Mitsubishi ASX
(2010 - 2021)

  • Great compact external dimensions
  • Front wheel drive variants make sense
  • Showing good reliability
  • Affordable to buy and maintain
  • Sensible but boring
  • Interior can feel cheap
  • Engines can feel a little lacklustre
  • Ride quality can degrade overtime
Overview

Mitsubishi’s ASX is an enigma. The current generation is nudging 12 years old, spanning four series changes (XA, XB, XC and XD) and as many face-lifts, remaining one of motoring’s oldest models still currently on sale in Oz. But its extraordinary popularity of the compact crossover has, amazingly, bucked convention, consistently outselling its own benchmarks as it marches along in its advancing age.

It outsells everything in its hotly contested segment…still. And it remains one of the top 10-selling nameplates in Australia outright.

Mitsubishi really got this third generation ‘RVR’, as it’s known overseas, right. Its compact size, smart packaging and decent two-suitcase luggage space minted in a fetching form seemingly impervious to ageing made it appealing to the young females, younger families on a budget and older empty-nesters who, according to its importer, are among its core private buyers.

The ASX’s car-like, Lancer-derived on-road manners won over many buyers. That Mitsubishi would eventually axe Lancer completely did, in no small part, spurn on the crossover’s popularity even further.

The range’s low-rungs were and are cheap from new (from $24k), so they’re both affordable and plentiful as used propositions, and offer the sort of relatively bomb-proof reliability via uncomplicated running gear and engineering favoured by hire car companies who, at times, accounting for buying as much as 40 percent of ASXs sold. Drawcards as second- or third-hand prospects, then, if demanding diligence in weeding out the well-flogged ex-rentals when tyre-kicking candidates…

Early XA examples, released in mid-2010, were offered with a 110kW/197Nm 2.0-litre petrol four or a 1.8-litre turbodiesel with identical powered but lustier 300Nm of torque. While petrol version could be had with five-speed-manual or CVT transmissions and a choice of either front- or all-wheel drive, the diesels were manual 4x4s. No-name base and flagship Aspire grades were joined by Activ (essentially base with upsized 17-inch wheels) and mid-range Platinum variants for MY12.

The XB brought a mild face-lift in late 2012 for MY13, with a larger-capacity 2.2L diesel, with an uprated 360Nm, replacing the 1.8L oiler as a rolling change in late 2013 (essentially for MY14). Diesel buyers now had a more broadly appealing automatic transmission. Proving that little stood still in ASX land, the MY15 (from mid-2014) brought a pep-up recognizable via refreshed wheel styling and a new (low) LS and (high) XLS naming convention. For MY15.5, wheels were upsized to 18-inch across the board in yet another new design.

In what was becoming a rich if confusing providence, the major XC face-lift for MY17 (in late 2016) brought a bit of an upmarket push and fresh nameplates in new entry-level ES and high-grade Exceed, with both ES and slightly elevated LS available either with or without ADAS safety smarts. Tip: when shopping second-hand for inexperienced drivers, the later-lifecycle ADAS suite is a highly recommended, if not essential, recommendation. A stylized ES-grade Black Edition front-driven petrol was released as a limited edition in 2019.

At a decade young, gen-three’s late-2019 XD major makeover introduced the fresher ‘Dynamic Shield’ front styling, replacing all panels and features from the windscreen forward, plus a new 123kW/222Nm 2.4-litre petrol four to sit alongside the carryover 2.0L. The line-up also taps defunct Lancer heritage in two overtly sport-themed MR and GSR guises, adding to the ten-variant series offering both regular and slightly improved Plus versions of ES, MR and XLS.

In techy window-dressing, ASX kept reasonable step with fresher competition, even if it was largely nothing-broken-nothing-demanding-fixing under the range’s new skin. That said, the current XD’s introduction saw Mitsubishi ditch the now-slow selling diesel and all-wheel drive options for what was now an all-petrol front-driven line-up. And what still remains very hot property with so many Aussie buyers off the showroom floor.

