Mitsubishi ASX SUV
"The Mitsubishi ASX is a tough and practical small SUV but a recent facelift can't fully disguise its advancing years"
- Well equipped
- Offered with four-wheel drive
- Feels unsophisticated
- Thirsty petrol engine
- Rivals are better to drive
From a brand synonymous with big, rugged workhorses like the Shogun Sport and L200 pickup, the Mitsubishi ASX was a bit of a departure. It’s a small, family-friendly SUV that counts models like the Citroen C3 Aircross, Dacia Duster, Hyundai Kona and Renault Captur as rivals. Many buyers choose cars like these as an alternative to more conventional family hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.
The ASX was fairly forward-looking when it was launched but its second facelift comes as the model approaches its 10th birthday, and it still struggles to compete with newer rivals. Mitsubishi - which is now part of the Renault-Nissan alliance - is busy developing a new platform to spawn small SUVs but for now it has to make do with its existing hardware.
Styling-wise, everything ahead of the windscreen is new and there's a new rear bumper and LED lights. The bold front end certainly looks different to before, and has been designed to link the ASX with the new L200, with bold lines, square wheelarches and a clamshell bonnet.
The ASX isn't short of physical appeal: it looks good, especially in higher-spec trims, and most models are attractively priced. Plenty of its rivals offer a more pleasant driving experience, though, with nicer interiors and engines that are both more powerful and cheaper to run.
The ASX is available with just one petrol engine. It feels a little underpowered so you have to work it quite hard and that undermines its fuel economy. It’s available with front or four-wheel drive and the option of a five-speed manual or CVT automatic gearbox. We suspect a six-speed manual gearbox would improve fuel economy, and a lot of rivals like the Ford Puma now use a six-speed as standard.
The ASX has soft suspension that does a pretty good job of ironing out rutted tarmac and potholes, but leans when cornering at speed. The SEAT Arona is a better choice if driving excitement is on your priority list.
Interior quality has improved during the ASX’s time on sale, but it still feels dated compared to rivals. Its technology, design and materials aren’t up to the standard of contemporaries.
The Mitsubishi ASX range couldn't be more simple, with Dynamic and Exceed trim levels. It's well equipped, with heated front seats, climate control and infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Outside, 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, LED daytime running lights and privacy glass lend distinction.
Mitsubishi cars have a long-held reputation for toughness, and the brand came 16th place out of 30 manufacturers in our 2020 Driver Power satisfaction survey - not a bad result considering Mitsubishi is quite a small company. There's a generous five-year/62,500-mile warranty on every ASX sold in the UK.