Mitsubishi ASX Review

The Mitsubishi ASX is a compact SUV that is, well, a little bit boring – something that matters in a class full of funky rivals such as the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008 and Honda HR-V.

4/10
Wowscore

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Low running costs
  • Roomy interior
  • Decent levels of kit

What's not so good

  • Not game changing
  • Not very stylish
  • Plasticky interior

What do you want to read about Mitsubishi ASX?

Overall verdict

Four-wheel drive is available with most engines

The Mitsubishi ASX is a compact SUV that is, well, a little bit boring – something that matters in a class full of funky rivals such as the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008 and Honda HR-V.

Sadly, the 2016 facelift will do little to endear the Mitsubishi ASX to the young and hip. The new ‘Dynamic Shield’ front grille shape is different, but whether it’s an improvement of old chrome-surround design is very much up for debate.

Keeping things consistent, the dashboard design lacks flair but a new ‘shark fin’ aerial means Radio 4 should rarely fall from the stereo’s reach. Interior improvements are limited to revised upholstery and re-cushioned seats. That said, there’s plenty of space for four adults, room to stretch out in the back and the boot is among the largest in class.

The biggest surprise is that the Mitsubishi ASX drives way better than it looks, relatively speaking. The steering is meaty and body control is pretty decent, too. It’s not as cosseting as the Nissan Qashqai but copes well with most bumps and poor road surfaces.

And it’s on the latter of those two that the Mitsubishi ASX shines – offering genuine off-road potential that eclipses all its aforementioned rivals, especially when it’s paired with four-wheel drive and the torquey 2.2-litre diesel engine. The 1.6-litre petrol motor is better suited to the city and only comes fitted with two-wheel drive to cement that view.

Equipment levels are good with basic models, called ASX 2, having the bare necessities such as air-con and phone connectivity as standard. Mid-range ASX 4 models represent the best value, adding attractive extras such as a leather interior and sat-nav.

A capable all-rounder that is let down by a marginal infotainment system and lack of personality

Mat Watson
carwow expert

The Mitsubishi ASX is a fine car that doesn’t change the rules one iota. If you’re after a no-nonsense practical family SUV with loads of standard equipment then it’s fairly easy to recommend.

However, so are its rivals, which also feel more car-like to drive, offer better engine options and interiors that are a few steps ahead in terms of design and technology.

What's it like inside?

large glove compartment and two central cubbies provide plenty of storage space for your bits and bobs

Good build quality is at odds with uninspiring and slightly dated design.

It’s well put together but it’s a bit boring

Mat Watson
carwow expert

How practical is it?

For a compact SUV, the ASX is pretty roomy

The Mitsubishi ASX has one of the biggest boots out of all the smallish SUVs, and it backs that up by allowing four adults to stretch out with ease. It’s a bit cramped for carrying five, but fine for shorter journeys

Boxy, family-based SUV is rather practical. Who’d have thunk it?

Mat Watson
carwow expert
Boot (seats up)
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Boot (seats down)
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For a compact SUV the Mitsubishi ASX is quite roomy – passengers get plenty of head and legroom. Rear-seat occupants have the added benefit of being able to stretch their legs under the front seats, but the middle seat is too narrow to be comfortable over a long period of time for a fifth passenger.

Inside, a large glove compartment and two central cubbies provide plenty of storage space for your bits and bobs

The front door pockets can each hold a 500ml bottle and there are three cup-holders between the front seats. The whole point of a crossover is improved practicality, and the Mitsubishi ASX does fairly well overall in this respect, although rivals are getting better all the time.

The Mitsubishi ASX might not have the practicality of some rivals such as the Honda HR-V, but storage areas inside are decently thought out. The front door pockets can only hold a 500ml bottle, but you have three more cupholders in the centre console. The large glovebox and the two central cubbies should have no problems swallowing phones.

The ASX’s boot is reasonably big at 416 litres with the seats up and the low lip eases the loading of heavy items. With the seats down, space rises to 1,193 litres which is 42 litres down on the Renault Captur at maximum capacity. There’s also a false boot floor that hides a surprisingly deep 30-litre cubby and a ski hatch in the middle rear seatback that you can feed longer items through.

Read full interior review

What's it like to drive?

The ASX is a no-nonsense family SUV

Not too interesting to drive, but the ASX has a comfortable ride

As comfy cruisers go in this class, the Mitsubishi ASX is a firm bet.

The cosseting ride won't suit boy racers, but it’s perfect for family transport

Mat Watson
carwow expert

There’s one petrol and two diesels to choose from when you buy a Mitsubishi ASX and it’s best to stick to the latter. There is a choice between a six-speed manual or an automatic that delivers precise and decisive gear shifts.

Mitsubishi’s Intelligent Motion is fitted to all models. It’s unobtrusive and bundles together stop-start, regenerative braking, electric power steering, a clever alternator that only works when it’s needed, power-saving LED tail lights and low rolling resistance tyres to save fuel.

The 1.6-litre petrol engine is slow, thirsty and best avoided – it’s outshone by smaller, more modern units in the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008. It sits at high revs on the motorway, so matching the claimed combined fuel consumption figure of 48mpg is difficult and CO2 emissions of 135g/km, which is more than its rivals.

The 115hp 1.6-litre diesel is the one to go for. It has enough pulling power at low speeds and isn’t bad on fuel – returning 61mpg and CO2 emissions of 119g/km.

The 148hp 2.2-litre engine is claimed to get 49mpg, which is decent for the size of the engine, but not class leading by a long shot. The most powerful diesel Renault Kadjar averages 58mpg.

Unlike many of the latest small SUVs, which sometimes have sporty and firm rides, the Mitsubishi ASX is much softer and inevitably, rolls heavily in corners as a result.

Push in corners and you’ll find the Mitsubishi ASX has more grip than the squealing tyres might lead you to believe, but it isn’t an involving drive – a benefit or a drawback, depending on whether you want a car that’s actually rewarding to drive quickly.

Four-wheel drive is available on most engines – it’s a selectable system, meaning it sends power to the front until you flick the switch to 4WD. There’s no trick traction control system like in the Peugeot 2008 – although it won’t get you as far as the Mitsubishi’s system – and running costs take a substantial hit, so owners are advised to stick to the front-wheel-drive version unless they have a genuine need to go off-road.

Read about prices & specifications
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