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What goes wrong?
  • ASXs fitted with this panoramic roof can have issues. The roof can actually come adrift in the right (or wrong) conditions, effectively turning the ASX into a convertible.
  • There are quite a few reports that water can enter the windscreen-wiper motor, corroding it and severely damaging it.
  • There are a few reports of doors opening while driving due to faulty door latch fittings and accuracy.
  • ASX keyless entry function can stop working, leaving the ASX unable to lock or unlock the doors without resorting to using the key in a traditional manner.
  • Bluetooth connectivity can fail with Android devices. Either not connecting or failing to adjust volume or change songs using buttons on the control panel.
  • Also on a few models, there have been issues with the forward collision mitigation warning, being completely inaccurate.
  • Mechanically, the ASX is proving, in general, to be quite reliable.
  • The petrol engines, if correctly serviced, don’t seem to have any major common faults. These are fitted with a timing chain not a belt so it relatively low maintenance.
  • Although the ASX diesels aren’t known for being unreliable, they do also suffer from the same EGR & DPF problems as most other modern turbo diesels.
  • It should be noted however that the big brother versions of these engines in other Mitsubishis do have problems with timing chains, balance shafts & cracked cylinder heads.
  • The JATCO CVT transmissions do receive some criticism for being unreliable but the actual number of documented failures compared with the number of them sold actually suggests otherwise. However, when they do fail, it is generally eye-wateringly expensive to repair. It should be noted, many of these problems and issues resulted in factory recalls to resolve them but, if you are in the market for an ASX, make sure any factory recalls have been carried out.
Model range, pricing & features

2WD

  • Price when new: $24,990 - $28,490
  • Price used: $9,500 - $20,000

The 2WD “unnamed” model was the base model when introduced back in 2010 with the XA series.

The 2WD model came standard with a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine with either a choice of a 5-speed manual or 6-speed CVT automatic transmission.

The model was discontinued in 2013, and replaced with the “LS” model.

Features:

16-inch alloy wheels
Body colour door handles
Body colour door mirrors
Rear spoiler with high-mount stop lamp
Rear mudflaps
Body colour side airdam
Roof rails
7x airbags: dual front driver and passenger, front side, curtain and driver’s knee airbag.
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
Active Stability Control (ASC)
Active Traction Control (ATC)
Hill Start Control (HSC)
Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) body
Front seatbelt pretensioners
Variable intermittent windscreen wipers
Rear window intermittent wiper and washer
Cruise control with steering wheel controls
Keyless entry with 2 transmitters
Electric windows – front and rear with driver’s auto up/down
Electric folding side mirrors
Electric tailgate opener
Power steering
Tilt and telescopic steering column
Climate control air-conditioning
2nd row rear heater duct
Ignition key cylinder illumination with delay timer
Cloth seat trim
AM/FM radio with single CD/MP3 player
4 speaker sound system
USB input
Auxillary input
iPod control
2x 12V power sockets
Room lamp
Map lamp
Cargo room lamp
Welcome light
Coming home light
Multi information display
Trip computer
Headlamps on warning
Door and tailgate ajar warning
Low fuel warning

XB (MY13) Updates:

New rear bumper design
17-inch alloy wheels
Chrome grille surround
ISOFIX child seat mountings
Touchscreen audio system
AM/FM Radio & CD/MP3 Player
Steering wheel mounted audio controls
Bluetooth connectivity
USB input
Auxillary input
iPod control

4WD

  • Price when new: $31,990 - $32,490
  • Price used: $9,990 - $25,000

The 4WD “unnamed” model was similar to the 2WD “unnamed” model with the exception of offering a few more comfort features and all-wheel drive as standard from a choice of a 1.8-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel or 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine.

Similar to the 2WD model, the 4WD model was discontinued, and replaced with the “LS” model.

