Should I Buy a Mitsubishi ASX?

QUESTION

Hi John, I was wondering about your thoughts on the Mitsubishi ASX turbodiesel. I'm looking to purchase a new vehicle with finance for around the $40k mark. What do you think of the Mitsubishi ASX? Regards, Patrick.

2015 Mitsubishi ASX image gallery - click to enlarge

ANSWER

It's very important to benchmark any new car against viable alternatives and compare on objective criteria. If you do that and you still want the ASX, then you know you’re making the right call for you. (Because subjective criteria are important too.) I've put the ASX against to virtual clones for you below: The Hyundai ix35 and the Kia Sportage. I've also added a sensationally popular vehicle, the Mazda CX-5.

Mitsubushi ASX

2015 Mitsubishi ASX

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.2-litre diesel
  • Power: 110kW @ 3500rpm
  • Torque: 360Nm 1500-2750rpm
  • Economy: 5.8L/100km
  • Transmission: 6sp auto
  • Seats: 5
  • Towing: 1400kg max.
  • Warranty: 5yr/100,000km
  • Made in: Japan
  • Sales (YTD Oct 2014): 7897

Hyundai ix35

2015 Hyundai ix35

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.0-litre diesel
  • Power: 135kW @ 4000rpm
  • Torque: 392Nm 1800-2500rpm
  • Economy: 7.2L/100km
  • Transmission: 6sp auto
  • Seats: 5
  • Towing: 1400kg max.
  • Warranty: 5yr/unlimited km
  • Made in: South Korea
  • Sales (YTD Oct 2014): 15,028

Kia Sportage

Mazda CX-5

2015 Kia Sportage

2014 Mazda CX-5

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.0-litre diesel
  • Power: 135kW @ 4000rpm
  • Torque: 392Nm 1800-2500rpm
  • Economy: 7.2L/100km
  • Transmission: 6sp auto
  • Seats: 5
  • Towing: 1400kg max.
  • Warranty: 7yr/unlimited km
  • Made in: South Korea
  • Sales (YTD Oct 2014): 5425

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.2-litre diesel
  • Power: 129kW @ 4500rpm
  • Torque: 420Nm 2000rpm
     
  • Economy: 5.7L/100km
  • Transmission: 6sp auto
  • Seats: 5
  • Towing: 1800kg max.
  • Warranty: 3yr/100,000 km
  • Made in: Japan
  • Sales (YTD Oct 2014): 18,237

The Mitsubishi ASX is a fundamentally good SUV - with a strong diesel powertrain and a solid warranty (best of the Japanese). Certainly there’s no reason not to buy one. I’d benchmark it against a Hyundai ix35 and/or Kia Sportage because the Hyundai and the Kia offer the following:

  • More power (up 23%)
  • More torque (up 9%)
  • Better warranty. Hyundai: unlimited km, with capped price service for the life of the vehicle. Kia: two more years' coverage plus unlimited kilometres and seven years' roadside assistance.
  • 200kg more tow capacity
  • Full-size spare wheel (ASX: space saver)
  • 18” alloys (ASX: 17s)

On objective criteria the Hyundai ix35 and Kia Sportage both out-point the Mitsubishi.

The Mazda CX-5 is very economical - like the Mitsubishi - but the engine has to spin 29 per cent faster to produce 17 per cent more power, which is a kind of fundamental engineering failure right there (power is proportional to revs, all other things being equal...) Good tow capacity on the CX-5, but a comparatively dud warranty. And the CX-5 is, at the time of writing, crying out for a mid-life makeover. This would, presumably, bring it into line with the Mazda3 and Mazda6 in terms of features offered. Commercially, buying one before the upgrade will mean you take a hit on resale value as soon as the new model is released.

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