Review: 2013 Mitsubishi ASX Aspire

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews

Fuel economy and comfort, would arguably be the two most asked about features in a compact SUV. The 2013 Mitsubishi ASX Aspire Diesel has recently undergone some updates to improve both its fuel economy and driver & passenger comfort.

The 2013 model, moves away from the 1.8 litre turbo-diesel with a manual transmission, and replaces it with a 2.2 litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, paired with an automatic transmission straight from the larger Mitsubishi Outlander.

We tested the range topping Aspire model, which adds some nice comfort features including a panoramic glass roof, GPS navigation, leather seat facings, better quality sound system and a few other items. You won’t miss out on the All-Wheel-Drive system on the entry-level model, as it is standard on both of the Diesel models. 

Safety wise, the ASX Diesel scores a Five Star ANCAP rating with seven airbags, stability and traction control, anti-lock braking, smart brake, hill start control and a reversing camera with guides and sensors all as standard. Not only does this help make parking or taking off on a hill easier, but it also means that you have just about every safety feature available, standard!

So how did it do on the road?

Initial Impression

Presented in a great looking ‘Starlight’ white colour (Red colour pictured), with the contrasting tint of the panoramic glass roof and Aspire spec alloy wheels, gives it a real ‘city’ feel.

It looks modern and stays characteristically Mitsubishi with its front nose and lines that travel down the body. 

Jumping into the driver seat shows off why the ASX is so popular. It gives you a great view of the road, which you strive for in a vehicle like this. The interior again, fits the design theme of Mitsubishi with components being shared from across various models, including the Lancer and Outlander.

The leather seats feel great, and the full colour screen in the instrument cluster is a very welcomed, yet understated feature.

Target Market

After spending quite a bit of time behind the wheel of an ASX, and seeing others on the road with them, the target market is quite broad. You could say, this is because this car is so versatile.

Not only could a young family use this as their primary car, but also it can double as the friend taxi when heading out to dinner. Or, you could use it to head to Sydney on close to a single tank of fuel; with the rear seats folded down and gear packed in the back. 

The interior technology, as already stated is modern enough to satisfy tech lovers and simple enough to use without a super thick user manual. Towing is also no problem with capacities of 750kg unbraked and 1,400kg braked, making that weekend away even better with a trailer.

Practicality​

Practicality would be the middle name of the ASX, if it had one. A car or SUV that is easy to park, earns big points in this category. 

The ASX, despite being a SUV, was able to fit itself into almost every car space we could find. The only parks we couldn’t fit into were probably designed to fit a Smart Car. The parking sensors and reversing camera assisted with squeezing into that ‘only car park in the city’, that all the larger SUV drivers had to give up!

Unlike some other compact SUV’s, the rear seats aren’t made only for small people. Passengers who are 6feet tall won’t have any problems sitting comfortably in the back; that’s with a 6feet tall person in front too. 

Additionally there’s a steel space saver spare wheel, and 1 year Diamond Advantage Roadside Assist to look after you. So you’re not going to be stuck on the side of the road.

Drivability

Typically on each review we drive between 500-800km’s, which means at some point, we will have to top up the fuel tank. Refreshingly, this time around in the bigger 2.2 litre turbo-diesel, we didn’t have to top up! Thanks to the better power to weight ratio and more efficient engine you’ll be able to have an average fuel economy of 6litres per 100km in the ASX Aspire Diesel.

We found, that the ASX Aspire was awesome to drive in peak hour traffic. The automatic transmission is smooth and handles low speeds really well. The sound system, whilst not anything special, is enough to enjoy pumping some tunes to sing along to. 

Overall performance is what you would expect. The engine and transmission from the Outlander, give the ASX the performance you want and the fuel economy you expect. It didn’t feel like we were waiting for the engine to catch up or wishing it had more go when overtaking on the highway. 

You don’t get a low speed gearbox for any serious off-roading, however the All-Wheel-Drive system will get you through some soft-roading. To save some extra fuel, you can also put the car into 2WD mode for everyday driving.

Cost

The ASX Aspire Diesel with its Five Start ANCAP rating, GPS navigation, leather seats and panoramic glass roof will find itself around the $40,000 mark drive away. The entry-level model that still carries all of the safety features, sits in the mid $30,000 mark. 

As part of that purchase price there’s a 5 Year or 100,000km Warranty, 5 Year Perforation Warranty, Capped Price Servicing and 1 Year of Diamond Advantage Roadside Assistance. 

Not a bad package and a good recipe for plenty of peace of mind for an important member of family.

Conclusion​

It’s versatile, practical and fuel-efficient. There’s not much more you can ask of from the 2013 Mitsubishi ASX Aspire Diesel.

You won’t be the off-road king of the mountain, but you’ll be sitting pretty in the city. The best decision made by Mitsubishi was to borrow the engine and transmission from the Outlander.

If you want a compact SUV that looks good and drives well, then test drive an ASX for yourself.