Adds:

Reverse parking sensors
Front fog lamps
Chrome exhaust tips
Bluetooth phone connectivity
Steering wheel audio controls

Platinum

  • Price when new: $25,990 - $28,490
  • Price used: $14,500 - $18,000

The Platinum model was a limited edition model based on the 2WD base model.

Adds:

Chrome exhaust tips
Platinum badging
Leather seats
Heated front seats
Front fog lights
Rear parking sensors
Reversing camera (displayed in the rear view mirror)
Bluetooth connectivity
Steering wheel audio controls

Activ

  • Price when new: $25,990 - $28,490
  • Price used: $10,000 - $14,000

The Activ model was a limited edition model based on the 2WD base model.

Adds:

17-inch alloy wheels
Front and rear air damps
Front bumper cover
Chrome exhaust tips
Bluetooth connectivity
Steering wheel audio controls

ES

  • Price when new: $23,490 - $26,740
  • Price used: $20,000 - $29,500

Introduced as part of a series of MY19 model updates, the ES is the new base model in the range, and carries over much of the LS features in the previous years, with the exception being a safety pack that can be purchased with the ES ADAS model.

Adds:

18-inch alloy wheels
Body colour door handles
Body colour door mirrors
Rear spoiler with high-mount stop lamp
Rear mudflaps
Body colour side airdam
Roof rails
7x airbags: dual front driver and passenger, front side, curtain and driver’s knee airbag.
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
Active Stability Control (ASC)
Active Traction Control (ATC)
Hill Start Control (HSC)
Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) body
Front seatbelt pretensioners
Emergency Stop Signal Function (ESS)
Halogen headlamps
LED Daytime Running Lamps (DRL)
Reversing camera
Variable intermittent windscreen wipers
Rear window intermittent wiper and washer
Cruise control with steering wheel controls
Keyless entry with 2 transmitters
Electric windows – front and rear with driver’s auto up/down
Electric folding side mirrors
Electric tailgate opener
Power steering
Climate control
Rear air conditioning ducts
Reverse parking sensors
Piano black highlights
DAB+ digital radio
LED Daytime Running Lamps
7-inch infotainment screen
Smartphone Link Display Audio (SDA)
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Bluetooth connectivity
4-speaker sound system
USB input
Auxillary input
iPod control
2x 12V power sockets
60/40 split fold rear bench seat
Privacy glass
Room lamp
Map lamp
Cargo room lamp
Welcome light
Coming home light
Multi information display
Trip computer
Headlamps on warning
Door and tailgate ajar warning
Low fuel warning

ES Black Edition

  • Price when new: $26,740
  • Price used: $18,000 - $30,000

The ES Black Edition was a limited edition with a black styling back, offered in late 2018.

There was 1000 units produced.

Adds:

Gloss black alloy wheels
Gloss black mirrors
Gloss black front skid plate,
Chromed exhaust tip,
Front fog-lights
Keyless entry
Push-button start
Privacy glass
Indicators integrated into side mirrors
Aluminium pedals
Carbon-fibre-look trim on the centre stack
Microsuede seat inserts
Leatherette seat bolster
Contrasting red stitching steering wheel, gearshift and handbrake lever.

ES ADAS

  • Price when new: $26,990 - $28,490
  • Price used: $19,000 - $34,000

The ES ADAS model is based on the ES model and features additional active safety features.

Adds:

Forward Collision Mitigation
Lane Departure Warning
Auto High Beam
Electro-chromatic rear view mirror
Rain sensing wipers
Dusk sensing headlamps

MR

  • Price when new: $27,490 - $28,490
  • Price used: $27,000 - $34,000

Introduced during the MY20 model update, the MR model is a black styling pack version of the ES model.

Adds:

Black-finish 18-inch alloy wheels, grille and exterior mirrors
Proximity entry with push-button start
Leather-wrapped handbrake
Front fog lights
Rear parking sensors

LS

  • Price when new: $24,990 - $32,500
  • Price used: $10,000 - $34,000

As part of the MY14 update, the LS was introduced as the successor to the 2WD “unnamed” base model.

