It’s one of the oldest new cars in the Australian market, but does the Mitsubishi ASX small SUV still represent good value? Rob Margeit finds out.
- Affordable pricing in an ultra-competitive segment
- Good space in the second row
- 10-year warranty (with a caveat)
- Engine lacks a little punch…
- … and the CVT can feel a little lazy at times
- ANCAP safety rating has expired
If ever there were a modern automotive equivalent of Methuselah, it’s this, the 2024 Mitsubishi ASX.
First launched in 2010, the humble small SUV has benefited from updates throughout its life, but it still clings – doggedly – to its original generation.
Yes, this 2024 Mitsubishi ASX is still built on the foundations of that first generation that first graced dealerships an eternity ago in automotive terms.
While updates have kept the ASX – reasonably – fresh, both in appearance and in equipment levels, there seems to be no light at the end of a 13-year-long tunnel when it comes to a potential replacement.
The Japanese brand recently revealed a new ASX model for the European market. But it’s a rebadged Renault Captur (Mitsubishi is part of the ‘Alliance’ alongside Renault and Nissan), and there seems to be little desire to bring it to Australia.
Similarly, Mitsubishi’s new small SUV for the South-East Asian market, the 2024 Mitsubishi Xforce, is also unlikely to make its way to Australia.
“The XFC in its current form can’t be used because of the ANCAP requirements,” Mitsubishi Australia CEO Shaun Westcott told Australian media earlier this year.
“If we took that XFC platform we would have to re-engineer the entire car for the Australian market, because the requirements of [Australia’s independent safety assessor] ANCAP are not requirements in the other markets where we will sell that vehicle.”
He added bringing the Xforce into line with Australian Design Rules would require “many, many, many millions of dollars, to be able to sell 20,000 vehicles a year? The numbers just don’t stack up”.
What that leaves us with today is a popular small SUV that has been a huge seller for the brand in Australia, some 174,221 ASXs finding their way onto Aussie roads since 2010.
And while sales have slowly declined since their peak in 2019 when Mitsubishi sold just over 20,000 of the popular SUV, its value equation and updates have ensured it remains one of the more fancied vehicles in the segment.
To find out if this aging warrior still has what it takes, we grabbed one of the more affordable variants in the range, the second-from-bottom 2024 Mitsubishi ASX ES. How did it go? Let’s find out.
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How much does the Mitsubishi ASX cost in Australia?
The 2024 Mitsubishi ASX ES we have on test here is priced at $27,990 before on-road costs, or around $29,740 drive-away in NSW.
There are a couple of more affordable ASXs in the range – the ASX GS manual is priced from $24,490, while opting for the GS with an automatic transmission bumps the price up to $26,740, both prices before on-road costs – while at the upper end, the ASX GSR and Exceed models are priced at $32,740 and $35,240 respectively. Both of the latter are fitted with a more powerful 2.4-litre, four-cylinder petrol, while the rest of the range, including our ASX ES test car, are equipped with a smaller 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine.
The ASX ES’s equipment list isn’t overly brimming, but there’s enough included to not leave you feeling too bereft.
There’s an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a four-speaker sound system, LED headlights and daytime running lights, a rear-view camera, 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights up front, rain-sensing wipers, rear parking sensors, cloth seat trim, and climate-control air conditioning.
There’s also a smattering of safety technology, but it’s by no means comprehensive. More on this later.
In terms of rivals, there are a host of Japanese, Korean and Chinese contenders vying for buyers’ consideration. Taking the three most-popular models amongst buyers in 2023, the best-selling MG ZS gets underway at $23,990 drive-away, the Mazda CX-30 starts at $30,610 before on-road costs, while the GWM Haval Jolion wants for $28,490 drive-away. All sell more than the ASX in a segment Mitsubishi’s small SUV once dominated.
The ASX palette runs to seven hues. All command a premium bar solid white. Our test car was finished in Red Diamond, a premium colour, adding $940 to the bottom line.
All up, with paint, our test car rolled out of the showroom for $30,680 drive-away (in NSW).
|2024 Mitsubishi ASX ES
|$27,990 plus on-road costs
|Colour of test car
|Premium paint – $940
|Price as tested
|$28,930 plus on-road costs
|$30,680 (in NSW)
|MG ZS | Mazda CX-30 | GWM Haval Jolion
How much space does the Mitsubishi ASX have inside?
You won’t be overwhelmed with luxury when you step inside the 2024 Mitsubishi ASX ES.
