ins And Outs

Two engines are on offer, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine offering 110kW@ 6,000rpm with 197Nm. Along with a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-charged intercooled diesel engine with 110kW @ 3,500 rpm and 360Nm @ 1,500 – 2,750rpm.  Depending on what model or engine combination you run with you can elect for a Manual, Continuously Variable or Automatic Transmission.

ASX 2As with most compact SUV’s the range is available with 2WD and 4WD. The latter allows for manual switching between 2WD, 4WD or 4WD lock. Lock mode sends more torque to the rear wheels. You may even be able traverse a small puddle – with mud in it.

The list of standard features is a little vanilla going by todays expectations, but still impressive enough. You get climate control, cruise control, central door locking with keyless entry, power windows and exterior mirrors that fold when parked, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio / phone / cruise controls, leather bound gearshift, chrome interior door handles and 60/40-split fold and recline rear seats.

The XLS is dolled up with leather interior seat trim, Smart Key entry and push button start, automatic rain sensing wipers, automatic dusk sensing headlights, auto-dimming rear vison mirror, power driver’s seat, heated front seats and a panoramic roof with a fully sick orange LED lighting strip.

There’s no scrimping on safety with airbags all-round including one for the driver’s knees and an all-important standard reversing camera.

Hip Pocket

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One of the really appealing assets of the ASX is its minimal appetite for gasoline or diesel. I average 7.4L/100km in the 2WD LS manual petrol model and a measly 5.9L/100km for the AWD XLS automatic diesel. Mitsubishi claim 7.6L and 5.8L respectively.

Mitsubishi provide a five-year warranty albeit capped at 100,000km. Here is the current MRRP listing

  • ASX LS 2WD 2.0-litre petrol – $24,990 (MT), $26,990 (CVT)
  • ASX LS 4WD 2.2-litre diesel – $31,990 (AT)
  • ASX XLS 2WD 2.0-litre petrol – $31,490 (CVT)
  • ASX XLS 4WD 2.2-litre diesel – $36,490 (AT)

Bragging Rights.

The ASX is not the most desirable compact SUV on the market, it melts into the daily traffic grind rather than stage a showy parade through the neighbourhood. But hey it now has sparkly LED lights up front that kind of look cool.

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EFTM Rubber Stamp

The Mitsubishi ASX represents good core values that will appeal to those who baulk at some of the overbearing tech that many of today’s creations are beset by. It scores the EFTM Pass Rubber Stamp of Approval.

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