During the MY19 model update, the LS became second model up in the range.

The model has been available with a 2.0-litre four cylinder petrol or diesel engine.

Adds:

17-inch alloy wheels
Emergency Stop Signal Function (ESS)
Halogen headlamps
LED Daytime Running Lamps (DRL)
Reversing camera
Rear air conditioning ducts
Reverse parking sensors
6.1” full colour touch screen
Bluetooth connectivity
60/40 split fold rear bench seat
Privacy glass

June 2015 Update:

18-inch alloy wheels
Piano black highlights
DAB+ digital radio

MY18 Update:

Improved NVH
New front bumper design
New rear bumper design
7-inch infotainment screen
Smartphone Link Display Audio (SDA)
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Floor console panel silver geometric grained finish
Soft touch, stitched leather knee rest
New-look automatic transmission shift lever

MY19 Update (in additional to ES):

Microsuede and leatherette seat trim,
Two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels,
Additional chrome highlights
Front fog lamps

MY20 Update:

Keyless entry and start
Privacy glass
Blind-spot monitoring
Rear cross-traffic alert
Automatic headlights
Rain-sensing wipers
Lane-departure warning

LS ADAS

  • Price when new: $28,500
  • Price used: $20,000 - $27,500

The LS ADAS model is based on the 2018 LS model and features additional active safety features.

The model was discontinued as part of a MY20 update.

Adds:

Forward Collision Mitigation
Lane Departure Warning
Auto High Beam
Electro-chromatic rear view mirror
Rain sensing wipers
Dusk sensing headlamps

Aspire

  • Price when new: $28,990 - $36,990
  • Price used: $13,000 - $33,000

The Aspire model was the top of the range model of the XA and XB series.

It featured a variety of luxury and comfort features over the 4WD model.

With the introduction of the XC series ASX, the model was replaced by the XLS.

Adds:

17-inch alloy wheels
Privacy glass
Chrome bezel for fog lamps
Chrome radiator grille surround
Chrome belt line moulding
Leather look door trim
Proximity sensing key & entry
Start/stop button
Auto rain sensing wipers
Auto dusk sensing headlamps
Leather seat facings
Electric driver’s seat adjustment
Heated front seats
Rear centre armrest with cupholders
Mitsubishi Multi Communication System (MMCS)
7-inch touch screen
Satellite navigation
Rockford Fosgate 710 watt 9-speaker audio system
Video input
Reversing camera

XB (MY13) Updates:

Electro-chromatic rearview mirror
Panoramic glass roof with electric sun shade
LED mood lighting

XLS

  • Price when new: $31,490 - $37,500
  • Price used: $13,000 - $33,000

The XLS replaced the Aspire as the top of the range model for the ASX range, with the introduction of the XC.

Features and spec largely remained unchanged, with the exception of additional features such as bigger alloy wheels and DAB+ digital radio being added as part of a June 2015 update.

The XLS model was replaced by the Exceed model in September 2017 as part of the MY18 update.

Adds:

17-inch alloy wheels
Privacy glass
Chrome bezel for fog lamps
Chrome radiator grille surround
Chrome belt line moulding
Leather look door trim
Proximity sensing key & entry
Start/stop button
Auto rain sensing wipers
Auto dusk sensing headlamps
Leather seat facings
Electric driver’s seat adjustment
Heated front seats
Rear centre armrest with cupholders
Mitsubishi Multi Communication System (MMCS)
7-inch touch screen
Satellite navigation
Rockford Fosgate 710 watt 9-speaker audio system
Video input
Reversing camera

XB (MY13) Updates:

Electro-chromatic rearview mirror
Panoramic glass roof with electric sun shade
LED mood lighting

GSR

  • Price when new: $30,490 - $31,490
  • Price used: $31,000 - $35,000

The GSR model is a sports-luxury orientated model introduced as part of the MY20 update to the ASX range.