Cloth seats and hard plastics are the order of the day, while a smidge of gloss black trim breaks up an otherwise pretty humble interior. A geometric print on the seats also helps lift the overall ambience.
The steering wheel is fashioned from polyurethane as is the gear selector. No ‘premium’ pretence here. Instead, the ASX’s cabin presents as utilitarian, an almost-no-frills zone that is perfectly serviceable and comfortable.
The seats are supportive enough, with manual adjustment, while the steering wheel can be moved for tilt and reach.
Don’t look for a starter button. There isn’t one. Instead, you’ll need to use your key the old-fashioned way by inserting it into the barrel and turning to start the ASX. Similarly, the handbrake is of the manual variety.
Storage options include the obligatory cupholders in the centre console, a little storage nook ahead of the gear selector, and a small but serviceable central storage bin with a padded lid.
This ES grade features climate-control air conditioning and helpfully those controls are operated via a series of dials – no messy menu structures buried inside touchscreens. More manufacturers should adopt this or, rather, revert to this. There are also dials for volume and tuning, decidedly 2010 technology.
The second row is surprisingly roomy for a small SUV with decent foot, knee and leg room as well as head room. But there is a distinct lack of meaningful storage, with only the fold-down armrest revealing a pair of cupholders. There are no door pockets to speak of, while only the passenger seat back features a map pocket.
Similarly, there are no air vents in the second row, nor are there any USB plugs for charging devices.
For those with little ones, the outboard seats are equipped with ISOFIX child seat mounts, while all three seat backs feature top-tether anchor points.
The boot measures in at a generous-for-the-class 393 litres, which is plentiful enough for the accoutrement of a young couple or a small family. It expands to 1193L with the second row stowed away in 60:40-split fashion. There are also a couple of small nooks for hiding smaller objects. A space-saver spare wheel and tyre live under the boot floor.
|2024 Mitsubishi ASX ES
|393L seats up
1193L seats folded
Does the Mitsubishi ASX have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?
An 8.0-inch touchscreen integrated into the dash hosts the ASX’s infotainment system. It’s a pretty basic set-up with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB+ digital radio and very little else.
And that’s just fine. Apple CarPlay connects effortlessly via a cable; a cable that also keeps your device charged up. There are two USB-A plugs up front as well as a 12V auxiliary plug inside the central storage bin.
Helpfully, there are a series of physical shortcut buttons at the bottom of the screen that bring up the simple menu structure, while traditional volume and tuning dials are a welcome throwback.
Similarly, the chunky dials for the ASX’s climate controls offer a simplicity of use that no amount of clever graphics on a touchscreen can replicate.
The instrument cluster also channels 2010 vibes, with two dials – one a tachometer, the other a speedometer – flanking a small digital screen that offers driving and trip data. Missing in action, though, is a digital speed readout, which is a little disappointing.
Is the Mitsubishi ASX a safe car?
The Mitsubishi ASX is currently unrated by Australia’s independent safety body ANCAP.
Its previous five-star safety score, based on 2014 testing, expired at the end of 2022. As ANCAP continuously updates and upgrades its testing procedures and criteria, it’s not possible to compare an older rating to a more recent one.
|2024 Mitsubishi ASX ES
|Unrated (expired 2022)
What safety technology does the Mitsubishi ASX have?
As a near-entry-level variant, the Mitsubishi ASX ES isn’t exactly overflowing with advanced driver assist systems. There’s autonomous emergency braking and lane-departure warning, but that’s pretty much it, other than the mandated traction control, anti-lock brakes and the like.
To get into an ASX with a more comprehensive suite of advanced systems, you’ll need to look at the next model up in the range, the ASX LS, which scores blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
The ASX’s airbag count runs to seven.
How much does the Mitsubishi ASX cost to maintain?
Mitsubishi covers the ASX with a 10-year/200,000km warranty, which is good in terms of duration and okay with regards to distance. But there’s fine print attached to that 10-year surety, with owners required to service their ASX at authorised Mitsubishi dealers for the duration. Fail to do so, and the warranty drops to five years and 100,000km.
Service intervals are every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first, and under Mitsubishi’s capped-price service guarantee will set you back $1097 over three years or $1895 over five. Things get a bit pricey after that, with 10 years of maintenance blowing out to $4890.
