There’s no denying the popularity of the Mitsubishi ASX small SUV. With a decent cabin size and plenty of storage space, it’s surprisingly roomy. Tested here in its 2023 entry level ES form, it’s a car with plenty of character.
The ASX has a very box like look and feel, and that’s a good thing, because it lends itself to feeling spacious. As soon as you climb inside, you discover there’s ample room, while it gives you a larger than life sense on the road.
Boot capacity is a decent 393-litres, and with the back seats folded down you can increase that to 1,193-litres. The seats are nice cloth, with a great level of bolstering. The leg support is something that was a stand out (and one many rivals forget about).
The rear seats have plenty of room for passengers, and there are two ISOFIX points, as well as three top tether anchors. Back up front, the steering wheel feels a little 90s, with plenty of solid plastic, although the small bank of buttons work great.
The gauge cluster is mainly analogue, with a retro-style information screen to go with it. The touchscreen infotainment system has an 8.0-inch display and wired smartphone connectivity. There’s some lag when you hook up Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The standard 4-speaker stereo system in the ES is fair for the price range and quickly levels up in the higher end models of the ASX. Under the hood is a 2.0-litre petrol engine, mated to a CVT automatic gearbox and driving only the front wheels.
The powertrain delivers 110kW of power and 197Nm of torque, which feels like plenty for the car itself, especially given it tips the scales at just 1,335kg. The CVT does struggle a little with torque delivery though.
While it doesn’t offer a manual selection mode, you do get Ds for sport and L for low. Climbing a reasonably steep hill calls for the former, which quickly sorts better power and more torque, although you wouldn’t leave it in this mode as the revs hang way too high.
L mode did come in handy when doing some basic off road driving though. While the transmission feels a little dated, the ASX offers exceptional reliability. That goes a long way to explaining why it’s a popular choice for rental and company fleets.
That’s helped significantly by the fact that Mitsubishi offers Australia’s first 10-year car warranty, with 10-years capped price servicing. That’s pretty damn hard to go past. That aside, fuel economy is reasonable too, at 8.5-litres/100km in testing.
The car maker claims 7.7-litres/100km so our result wasn’t too far from that. There’s a 63-litre tank on board. Overall, the ride is also very compliant, with a good level of suspension absorption over bumps, and modest body roll in the corners.
The brakes feel nicely matched to the package and when paired with a surprising level of safety tech, you start to get a sense that the ES was built for the long haul. Forward collision management, lane keep assist and emergency stop signalling all feature.
You’ll also find emergency brake assist, active stability and traction control, as well as hill start assist. Automatic headlights and wipers are standard, along with cruise control. For parking, you have rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera.
The 2023 Mitsubishi ASX ES represents exceptional value at $30,680 drive away, in Diamond Red (as tested). It offers a great use case at the entry level end of the market, with long standing popularity among a loyal buyer following.
What sets it apart is the fact that we live in a world where so many brands are focused on looking new age and tech savvy, yet there is something to be said for a car that focuses more on reliability and ease of use. The ASX ES is that vehicle.
Our test vehicle was provided by Mitsubishi Motors Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Mitsubishi ASX ES, contact your Mitsubishi dealer, or visit their website. If you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.