Mitsubishi ASX review | compact SUV comparison test

30 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Mitsubishi ASX review | compact SUV comparison test
Mitsubishi ASX

Matt Campbell

Make Mitsubishi Model ASX Price From $31,990 plus on-road and dealer costs Std Transmission CVT auto Engine Size 2.0-litre 4-cyl Dimensions Length 4295mm, width 1770mm, height 1615mm Emissions 192g/km CO2 Fuel Consumption 8.1L/100km Power 110kW at 4000rpm Safety Equipment Seven airbags, stability control Torque 197Nm at 4200rpm

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There are three trim levels – base models are front-wheel-drive only, while mid- and top-end ASXs are all-wheel-drive. While we requested the mid-range AWD model, priced from $31,990 (plus on-road and dealer costs), a clerical issue meant we got behind the wheel of the front-wheel-drive base model auto ($28,490), which drives almost identically in most conditions.

The ASX is, in essence, a shrunken version of the Mitsubishi Outlander, with dramatically shortened front and rear overhangs. The result is the longest wheelbase (the space between front and rear wheels) in this group and, as such, it’s by far the most spacious small-wheel-drive on the market.

It is well equipped with a nice, uncomplicated feel to the cabin, though that simple layout may be bland to some tastes. There are plenty of quality materials, including soft-touch plastics, and the short gear lever adds a sporty touch.

The instrument cluster’s colour screen adds interest to the dash, while its audio system has iPod control and a USB input (both with track name read-out). It has an underwhelming speaker count of just four (top-end offerings get nine) and Bluetooth is standard on all-wheel-drive versions.

The front seats are comfortable but flattish, while the rear bench offers ample leg, head and shoulder space (buyers with rapidly growing teens, take note).

Storage for front-seat passengers is good, with five bottle- and cup-holders and a few storage nooks. Back-seat passengers miss out, though, with no door pockets or bottle-holders and only one seat-back pocket. The ASX only has two child-seat restraints – all other cars here have three.

Mitsubishi ASX

The boot is a good size, swallowing 416 litres with the rear seats in place and a whopping 1510 litres with the seats folded flat. It also features handy tie-down hooks and is the only car here with reversing sensors as standard on all-wheel-drive models (optional on the base model).

It gets along well, with a composed ride around town, only getting jittery over bigger inconsistencies. On rougher sections the suspension can feel firm, though, tending to bounce over bumps.

The ASX’s light steering makes it easy to manoeuvre, though more tenacious driving can discover the lower grip limits of its Dunlop tyres. Hitting bumpy sections can result in the steering wheel kicking back violently and the usually lively steering tends to lose its feel part-way through bends.

The ASX’s 2.0-litre engine offers robust response but feels unrefined, with vibrations transferred to the cabin at low revs, while becoming buzzy and loud at higher revs.

That engine buzziness is amplified by the ASX’s continuously variable transmission, which drones monotonously during hill climbs and under acceleration. The CVT is generally responsive and does its job well enough, though we did experience some clunking under sudden acceleration.

The ASX is one of the most economical here, with official fuel use of 8.1 litres per 100 kilometres (2WD 7.9L/100km).

Mitsubishi ASX
Mitsubishi ASX
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