Comprehensive insurance runs to $1083 per annum based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.
|At a glance
|2024 Mitsubishi ASX ES
|10 years, 200,000km (if serviced at Mitsubishi dealership for the duration)
5 years, 100,000km (if not serviced through Mitsubishi)
|12 months or 15,000km
|$1097 (3 years)
$1895 (5 years)
Is the Mitsubishi ASX fuel-efficient?
Mitsubishi claims the ASX ES will use 7.6 litres per 100 kilometres of regular 91-octane unleaded on the combined cycle. Our week with the humble SUV returned an indicated 8.1L/100km achieved over a mix of urban and highway driving.
A day of purely urban, including plenty of snarling traffic, saw an indicated 10.1L/100km (against Mitsubishi’s claim of 9.5L) before returning back to low 8s following extended motorway running.
It’s not the most frugal on fuel for the segment, but it does come close to matching Mitsubishi’s claim.
The fuel tank measures in at 63L.
|Fuel cons. (claimed)
|Fuel cons. (on test)
|91-octane regular unleaded
|Fuel tank size
What is the Mitsubishi ASX like to drive?
Much like the interior is pretty humble, so too the driving experience can seem a little lacklustre.
Power comes from Mitsubishi’s venerable 2.0-litre naturally aspirated (non-turbo) four-cylinder petrol engine making 110kW and 197Nm. Sending those modest outputs to the front wheels is a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
While those engine outputs might seem petty meagre (and they are), around town in traffic, the ASX is perfectly fine at holding its own with the flow. The CVT transmission does exhibit some droning, especially when pushed a little harder, with a not-entirely pleasant noise that detracts from the overall experience.
Certainly, the ASX, thanks to its compact dimensions and relatively light 1384kg kerb weight, feels nimble in an urban environment and easy to park.
The suspension tune offers a mostly comfortable ride, absorbing most of the small stuff and some of the larger scars that mark our roads without too much fuss.
There is a tendency for the little SUV to wallow a bit over larger obstacles such as speed bumps, but for the most part, its on-road manners are fine.
It’s out on the highway where the ASX loses a little of its Diamond Red lustre. Merging onto a motorway can take a seeming eternity, the engine and CVT combination just not up to the task of providing quick acceleration from, say, 60km/h to 100km/h.
The CVT in particular makes a lot of noise but seemingly without much reward when it comes to momentum. It’s fine once you’re at cruising speed, the ASX perfectly happy to sit on 100 or 110km/h without too much trouble. Just don’t think you’ll be effecting any quick overtakes. Plan ahead, and plan carefully.
The ASX’s happy place is in an urban environment where not too much will be asked of it in terms of acceleration. Around the ‘burbs, the little non-turbocharged 2.0-litre is perfectly acceptable, if still feeling a little underwhelming, largely due to the CVT that just isn’t very refined. I can’t help but think a well-sorted torque converter automatic would be a far better proposition.
|2024 Mitsubishi ASX ES
|2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol
|110kW @ 6000rpm
|197Nm @ 4200rpm
|Continuously variable automatic transmission
|Spare tyre type
Should I buy a Mitsubishi ASX?
Buyers on a budget have long flocked to the Mitsubishi ASX. And for good reason. At the lower end of the range, the ASX is affordable, the right SUV shape without a huge footprint, and feels reasonable from behind the wheel, especially around town.
There’s a decently sized boot, and the second row is accommodatingly spacious for the segment.
Sure, it lacks some of the more modern advanced safety technologies, but for some buyers that might actually be a plus. And while the cabin is a little spartan in terms of creature comforts, there are enough basics catered for – such as smartphone mirroring – to stake its claim. Throw in Mitsubishi’s conditional 10-year warranty for extra peace of mind, and the ASX’s appeal to so many buyers is suddenly in sharp focus.
If your driving needs are predominantly urban and don’t extend to long-distance travelling on our nation’s highways, the Mitsubishi ASX is certainly worth considering.
How do I buy a Mitsubishi ASX – next steps?
The next steps on the purchase journey are to check the Mitsubishi Australia website for stock levels and your nearest dealership. You can also use the handy configurator to work out the final drive-away price on the model grade you’re considering.
In terms of recommending any one grade, the ASX ES we had here offers good value for a smart package. But we’d also recommend maybe checking out the entry-level GS with a manual gearbox or, for those looking for a little more in terms of equipment including safety tech, the next model up the range, the ASX LS, could fit the bill.
If you want to stay updated with everything that’s happened to this car since our review, you’ll find all the latest news here.