Mitsubishi ASX 2017 new car review

If there’s one ingredient to get your Kiwi family summer started, it’s a mean-looking SUV.

Jai Breitnauer
Jai Breitnauer
Expert reviewer

If there’s one ingredient to get your Kiwi family summer started, it’s a mean-looking SUV – and that’s an area which Mitsubishi specialises in.

Exterior , 3.5 out of 5 Drive , 3.5 out of 5 Safety , 5 out of 5 Value , 4 out of 5

Overall score , 4.0 out of 5

The good
  • Huge backseat
  • Pricing that undercuts the competition
The not-so-good
  • Sluggish away from the lights
  • Interior trim uninspiring

The Mitsubishi ASX, first introduced in 2010 as part of the baby SUV boom, straddles the line between SUV and hatchback, offering many of the features you’d expect on its big sister, the Outlander, with a smaller footprint and price tag.

Diesel power

If you want all-wheel drive, diesel is your only option in the ASX range. The petrol version only comes in two-wheel drive. The 2.3-litre turbocharged diesel produces 112kW of power and 366Nm of torque, both healthy figures, although the ASX is unexpectedly sluggish away from the lights. It isn’t particularly quiet either.

Over my week-long review, I found the fuel efficiency to be excellent, slightly above the advertised 6-litres per 100km. Not bad, considering it had to haul the weight of a family and its gear.

Originally launched in 2010, the ASX is a bit of an old girl now, but the 2017 facelift keeps it looking sharp with Mitsubishi’s family ‘Dynamic Shield’ styling. The update includes automatic daytime running lights for safety, a ‘shark fin’ antenna on the roof, and in the upmarket VRX model, you can expect a panoramic sunroof.

Changes are otherwise minimal, but the design, shape and size are still pleasing to the eye seven years on.

Missed opportunities

The interior of the ASX is comfortable enough, but there are a few missed opportunities. The updated black and red-stitch seat trim is certainly an attractive upgrade that could have – should have – been continued onto the door trim.

The dashboard screams ‘plastic!’, but saving graces include the softer plastic trim in the airbag areas and the new shiny black casing around the audio unit.

The upgraded-for-2017 audio unit offers a 6-inch touchscreen, digital radio with Bluetooth and an excellent reversing camera – but no GPS. While other Mitsubishi models are experimenting with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the ASX driver misses out.

It is, though, a very comfortable drive with a tight turning circle, light power steering and easy to park. The height adjustable front seats are a welcome inclusion, as are the automatically folding wing mirrors – an essential for city street parking.

There’s plenty of legroom in the back to seat two adults and, you can fit three booster seats or two boosters and one rear facing car seat along the bench with ease. At 1410mm, the back shoulder is one of the widest of the Mitsubishi passenger car range.

While the boot is designed more for the gym bag than full camping regalia, the 60/40 split-folding rear seats offer more storage potential for road trips. A large stroller will fit but leaves little room for shopping.

One of the features making the boot a little more cramped than it could be is the full-size spare wheel complete with jack and tools – in my book an essential addition and one I’m quite happy to forgo a few litres of storage space for.

Safety first

The ASX has seven airbags, electronic stability control, and an overall ANCAP safety rating of 5-stars. Despite finding three car seats can fit in the back, there are only two ISOFIX mounting points.

No autonomous emergency braking or lane departure warning systems are available on the ASX, but it does have an interesting safety feature. SmartBrake can tell if a driver accidentally hits the accelerator and the brake at the same time in an emergency. If it identifies this, it registers the error and focuses on braking.


The Mitsubishi ASX is comfortable, handles well, is easy to manoeuvre around town and has enough space for a small family. It may be only of the oldest models available in the small SUV segment, but the facelift has kept it fresh. Its real ace is its price, which undercuts its competitors by thousands.

If buying new you also get Mitsubishi’s 10-year Diamond Warranty - a feature worth considering for peace of mind.

Price: $41,990 - $33,990 on promotional special at time of writing.

Note: This was reviewed as a new vehicle.

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