MITSUBISHI ASX 2WD REVIEW
Vehicle style: Compact SUV
Engine: 2.0 litre petrol inline four
Outputs: 110kW / 197Nm
Transmission: Five speed manual
Official fuel efficiency: 7.7 L/100km
On test fuel efficiency: 9.0 L/100km
CO2 emissions: 181g/km
Mitsubishi's new ASX is the baby brother to the popular Outlander SUV (with which it shares its platform).
Marketed as a versatile urban compact ‘crossover’, and available in both all-wheel-drive and front-wheel drive configurations, the 2WD tested here combines SUV style and practicality with a conventional hatchback drive-train.
- Quality: The ASX's dash pad is trimmed in a nicely textured black plastic; steering wheel and gearknob are finished in smooth leather. All cabin fittings are solid and well-finished and free of rattles.
- Comfort: The front seats offer decent support, and legroom and headroom is good. The rear bench is similarly spacious, although the ASX's narrow width is a bit tight for three adults abreast.
- Equipment: The base ASX 2WD is fitted with 16-inch alloys, four-speaker stereo with USB input and iPod compatibility, cruise control, power windows, power mirrors and climate control.
- Storage: At 416 litres, the boot has enough room for a pram and the weekly shopping. Boot space expands to 1193 litres with rear seats folded flat.
ON THE ROAD
- Driveability: The 2.0 petrol requires plenty of revs when merging onto highways, but despite its lowish output, the ASX doesn't feel underpowered. The five-speed manual has a smooth shifter and a light clutch, but could use another gear to make the most of the 2.0 litre's power.
The ASX's rising beltline can impede over-the-shoulder vision, but the large wing mirrors compensate. It is easy to manoeuvre around town with a tight 10.6 metre turning circle.
- Refinement: There is some wind noise from the large wing mirrors, however the ASX is generally quite well-isolated at speed. The higher-profile rubber of the base model helps give a quiet, smooth ride.
- Suspension: Independently sprung at all four corners, the ASX has a soft higway ride but can be slightly fidgety on choppy suburban tarmac.
- Braking: There are disc brakes at each corner. Braking is smooth and without the ‘grabbiness’ of some European crossovers.
- ANCAP rating: 5 Stars
- Safety features: The ASX has seven airbags (front, front side, driver's knee and curtain), three-point seatbelts, ABS, EBD, brake assist, traction control and stability control as standard.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
- Warranty: 5 year/130,000km vehicle warranty, and a 10 year/160,000km powertrain warranty.
- Service costs: Service costs are capped for the first 60,000km. Each 15,000km/12 month service costs $195.
HOW IT COMPARES | VALUE FOR MONEY
- Nissan Dualis ST ($24,990) - Currently the best-value compact SUV in terms of size and spec, the Dualis nevertheless is a little underpowered and has a tighter rear cabin than the ASX.
- Suzuki SX4 4WD ($23,490) - Suzuki's SX4 may be the smallest in this bunch, but it's also the cheapest and packs AWD to boot. Niceties like keyless ignition help offset the Suzuki's smaller cabin.
- Toyota RAV4 CV 2WD ($28,990) - The RAV4 feels the biggest both inside and out, and its 2.4 litre 125kW/224Nm petrol engine is most powerful of this group. The downside? It's expensive.
- Hyundai ix35 Active ($26,990) - The MY2011 ix35 Active offers a high level of standard equipment, but the ride is harsh and rearward vision compromised by its edgy design.
Note: prices are Manufacturer's List Price and do not include on-road costs.
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
The compact SUV segment is a crowded one, and covers a broad spectrum from 'budget' to 'premium'. Mitsubishi's ASX 2WD is priced at the budget end, but it doesn't feel cheap.
It drives well, has plenty of space for a young family and is also backed by a very competitive warranty. The styling may be a bit aggressive for some, but the ASX provides an enticing alternative to the Dualis and ix35.