ASX 3 1.6 Diesel, 2WD, Review
- Model spec: Mitsubishi ASX 3, 6-speed Manual
- Price: £20349
- Engine: 1.6-L, 4-cyl, Turbo-diesel,
- Max Speed: 113
- 0-60: 11.2 seconds
- BHP/Torque: 112 / 270
- Economy: 58mpg combined
- C02: 119g/km
- Tax: 30/year
The SUV… every manufacture worth its weight in gold is building an SUV from Alfa Romeo to Aston Martin… why? because of changing consumer preferences you, yes you, are buying more of them. Many years ago few car companies had a finger in the SUV pie now every other manufacture wants to eat the same pie but is it going to be a recipe for success? Mitsubishi are SUV specialists these days, have been for many years. These days the SUV sector is one of the most profitable be in right now. This has led to an automotive goldrush with the likes of Audi and Toyota entering the arena and in the process this has led to a new level of competition. The ASX used to have a nice slice of the compact SUV pie but can it continue to feast as well as it used to?
The ASX comes in five trim levels and is available with three engines a 1.6-litre petrol and two diesel engines ranging from a 1.6-ltre turbo diesel to a 2.2-litre turbodiesel. Prices start from £15k for the entry level ASX2 and range up to £26K for the ASX 5.
Equipment levels for entry models are good the ASX 2 rides on 16-inch alloy wheels and offers privacy glass, daytime running lights, keyless entry, steering mounted audio controls, Bluetooth but no touchscreen interface. Obviously the higher up the trim level you go the more you get, inevitably the more you pay, folks you know how it works by now.
The current third generation ASX has been around since 2010, 2017 ushered in a minor facelift with the design styling pertained to the front end. To that end the front bumpers receive a refreshed design, revised grile and chrome trim surround in addition to additional kit such as Climate control, cruise control, heated front seats, a six-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio and a reversing camera.
That said the interior has seen minor upgrades over the years such as a scattering of piano black inserts here and there but not enough to raise perceived quality above it’s direct competitors like the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Yeti and Hundai Tucson.
The ASX interior quality is OK soft touch for the dash pretty much hard plastics for the rest, lets just say premium-utilitarian. Up front there is plenty of space for the average height adult and while the rear passenger space isn’t spacious it is just about liveable, its what you expect to get with a compact SUV.
Standard boot space of 442-litres is good to go and with folding rear seats you can get a usefully expansive 1,193-litres. With the 1.6-litre diesel the ASX 3 isn’t well damped in terms of sound insulation but again it’s OK. It’s liveable.
On the road the ride appears to be firm while the suspension is sprung on a slightly soft setting which means it doesn’t crash around town at low speed and on the high speed it feels stable and comfortable although the electronic steering felt a little fidgety at cruising speed.
Handling is another matter, the ASX tends to wallow through the corners and change of direction is a little bit ungainly.That said the ASX was a useful companion when covering long journeys although that electronic steering….
The 1.6-litre diesel is more frugal than the 2.2-litre diesel simply because it carries less weight and therefore is more efficient. And because it is smaller it lacks the torque of the bigger 2.2-litre diesel, whereas the latter has a surge of power at your disposal the 1.6-litre diesel needs a little extra persuasion.
While the 1.6-litre diesel isn’t brisk in terms of performance it still has enough of torque, more than enough, for the average driver.
The best aspect of the ASX was the 6-speed manual gearbox, the action was precise and had a reassuring mechanical heft. And if you stick with the 2WD and six-speed manual over the 4WD and auto you will get a combined economy nearing 60mpg.
So overall the ASX is OK, it isn’t brilliant because competition from the likes of the Kia Sportage offer far better interior quality, conversely the shift up in quality means that SUV ownership becomes more expensive. The ASX doesn’t hit you as hard in the wallet to buy, long term is debatable.
The ASX feels more hard wearing indeed it is the ‘hard-hat’ of SUV’s in this category. Nevertheless it’s well screwed together, no rattles no squeaks and for now is relatively cheaper than its rivals, it may be understated but don’t rule out the ASX just yet.