Reviewed for you: 2020 Mitsubishi ASX
What’s the price and what do you get?
The base ES manual now starts from $23,990 plus on-road costs and comes equipped with AEB, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control, DAB digital radio, a reverse camera, Bluetooth connectivity, electric folding mirrors and 18-inch alloys.
The automatic-equipped ES that’s aimed mainly at fleet buyers costs $25,990, or $2500 extra with the ADAS (safety pack). That pack includes lane departure warning, lane change assist, blind-spot warning, reverse sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, auto high beam, front fog lights, rain-sensing wipers and dusk-sensing headlights.
A sportier MR trim costs $27,490 and is tricked up with a blackened grille, alloys and mirrors, keyless entry, push-button start, privacy glass, and red leather stitching for the wheel, gear lever and hand brake, and aluminium pedals.
The mid-range LS costs $28,490 and the Exceed $32,990, rocking equipment such as sat-nav and a Rockford Fosgate nine-speaker audio system. These are the pick for buyers who want all of the bells and whistles while still keeping pricing competitive.
What’s the interior like?
The interior is simple and equipped with everything you need for comfortable commuting, including that large 8.0-inch touchscreen in the centre dash. The addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is very useful for quickly connecting a phone and mirroring it onto the screen. That also means there are enough USB charging ports for passengers to share.
Underneath the screen is the climate control, which has had a tweak for this MY20 year model and looks nicer because of it. The seats are finished in simple but supportive trims, including leather in up-spec models, which also have heated fronted pews.
What’s the passenger space like?
The ASX has long relied on its comparatively spacious back row (courtesy of a lengthy 2670mm wheelbase) and this benefit carries over in the 2020 facelift, as does the reasonably roomy front seat area, plentiful storage choices (try the sizeable glovebox, centre console bin and door pockets) and relatively capacious cargo area (for the segment).
Speaking of which, note that though the ASX’s cargo capacity is rated at 358 litres, the Exceed’s is about 50 litres shy of that due to the large subwoofer speaker. All variants use a space-saver spare wheel.
What’s under the bonnet?
With the diesel and all-wheel drive options gone and no hybrid in sight, ASX buyers will have one of two related MIVEC twin-cam petrol engines – the carryover 110kW/197Nm 2.0-litre and new 123kW/222Nm 2.5-litre alternative – driving the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT auto). The exception is the ES and its five-speed manual transmission.
While a little noisy when accelerating, once the 2.0-litre’s done and settles into a leisurely cruise at the 110km/h national limit, it settles down quite substantially. And the CVT actually accelerates off the line with some urgency and is perfectly adequate for pottering about town or the ‘burbs, providing enough muscle to scoot between shifting gaps in traffic.
The larger engine’s extra capacity means it offers even more punch and is a little zippier as a result. Sometimes the two engines are closely matched, so there’s not much sacrifice for electing to go for the smaller 2.0-litre engine.
Turning to fuel consumption, the 2.0-litre CVT averages 7.6L/100km and 176g/km of CO2 (some 0.1L/100km and 3g/km better than the manual) and the 2.4-litre CVT manages 7.9L/100km and 186g/km. All run on standard 91 RON unleaded petrol.
What’s it like on the road?
Most drivers should find the steering light and easy to manage. In crowded urban streets, it will turn in tight spots without a worry, go exactly where the wheel is pointed and quickly feel second nature. The same more or less applies out on long wide straight highways too.
Add speed and a sharp corner, though, and the ASX can be a little inconsistent in response and remote in feel, which is the price of having an easy, light steering feel.
Underneath, the suspension works well with the 18-inch alloys on most road surfaces feeling pleasant, though some larger bumps will be felt - so it’s best suited prowling the urban jungle rather than the wide-open land. Road noise is well damped, so it’s not overly noisy inside, and the ride is consistent even with four adults loaded up inside.
What about safety?
The MY20 Mitsubishi ASX has a five-star ANCAP rating – though it was tested in 2014 when the rules were less stringent than they are nowadays.
Remember, too, that the ASX lacks some of the driver-assist safety systems in more modern cars, like adaptive cruise control and active lane-departure mitigation with auto lane-change and pull-over and full-stop technology. Still, the standardisation of AEB in the base model is good.
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