It features a black styling pack, as well as a more powerful 2.4-litre 4-cylinder engine.

Adds:

2.4-litre four-cylinder engine
Microsuede seats
Leather-wrapped handbrake
Six-speaker sound system
Black-finish 18-inch alloy wheels, grille and exterior mirrors

Exceed

  • Price when new: $30,990 - $33,990
  • Price used: $26,000 - $37,000

The Exceed was introduced as part of another update in September 2017.

The Exceed adds luxury and comfort features over the LS and GSR models.

Adds:

Leather look door trim
Panoramic glass roof with electric sun shade
LED mood lighting
Leather seats
Electric driver’s seat adjustment
Heated front seats
Proximity sensing key & entry
Start/stop button
Auto rain sensing wipers
Auto dusk sensing headlamps

MY20 Updates:

Heated front seats
Ambient lighting
9 speaker Rockford Fosgate Sound System

Should you buy it?

If you’re ok with owning a pretty boring uninspiring car, sure, buy one.

However, we would recommend against the Diesel variants as the maintenance costs may be more expensive than their petrol counterparts and repairs and upkeep will possibly eat into any savings you’ve made in terms of fuel consumption,

Plus in our opinion, the petrol engines are far more enjoyable to drive. But which petrol engined ASX should you buy?

Well that comes down to you and your budget. As there are so many different ASX’s available, we’d recommend the newest, lowest kilometre example your budget allows, but, it is absolutely critical that the ASX you’re looking at has a full and thorough service history and has had any factory recalls sorted out.

Yes they are a little boring but the ASX does offer great value for money and there are some absolute gems out there and with so many available on the used market, there’s no need to rush into buying one, take your time , find the ASX that fits your needs perfectly and you’ll have a good car, a boring, but good car.

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:
5 years/130,000km
5 years/100,000 kilometre warranty (From 2014 onwards)
10 years/200,000 km (if the vehicle has had all scheduled services done through the authorised Mitsubishi Motors Dealer Network)

Servicing:
12 months or 15,000km

Tech specs

Body style:
5-door SUV

Engine & outputs:
1.8-litre four cylinder turbo diesel (4WD, Aspire)
2.0-litre four cylinder petrol (2WD, 4WD, ES, ES ADAS, MR LS, LS ADAS, XLS, Platinium, Activ, Aspire, Exceed)
2.2-litre four cylinder turbo diesel (LS, Aspire, XLS)
2.4-litre four cylinder turbo petrol (Exceed, GSR)

Power:
110kW – 1.8-litre four cylinder turbo diesel
110kW – 2.0-litre four cylinder petrol
110kW – 2.2-litre four cylinder turbo diesel
123kW – 2.4-litre four cylinder turbo petrol

Torque:
300Nm – 1.8-litre four cylinder turbo diesel
197Nm – 2.0-litre four cylinder petrol
360Nm – 2.2-litre four cylinder turbo diesel
222Nm – 2.4-litre four cylinder turbo petrol

Transmission/Drive:
5 speed manual, front-wheel drive (2WD, ES, Platinum, Activ)
6-speed CVT automatic, front-wheel drive (2WD, ES ADAS, MR LS, LS ADAS, XLS, Platinum, Activ, Exceed)
6-speed manual, all-wheel drive (4WD, Aspire)
6-speed CVT automatic, all-wheel drive (4WD, Aspire)
6-speed automatic, all-wheel drive (LS, Aspire, XLS)
Continuously variable transmission, front-wheel drive (Exceed, GSR)

Fuel use:
5.3 – 7.9L/100km (combined and depending on variant)

Length:
4295 – 4365mm (depending on variant)

Width:
1770 – 1810mm (depending on variant)

Height:
1615 – 1640mm (depending on variant)

Kerb Weight:
1345 – 1540kg (depending on variant)

Disclaimer

Information correct as of December 3, 2021.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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