The ASX is Mitsubishi’s entry into the compact crossover market in which they believe that it will target the style conscious family buyer who wants to upgrade from a C-segment hatchback to a compact SUV. Thing is, there’s a lot of competition in that particular market with the likes of the Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage, Skoda Yeti, Hyundai ix35, Suzuki S-Cross and the Nissan Qashqai. Have Mitsubishi hit the nail on the head?
On the road
If you looking for a sporty AWD with little roll, the ASX isn’t for you as I found the ride a bit boingy (technical term). I’ve already commented on the comfy seats, what I didn’t mention is that because they don’t have much in the way of side bolster, I wouldn’t go throwing the ASX around corners as they don’t hold you in place much. That said, when enjoying the delights of an empty country road, the ASX does well at keeping itself under control and the brakes provide decent stopping power without any drama.
I wouldn’t say the 2.2ltr diesel is the quietest on the market, but it’s smooth and flexible when you need it to be. The 6-speed automatic ‘box wasn’t bad either and had the right gears at the right time with seamless gear changes. If you fancy more control you have the option to use the standard-fit flappy paddles which proved fun to use.I did find the steering a tad too light for my liking, but I’m used to an old Land Rover Discovery and Mrs Turner said I was being too picky, so we’ll leave that up to individual owners to decide.
Off the road
The ASX’s default setting is front-wheel drive, and pressing the 4WD button that sits beside the handbrake you find yourself with up to 30% of power to the back axle. Press the button again and the centre diff is locked giving equal power to the front and rear.
In the photos you’ll see the ASX on 3 wheels, this was without pressing the 4WD button, in fact even balancing the ASX on its two opposing wheels, stopping, then driving off again proved that it’s capable of getting out of tricky off road predicaments in front wheel drive! Chuck some mud terrains on it and I bet it’ll surprise a lot of hard core off roaders.
Jumping behind the wheel for the first time you notice that the cabin is quite spacious, this of course is helped by the panoramic roof. The controls and dials are straight forward and clear with the rest of the dash being minimalistic. I did find the interior colour scheme of black and grey to be a bit boring, but when you’re driving that obviously isn’t something you’re concerned about. There’s a fair amount of storage up front for bits and pieces with cup holders and door bins, but not a lot in the back except for cup holders.
Personally I found the front seats quite short and narrow for my backside, although they were both quite springy and supportive, overall very comfy, even on 3 hour journeys. There’s plenty of room in the back for long legged passengers too, which is always a welcome plus. And with 445 litres (including underfloor storage), and 1193 with the seats folded down, the ASX has a good-sized boot, to boot!
Engines ‘n’ transmissions
There’s a choice of three Euro compliant engines for the 2015 ASX, a 1.6 petrol (115bhp and 47.1mpg combined), a 1.8 turbo diesel (114bhp and 56.5mpg combined, 54.3 for the 4wd version), and the 2.2 16v DOHC that comes straight from the Outlander (147bhp and 48.7mpg combined). Although the 1.6 petrol comes with a 5 speed manual, it’s the diesel that gets the 6 speed manual, autos are available throughout the range.
Safety Stuff ‘n’ Equipment
There’s quite a bit of kit that comes standard with the ASX, Active Stability Control, traction Control, Hill Start Assist, Brake Assist, and a Tyre Monitoring system. There are three trim levels with the ASX: 2, 3 and 4. The entry level 2 comes with alloys, air conditioning, Active Stability and Traction Control, remote keyless entry and seven air bags. The ASX 3 adds 17” alloys, climate, keyless operation and heated front seats and steering wheel amongst others. With the ASX 4 you get DAB, Bluetooth, leather, Sat Nav, a reversing camera and a panoramic sunroof with LED mood lighting!
The ASX is a safe choice earning itself the full five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash testing.
Priced from £14,999 for the ASX2 1.6ltr petrol to £24,649 for the ASX 4, 2.2ltr diesel 4wd, which is quite competitive.
Service intervals for the petrol and 1.8 diesel are 12,500 miles / 12 months, but only every 9000 miles / 12 months for the 2.2 diesel. Whilst I’m on the subject of dealerships, they don’t appear to be that that common, I had a 40 mile round trip to my nearest Mitsubishi dealer for a torn windscreen wiper on the Shogun the week previous. Although I didn’t do my own numbers, the official combined figure of nearly 49mpg for the 2.2 diesel coupled to the 6 speed auto ‘box isn’t too shabby.
The ASX 4 has a lot of the bells and whistles that you may expect these days, though we reckon that opting for one of the entry level versions is a good idea as they’re a lot cheaper to buy, and run, than a lot of its competitors.
Overall I thought the ASX was a good car and I enjoyed our week together. Of course it has a few niggles, all cars do, some can be down to the design, like when driving alone the front passenger seat belt taps against the hard plastic pillar which was annoying, I ended up fastening it. Then there are personal niggles like the front seats being too small for my wide arse! In the end I think Mitsubishi have designed the ASX with toughness in mind, family proof let’s say, and whichever level you buy, we at The Mud Life reckon that you’ll be rewarded with a durable, reliable and competent car.