The third generation of the Mitsubishi ASX has been in production since 2010 and the company is getting ready to introduce its replacement, which was recently previewed by the XR-PHEV Concept, during the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.
Engine and Transmission
The model we tested was powered by a 2.2-liter (2,268 cc) diesel engine, mated to an automatic 6-speed transmission, sending power to the permanent all-wheel drive. The total output produced by the unit stands at 150 HP (110 kW), at 3,500 rpm and the peak torque is 360 Nm, available at between 1,500 and 2,750 rpm. The official performance figures are 10,8s, for the 0 to 100 km/h sprint and 190 km/h top speed.
This may seem like enough for what is supposed to be a “C-segment” crossover and it really is, the performance is normal in city driving and it will allow you to tackle on a steep road in the mountains. However, you may want to drop the automatic transmission in favor of a manual because, even if you hate manually shifting into gears all the time, you will eventually thank us, because this is one of the worst I have ever driven.
The 6-speed automatic transmission will often forget its job and it will ask itself “Am I a cup holder? Do I have something to do with the automatic wipers? Am I an air vent?” and when it will suddenly remember its job, it will start responding to the commands. In plain simple English, my opinion is that it’s suffering from Alzheimer and this disease can’t be cured on steep roads, whether you’re going up or down.
The Mitsubishi ASX can be named just about anything but economical and even if the carmaker has given us official fuel consumption figures like the 5.1 / 7.1 / 5.8L every 100 km, the reality is different. To obtain 5.1L / 100km on the highway would be close to impossible and even if you get close to that figure, you can’t maintain it, because that would mean ignoring every other car behind you. Our fuel consumption figures stood at approximately 6.5 / 8.3 and close to 10 L / 100 km and this has a lot to do with the 6-speed automatic transmission and with the fact that this is a permanent all-wheel drive vehicle. Keep in mind that we have chosen the Eco mode for the consumption test and the AC was permanently off, considering the fact that the outside temperature, at the time of the test, stood at 18-22 degrees Celsius. Nissan is offering a selectable mode, on the Qashqai, between 2WD and 4WD and you even get a Lock setting and is can be seen clearly in its fuel consumption, and keep in mind that I’m not talking about the new generation.
The Mitsubishi ASX is a surprisingly comfortable vehicle. Even if it has its downs when it comes to the transmission and fuel consumption, you may eventually come to enjoy it because its springs are soft, the seats are comfortable, the steering is good, the brakes are even better and the overall feel will make you feel like you can tackle a dirt road as well as a vehicle with a low-range gearbox. But I wouldn’t bet my money on it.
The cabin of the Mitsubishi ASX has a premium feel. It looks way better than the one of the competition, and considering the fact that I appreciate the Nissan Qashqai, which i’ve tested here, here and here I will stick to this crossover, as a main rival. For instance, the materials used on the dashboard seem to have a better quality than the one Nissan is using, the seats are more comfortable, the driving position is close to perfection for its ride height, every button is where you think it would be, except for the seat heaters, which, for some reason, have been placed near the handbrake lever.
The Japanese carmaker is offering a Rockford Fosgate sound system, with a small subwoofer fitted in the trunk, which most Outlander owners know that it is quite good to satisfy your music needs, whether you’re a fan of Justin Bieber or you simply like The Beatles. The company is offering an infotainment system too, with a touch screen, a multi-function steering wheel, paddle shifters for the automatic version, which are useless on any vehicle which isn’t rear-wheel drive made with racing thoughts by the engineers, a comfortable armrest and a conservative design which, hopefully, Mitsubishi will try to keep for the next generation. The legroom and headroom is enough in the rear even for those of you who need special clothes, so you won’t have to worry about this chapter.
Likes / Dislikes
The “Dislikes” part is quite small and besides the automatic transmission, the permanent all-wheel drive, which should have a selectable mode to offer you a 2WD option too, and the differences between the official fuel consumption figures and the real ones, we don’t have anything else to complain about. The “Likes” chapter includes its looks, even if it’s not a new vehicle anymore, and a big like goes to the interior design and the materials used in the cabin. I also like the fact that Mitsubishi knows how to offer a premium sound system with a subwoofer and I like the fact that, just like its main competitor, it does have a full-length panoramic sunroof which has been fitted, along its sides, with an LED strip, with a cool orange color, which is visible at night but it can also be turned off, or adjusted, at the touch of a button.
When it was tested by Euro NCAP back in 2011, the ASX achieved a maximum 5-star safety rating, with 86 percent in Adult Occupant, 78 percent in Child Occupant, 60 percent in Pedestrian Safety and 71 percent in Safety Assist. The model tested was a 2WD 1.8d version.
Price (current offer in Romania)
Cheapest version – 14,608 EUR (VAT included)
Tested vehicle – 31,212 EUR (VAT included)