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2013 Mitsubishi ASX 2WD review

Even though we all want/have a high performance build sitting in the garage, sometimes we also need a reliable, practical, and somewhat fun runaround vehicle. Could the 2013 Mitsubishi ASX 2WD five-speed manual be the answer?

2013 MITSUBISHI ASX 2WD – PROS AND CONS

PROS:

  • 2WD option provides great fuel economy
  • User-friendly interior
  • Reverse camera included with Safety Pack option ($995 – as tested) and standard on ‘Aspire’ models
  • Above average handling ability
  • Mitsubishi’s five-year warranty

CONS:

  • Harsh engine
  • Low quality reverse camera at night
  • Fidgety steering; busy to keep vehicle straight at highway speeds
  • Squashy interior compared with competitors
  • Lower quality hard plastics used throughout

2013 MITSUBISHI ASX 2WD – OVERVIEW

The Mitsubishi ASX was the third most popular vehicle in the Small SUV market segment last month, in terms of national sales, with 542 examples driving off showroom floors. It followed the Nissan Dualis (1293), the Subaru XV (902), and the Hyundai ix35 (889), ahead of the Volkswagen Tiguan (527), and sister car, the Peugeot 4008 (74).

As it tries to up the ante in the immensely competitive and popular market, the latest 2013 ASX comes with a fresh cosmetic update, a new 6.1-inch multimedia touch-screen interface across the board, and an improved CVT transmission option. There’s also a new 2WD top line ‘Aspire’ variant added to the range.

For those who are wondering what an ASX is exactly, it’s a vehicle Mitsubishi calls an ‘Active Smart Crossover’. It’s built on the same ‘GS’ international platform that also underpins the Lancer, and the slightly larger Outlander (pre-2012) – the Outlander is taller, and has larger overhangs.

Under the bonnet the same 2.0-litre naturally aspired four-cylinder petrol engine resides. It produces 110kW of power and 197Nm of torque.  A 1.8-litre turbo-diesel is available as an option, producing 110kW and 300Nm. All models can be had with either a CVT or manual transmission.

One of the major drawcards of the ASX is the fact that you can pick up the base model 2WD from just $25,990, through to the range-topping 4×4 Aspire for $34,990 (excluding on-road costs).

2013 MITSUBISHI ASX 2WD – ACCOMMODATION AND EQUIPMENT

As you step into the ‘Active Crossover’, you are confronted with a familiar and user-friendly interior; a fairly no-fuss dash and button layout that you come to expect from Mitsubishi.

It doesn’t stand out with high quality plastics and materials that are used in many other SUVs in this same category, but you’re quickly acquainted with a basic, everyday setting that is very easy to live with. It’s a bit like your favourite pair of jeans in that sense.

Chrome accents on the dials and instrument cluster give the interior a bright boost, while the new sleeker steering wheel features easier to use controls.

A new audio system in the ASX 2WD features CD and iPod compatibility, integrated into a new 6.1-inch touch-screen interface, which is standard on all variants.

It incorporates a full colour touch panel with simple navigation of menus and functions. If you opt for the $995 Safety Pack (as tested), you get a rear-view camera with parking reference lines. Although it is very handy and obviously boosts safety, inferior picture quality is produced when using it at night time.

The Safety Pack also adds a chrome tip exhaust, audio display descriptions, and reverse parking sensors.

The 2013 model also receives an improved seat trim, 16-inch alloy wheels for the base model, and a Bluetooth hands-free system. The Bluetooth hands-free system with steering wheel and voice controls adds safety, although, the system is a little cumbersome and it does require some time to set up your phone.

In the very back, the same 416-litre cargo space is on offer. It presents more space than the 4WD version, which offers 384 litres due to the rear differential. The space of the 2WD compares well to the segment-favourite, in terms of sales, the Nissan Dualis, which offers 410 litres. The rear seats in the ASX can of course be folded down, opening up 1193 litres.

2013 MITSUBISHI ASX 2WD – DESIGN AND SAFETY

With a conservative appearance and design cues universal to Mitsubishi, you can certainly notice the similarities between other models, especially the front end design with that large ‘shark nose’ grill, which is also seen on the Lancer and outgoing Outlander.

