I spent almost a year torturing myself on which small to medium SUV I should buy. I really wanted the extra space and size of an SUV but not the increased running expense and not one too big to move around the narrow streets of Sydney.
I feel my Diesel ASX model meets all of these requirements while providing a smooth drive. I test drove the Holden TRAX at the same time and that model steering was heavy in comparison. My 75 year old mother has further validated this; she was worried about driving the ASX due to the size but she has since raved about how easy and light the steering is.
The interior is comfortable. Two issues;
(1) the stereo sound quality is poor.
(2) the glove box won't close properly so makes a drumming noise along with the engine.
The delay in acceleration is irritating however I understand that relates to it being a Diesel rather than a performance issue of the ASX. I'm told if you have a Diesel turbo that remedies it. I love the cheap running costs the Diesel brings, $60 to fill the 2.3L tank. I was told by the car sales man that Diesels can have longer term mechanical issues however the Mitsubishi warranty is generous (5 years) so I feel comfortable with the risk.
The small issues I've mentioned above are outweighed by the comfort and smooth running of the ASX. I would recommend it to small families and couples.
Response to road noise and general issues
This vehicle is used for dual purpose and a 2nd vehicle which has not long completed it's 1st 15k service. It's used for occasional beach & easy off road driving but the majority of time is for road trips and around town. I found the road noise very noticeable, particularly on the more course bituman roads. As I only use it now and then I always notice the noise when I 1st drive it, but I do get accustomed to it after a short period. I may try and change tyres in the future. It is otherwise comfortable for myself and family to use on the beach, around town and on the odd long trips. I have had several Mitsubishi's over the last 12 yrs - Pajero's and a Lancer - and found them to be very reliable, so far this has been the same. The road noise was also noticeable in a 2005 ES Lancer as well, so I believe it is problem with sound suppression in the more basic models as I had no problem with Pajero's I have owned in the past. The glove box also had a problem closing on the left side latch(main latch ok) it was adjusted at the 15k service and has been ok since. The 2.3L diesel is well powered for long trips and cruise control holds pretty good when used between 80-115kmh. It only got between 6.7-7.8L /100km's for a long trip on highway though(1600km's), so not quite as good as advertised. I believe it is affected by weight(320kg+ at times - people and luggage) and any significant headwind.
Road noise plus a few further comments
Some time ago I posted some information I thought might be helpful to those of you interested in purchasing or reading information on the ASX. My vehicle is now over 18 months old and has covered over 55,000K. My last post centred around road noise transmitted through the original Dunlop SP tyres into the cabin space. After 20,000K I got fed up with the drone noise especially whilst travelling over courser bitumen surfaces. After some investigation and counsel from some motoring/tyre experts I changed the tyres over to Michelin Primacy 3ST. This has helped but not as much as I had hoped. I feel the basic noise intrusion problem relates to the fact that the car's makers have skimped on sound deadening throughout the vehicle allowing road noise to be more easily transmitted. As I grow older I'm not sure if my hearing has changed, but there seem to be certain sound frequencies, especially emanating from tyre noise that I find pretty uncomfortable. To my way of thinking, a well made and designed car will have inbuilt features that help to curb these frequencies in order to enable the driving experience to be a pleasant one regardless of the bitumen surface. I'm told that Mitsubishi don't road test tyres here in Australia; it's all done in Japan. If correct, pity that, because it seems that the car designers and engineers have missed a very important principal, and that is to test the car in the country it's being imported to and investigate if it lives up to the standards of design the car manufacturer's originally intended.
Having stated the above, overall I very much like the car motor's diesel performance and auto gearbox. It's torque is quite something to experience as is it's acceleration. I regularly tow a 700KG boat easily and in the wet beach sand 4WD in either of its 2 modes is fantastic. Economy averages around the 6-6.5LTRS per 100KS but increases to average around 10.5 LTRS per 100KS with the boat on the back, so not all that miserly on the diesel when towing. It has always started first try, all electrics work well including the adjustable headlights when weight in placed on the tow bar. Had a few issues with my blue tooth/phone connection but maybe need to study the book a bit more. I've found the seats are firm yet comfortable and I can drive for 2 hours without the necessity to stop and stretch. Good leg room in the front but in the back, room is more restricted. Boot space is sufficient and folding rear seats make way for a lot more room if necessary. Space saver spare tyre is disappointing especially in a 4WD.
So... in summary lots to like, some things like cabin noise... mmm!
Would be interested to read other owner's comments to see if I am the problem ie my ears, or not.
