Is a subtle facelift enough to make Mitsubishi’s ASX stand out from the crowd in the competitive SUV market asks Hannah Gordon
What is it? The Mitsubishi ASX has been around since 2010 and it has now had a small facelift which aims to keep it competitive in the small SUV market.
Who is it aimed at ? A small family would have plenty of room and also with Mitsubishi’s well known four-wheel drive capabilities the ASX is a decent off-roader without having to purchase the huge Shogun.
Styling? Small tweeks can be seen at the front of the ASX with the ‘Dynamic Shield’ styling which shows the front bumper intrude into the much broader blacked out front grille, there are also new fog light surrounds. The rest of the ASX styling is unchanged but you do get 16” alloys as standard. The highest trim level ‘5’ benefits from 18” alloys, HID ‘wide vision’ Xenon headlights, black wheel arch garnishes and Panoramic glass roof.
Under the bonnet? There are three engine choices available for the ASX, one petrol and two diesel. The 2.2 diesel option is only available with four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox. The 2.2 diesel has 147 BHP and is a large engine for a relatively small crossover so acceleration is good. The engine noise does however vibrate through the cabin which does slightly ruin comfort and refinement, more sound deadening between engine compartment and cabin is definitely needed. The automatic 6 speed gearbox is ok, but doesn’t feel as smooth as the competition . The 1.6 diesel would be the pick of the engines and is available in two-wheel and four-wheel drive.
What about inside? The familiar 7 inch touch screen entertainment package comes as standard in the top spec model which includes DAB radio, CD player and a reversing camera. The dash is simply set out with gloss black trimmings and a suitable driving position can be mastered quickly through steering wheel and seat adjustments. The interior feels well put together, but don’t expect it to take your breath away, the interior is more functional than pretty. The boot space is a decent size at 442 litres and there is also a hidden 26 litres under the boot floor. The facelift ASX hasn’t benefitted from many interior tweeks apart from improved upholstery for comfort.
On the road? The Mitsubishi ASX is a sports crossover built on the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo platform, and there lies a bit of a problem, the ride is harsh and uncomfortable unless driving on smooth roads. The suspension is unforgiving and this means that the ASX doesn’t ride as well as its competitors, add to that larger option wheels and it can make a family journey into a bit of a roller coaster ride. The ride quality does let the ASX down, but you can be sure that its off-road qualities are one of its benefits over rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai.
Safety? The ASX received top marks of five stars in its Euro NCAP score, it also comes with 7 airbags as standard. And the safety features don’t end there, there is also traction control, hill start assist, ABS and brake assist fitted to the ASX. The ASX also features the RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) philosophy that helps protect the passenger department in an accident. Mitsubishi combined traction and stability programme (M-ATSC) is fitted as standard.
Will it break the bank? The test car with its 2.2 diesel gave a respectable MPG, the official figure by Mitsubishi is 48.7 mpg combined, the automatic also gives CO2 readings of 152 g/km which equates to a first year tax rate of £500 and reverts to £140 per year thereafter. By far the best value for money engine is the 1.6 diesel manual that emits just 119 g/km and a mpg figure of 56.5. Mitsubishi also offer a 5 year/62,500 miles warranty which is more than some other manufacturers.
So the verdict? The new facelift ASX hasn’t really changed much apart from the upgraded front end and better seats, it seems a small way to go for an SUV that hasn’t made a massive impact on the market that is so hotly contested between makes such as Nissan and Seat. It feels like a small freshen up for the ASX whilst Mitsubishi await for the new range of SUV’s rumoured to be arriving in 2019, this will see the current model ASX removed, whether the ASX name will continue remains to be seen.
Why you’ll buy one? Economical, Safe, Off road ability
Why you won’t? Dull, harsh ride
Mitsubishi ASX 5 Diesel AUTO 4WD
Engine: 2268cc 16v DOHC Turbodiesel
Max speed: 118 mph
0-62 mph: 10.8 seconds
Emissions: 152 g/km
Model price range: from £28,905
No of Doors: 5
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 48.7 mpg
Boot Space: 442 litres
Length: 4295 mm
Width: 1810 mm
Height: 1635 mm
Wheelbase: 2670 mm
12th December, 2017