This update just precedes Mitsubishi’s latest announcement though, stating that it will be axing the current global trademark exterior style, making way for a new design philosophy – seen on the new Outlander (full review coming soon).

Ensuring maximum safety, traction and stability control is standard, as is brake force distribution, and seven airbags. ANCAP has awarded all ASX variants the full five stars.

2013 MITSUBISHI ASX 2WD – ON THE ROAD

Pulled along by the front-wheel drive 110kW 2.0-litre engine, the ASX is all but inspiring. From driving under normal conditions through to giving it the custard, it doesn’t seem to make much difference. We realise that this soft-roader isn’t trying to be a performance-oriented vehicle, but neither are many other soft-roaders in this class, and they offer livelier, more willing, and less harsh engines.

Nevertheless, we timed 0-100km/h in 9.2 seconds, which is behind the base model Volkswagen Tiguan 118TSI (8.9 seconds), and the base model 2.5-litre turbo Ford Kuga (7.9 seconds).

Performance aside, an economical drive is of extreme interest these days, and you can expect exactly that from the 2WD ASX. We averaged 7.8L/100km, just off the official combined figure of 7.7L/100km.

Along rough roads, the ride is smooth and does well to absorb many impromptu bumps that sometimes can’t be dodged in time. Handling is notably decent; we sent the car through some windy roads and, even with the high centre of gravity, road conduct was the car’s strongpoint.

However, the electronic steering at highway speeds requires obvious effort to keep the wheels in a straight line. There’s also some typical torque steer under heavy acceleration.

With a relatively high ground clearance of 192mm, the ASX has some off-road capabilities. The four-wheel drive variants would obviously be superior for more serious rough tracks.

2013 MITSUBISHI ASX 2WD – VERDICT

To sit in, the ASX seating and room is comfortable and accommodating, relative to the size of the vehicle, though, with not as much rear leg room as the Volkswagen Tiguan or Ford Kuga, it’s still a very likeable and comfortable place to be.

So as it turns out, the ASX is ideal for those wanting a simple bread and butter runabout that provides trustworthy transport; an ideal second runner aside from the performance build in the garage, then.

Backed by one of the best warranties on the market, piece of mind can be felt with Mitsubishi’s five-year 130000km guarantee. Again, reiterating its value and usefulness as a daily driver.

2013 MITSUBISHI ASX 2WD – THE COMPETITORS

Ford Kuga Trend 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder petrol, 147kW/320Nm – 1653kg – $38,990

Nissan Dualis ST – 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol, 102kW/198Nm – 1422kg – $24,990

Peugeot 4008 Active – 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol, 110kW/197Nm – 1375kg – $28,990

Volkswagen Tiguan 118TSI – 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol, 118kW/240Nm – 1493kg – $28,490

2013 MITSUBISHI ASX 2WD – SPECIFICATIONS

MODEL
2013 Mitsubishi ASX 2WD

ENGINE
2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol with MIVEC variable valve timing

ENGINE SIZE  / COMPRESSION RATIO
1998cc / 10:1

BORE X STROKE
86mm x 86mm

POWER
110kW@6000rpm, 197Nm@4200rpm

POWER TO WEIGHT RATIO
12.1:1 (kg:kW)

KERB WEIGHT
1335kg

TOWING CAPACITY
1300 braked, 750kg unbraked
(635kg pay load)

HEIGHT / WIDTH / LENGTH
1615mm / 1770mm / 4295mm

DRIVETRAIN
Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive

BRAKES
F: Ventilated discs
R: Ventilated discs

WHEELS / TYRES
F and R: 18- x 6.5-inch, 215/65 R16

FUEL TANK CAPACITY
63 litres

FUEL TYPE
91 RON

FUEL CONSUMPTION
Tested average: 7.8L/100km
Official average: 7.7L/100km

PERFORMANCE
0-100km/h: 9.2 seconds (tested)

PRICED FROM
$25,990

WARRANTY
Five-year/130,000km

Mark is a contributing junior road tester at PerformanceDrive, and is an expert in technology and efficiency. He has had a passion for cars since before he can remember. With the soul and background of an IT nerd, Mark especially appreciates technology advances, safety, and attention to detail. His first car was a rusty powder blue 1972 Volvo 144 sedan. When he's not road testing vehicles, his daily drive is still a Volvo only now it's able to steer and brake all by itself.