Having tested the ASX earlier on in the year and coming away thinking this is not a bad car but it’s ruined by its woeful 4cyl petrol engine and CVT transmission I was very interested to get the keys to the ASX diesel just to see if the drive train would fix my biggest beef with the last one I drove.
The ASX recived it’s MY15 a couple of months ago and Mitsubishi have improved several things over the previous model, the MY15 ASX seems to be more refined in ride and handling.
While the outside hasn’t changed much it does benefit from the addition of DRL’s ( day time running lights), chrome highlights, a new design 17 inch alloy wheel, privacy glass and black roof rails.
I do like the look of the ASX so all the additions have increased it’s looks in my opinion it also helps the car was painted in this extremely nice metallic red paint work which looks great in all light and is really set off nicely by the privacy glass and alloy rims.
Step inside and you are greeted with an interior that seems very familiar and once again reminds me of the Lancer and while is not exactly exciting it is very functional and all the switches are in good position and very easy to find and to use.
The dash is an abundance of hard plastics which may not be to some peoples liking (doesn’t worry me as much), the fit and finish looked to be very good.
The steering wheel is somewhat comfortable to hold but a little too thin for my liking, it does however have buttons for the cruise control, audio system and phone so it does mean not having to take your hands off the wheel while driving.
The instrument panel features a tacho and speedo which are both easy to read and LCD in between that can display various functions like fuel economy via a button on the dash.
The centre stack which is now framed with gloss black and chrome highlights which frames the Mitsubishi Multi Communication System featuring a 7inch touch screen display for the Mitsubishi Multi Communication System and makes it look integrated and is an improvement on the previous model.
While I found not bad at all I feel the system is let down by the fact it’s quite as user friendly as other on the market such as Holden Mylink system. Though the Bluetooth and hands free calling were easy to and it didn’t take me long to have my phone paired. The Satnav was extremely easy to use and the instructions very easy to follow.
The seats are comfortable, supportive, rear seats offered decent enough leg room and I didn’t get any complaints from my kids as far as comfort wise.
The boot offers reasonable storage of 416L and you can get a decent sized shopping trip in there for those bigger items the back seats does fold flat to give you an 1193L capacity.
On the road the MY15 ASX handles great for the type vehicle it is, the ride has improved over the previous model and I found rode nice and smooth, on your typical crappy nack road I found it absorbed the bumps well and there was no crashiness to it.
There is a bit of lean when pushing through corners but really the car doesn’t entice you enough to try anything remotely spirited so you don’t really notice it that much.
The steering has improved as well and really does benefit from the changes Mitsubishi did.
The steering feels better weighed and has more sharpness to it compared to the previous model which I thought lacked feel and was boring. The steering is light when parking which made it a dream to wheel in and out of parking spots and around tight car parks.
Under the bonnet ASX is powered by a 2.2L 4cyl turbo diesel pushing out 110kW of power and 360Nm of torque, now I was very critical of the 2L petrol 4 cyl I drove before but I am happy to say the diesel is the totally opposite. It develops it’s torque down low and while it doesn’t take off like a drag car and can be rather spiritedly.
The ASX will easily keep up with traffic and is very tractable, you do have to be careful sometimes as too much right foot and the low down torque will over power the front wheels grip and there is also a bit of torque steer nothing to worry specially when you expect it.
On the freeway it will easily just cruise along not reving not that much which means it has plenty left for overtaking.
This car came with Mitsubishi’s AWD system which operates via a button in the console but to be honest I didn’t go anywhere during the week to try it out.
Fuel economy was damn impressive, the trip computer resets the fuel economy every trip so it makes it hard to get a really accurate idea of how good it is but I did over 350km during the week and still had half a tank left when I had to take the car back so it will give an idea of how good it is.
Backing the diesel engine is a wonderful 6 speed auto, I found the shifts to be smooth and it is very wheel matched to the engine is you want to change gears yourself there shift paddles behind the the steering wheel which you can shift away without taking your hands off the wheel.
Safety wise the ASX has received a 5 star ANCAP safety rating and as you would expect is full of safety features including Driver & front passenger side SRS airbags, Curtain SRS airbags, Driver knee airbag, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Power brake booster with emergency brake assist system, Active Stability Control (ASC), Active Traction Control (ATC), Hill Start Control (HSC), rear parking sensors, the ASX also gets bonus points for having a rear view camera as well that still isn’t standard fit on some cars in this segment.
After a week in the ASX I was i came away feeling impressed the diesel power train certainly has taken away most of the negatives points I had with the previous ASX I drove. It would suit people with a same family or to use as a second family. It offers decent economy figures, its light steering makes it easy to wheel around those tight shopping centre car parks and the ride and handling is comfortable it’s packed full of safety features.
The range topping XLS model tested here is very well equipped and the kids absolutely loved the panoramic glass roof, the keyless start and entry plus the power tail gate is great specially when you have your arm full stuff. So it does offer some value for money and can be reasonable on fuel and the diesel power train is great.
If your looking for a small SUV get down to your Mitsubishi dealers and check out the ASX, for more information on the ASX range check out the Mitsubishi websitehttp://www.mitsubishi-motors.com.au/
To see all the specs of the ASX XLS Diesel just click here