This year’s fifth-best-selling city-sized compact SUV is getting an update come September. The 2013 Mitsubishi ASX will see a revised exterior and interior as well as improvements to its drivetrain as part of a mid-life update.
Mitsubishi will also add a new variant, allowing customers to pick the range-topping ASX Aspire in 2WD for the first time, which the manufacturer says brings the product offering more in line with customer demands of the largely city-dwelling ASX.
From the outside the updated Mitsubishi ASX remains largely unchanged but has been softened at the front with more flowing lines and an updated grille while the rear gets an revised bumper. Mitsubishi says the balanced approach creates a more hatch-like appearance.
The interior sees minor revisions such as chrome accents on the air conditioning dials and an updated steering wheel with more user-friendly controls. Mitsubishi has updated the base variant’s audio system (a feature we’ve criticised in the past) with native support for iPod/iPhone connectivity and Bluetooth telephone connectivity, while the Aspire variants make use of a brand-new 6.1-inch full colour touchscreen audio system with Bluetooth audio streaming.
If you want the best audio system experience, a $2900 option will get you the new-generation of Mitsubishi Multimedia Control System (MMCS) coupled to a 7.0-inch high-resolution touchscreen with sat-nav. Audio delivery is taken care of by Rockford Fosgate speakers.
Since its launch, the Mitsubishi ASX has been offered with a choice of either petrol or diesel powertrains, with the diesel lacking an automatic option. This has remained the case despite the update. Nonetheless, the Japanese company says it has revised the petrol automatic models to deliver better acceleration by retuning the continuously variable transmission (CVT) which now enables a smoother driving experience by changing the link-ratio of the accelerator pedal opening and torque output. Mitsubishi says it reduces the perceived ‘clutch slip’ feel.
Tuning to the power steering, rear shock absorber and other areas has also altered the ASX’s ride and handling.
The 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel, which pumps out a healthy 110kW and 300Nm of torque, is now only available in the range-topping ASX 4WD Aspire with a six-speed manual. It becomes the best in class for fuel-efficiency, at 5.7 litres of diesel per 100km (down 0.2L/100km), but is expected to make up a small portion of ASX sales due to its manual- and 4WD-only limitations.
The petrol models are powered by a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that delivers the same power rating as the diesel but less than two-thirds the torque (110kW and 197Nm). It will be available across the 2WD range with a five-speed manual (7.7L/100km) or a CVT (7.9L/100km). 4WD Aspire petrol models variants will only be available with a CVT.
Mitsubishi has improved the towing capacity of the ASX to 1300kg for petrol and 1400kg for diesel models (from 1050kg). Safety remains top-notch with seven airbags and loads of passive and active safety features. The ASX retains its maximum five-stars ANCAP safety rating.
Update: Mitsubishi ASX Review.
Mitsubishi ASX Pricing:
Mitsubishi ASX 2WD
Options – Safety Pack RRP $995
Mitsubishi ASX 2WD Aspire
Mitsubishi ASX 4WD Aspire
Options for Mitsubishi ASX 2WD and 4WD Aspire – MMCS and Rockford Pack RRP $2,995