July 9th 2017 Update: ASX Update review (for those interested)
Hi, just an update further to my comments on December last year, concerning my ASX 4WD diesel. I've now done 73,000ks and it hasn't missed a beat. The Michelin tyres I changed over to (see my comments re: the original Dunlop tyres) are wearing well, now having done around 50,000Ks. The key to good tyre wear is having them regularly rotated and kept at recommended pressures. Internally, noise levels have dampened somewhat with the tyre change, but not substantially. Engine noise levels are also higher than they probably ought to be, but I guess one grows accustomed to this after a while. I still love the power and torque of the little diesel : this is probably the greatest redeeming feature of the car. I also love the 4WD set up, where, by the push of a button one can immediately change from 2WD to 4 ... on the go. Beautiful ! As earlier indicated, I've not had one electrical or mechanical issue, oh yes, one, the glove box door had to be re-aligned in order to properly close. The paint work and body remain nicely intact and still look new. One other positive is the fuel usage: if driven modestly I can get 5:4 litres per 100 ks which is slightly less than specified usage of 5.8 litres per 100 ks. With the foot down a bit more and a head wind, expect around 6.5 to 7 litres per 100 ks. While I'm still reasonably happy driving the ASX I'm sure the time will ultimately come when a decision will need to be made as to whether or not I'll update. So long as Mitsubishi fail to rectify the road noise intrusion into the cabin situation by taking steps similar to those by Mazda with their CX5, they won't have in me, a repeat customer. Pity that, as the ASX has a lot going for it.
January 6th 2019 Update: ASX Update review (for those interested)
Hi again to those following my journey in my ASX diesel. Now done over 105,000ks, probably 70% of these k's
done on the highway for family transport. All going well with the ASX. Not sure how much longer I'll be keeping it, but for the time being will keep interested folk up to date.
1. Starts first time, every time.
2. All electrics work without a hitch
3. Motor, gearbox (in all modes) operate smoothly and effectively. No issues.
4. 90k service... ouch. Very expensive which took me somewhat by surprise. Auto change/fluid
must be laced with gold, but was told by the dealer it's the best fluid to use in the vehicle.
Engine oil is over $100 for 5.8 litres. Much cheaper in the auto pro shops. Next 2 services anticipated to be in
the high $400-500 range. Servicing done according to the log book every 15,000k's.
Why am I reporting this ? Be prepared for expensive servicing if done at a Mitsubishi dealer!!
5. Paintwork, plastics etc. All good. No complaints. Seats all fine, holding shape. Short seat belts a pain especially
when attempting to fix a kid's car seat into position.
6. Have yet to spend money on brakes. ie still on original rotors, pads etc. Very happy naturally.
7. Road noise. Still there although Michelin tyres are an improvement. Diesel engine noise seems a bit more
pronounced in the cabin. Occasionally get an exhaust smell wafting inside, but not a specific issue.
8. Overall still happy with ASX but sooner or later will be looking for something else- a bit quieter and not so
expensive to keep on the road.
2nd review after 14 months of driving
After 14 months of driving this car, I never get bored. The looks and feel is almost the same, when I test drove this car. Had no major issues with this car. Great in fuel, good in long distance drive especially diesel. I will summarize the pros and cons here.
- good driving position and forward visibility
- diesel engine have grunt especially in low rev.
- great fuel economy
- Good in an open highway (nice driving in regional road)
- easy to park
- Price point is strong. Value for the money. All basic features are present which can cost you more in other competitor.
-beautiful design, I am still attracted to other asx even though I'm driving one!
- light vehicle helps in fuel consumption.
- towing capacity is ok, I drove once with a trailer and full of furnitures. Had no problem towing from Canberra to Goulburn.
- Very good leg room and head room in front and rear.
- Ample cargo space love it.
- Push button 4WD is LOVE.
- body roll in hard corner.
- a little bit of bumpy in uneven road surface (but once in an open country road, it soak very well)
- plasticky inside the cabin
- less storage place not much pocket and bottle holder at the rear door.
- sound insulation is a bit under done.
- PAINT is so thin, had lot of minor light scratches but had been resolve by scratch remover.
- rear seat are uncomfy in long drives, as so with the front seat. A bit hard.
- All tyres had been worn out in outer edges. Had done 4 wheel alignment, three times and wheel rotation. (Some owners says it with the tyres) looking to swap this after 45,000Kms.
So far I've driven 26,800kms in 14 months, driven this last winter to snowy mountains and to Victoria what an enjoyable vehicle to drive.
Brought a MY15 Diesel 6speed auto ex Demo model(Blue color--looks good!) for my wife, got the front nudge bar installed and protection pack.Only had 1000km's on it. Runs great. Great economy getting ~6.5 L/100km around town real world when taking it easy, and slightly better on open roads. No issues so far and up to 2000km's on the ODO. Smooth to drive and will do a tiny burnout when the turbo kicks in if you boot it from a standing start!...