As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Australia’s Best New Car News, Reviews and Buying Advice

2020 Mitsubishi ASX Exceed: Private Fleet Car Review.

This Car Review Is About: A recently (late 2019) updated ASX range which received the Mitsubishi shield nose, a mild refresh to the tail light cluster, and the deletion of a diesel as an option.

The Exceed sits at the top of a six tier (ES is manual or auto) range which provides one of the broadest choices available to Australian consumers for one stand-alone model.

How Much Does It Cost?: Mitsubishi have tight pricing for a diverse range. The entry point is the ES which lists at $24,990 drive-away as of February 2020. The Exceed comes in at $35,990. For that price Mitsubishi are including seven years warranty and two years free servicing.Under The Bonnet Is: Mitsubishi’s well proven 2.4L MIVEC petrol fed engine. There are no diesels and, as yet, no hybrids. Only the ES has a manual option, with a CVT being the transmission of no choice. It’s not a winner but more on that later. Peak power is 124kW, with peak twist of 222 torques available at 4,100rpm. Economy was excellent, with an around town best of a paltry 6.3L/100km. Mitsubishi’s combined figure is quoted as 7.9L/100km from a 63L tank filled with standard 91RON unleaded. Drive is now to the front wheels only.

On The Outside It’s: Lost the dumpy, squat, short jawed look and gained an assertive stance thanks to the reworked front. Apart from being resized and re-proportioned to fit the ASX, it’s identical to that seen on the rest of the family. The lower corners have a quad “ice cube” cluster with fog and indicator LEDs. With that sharper front end, it also highlights the curves in the rear which now don’t quite match the other end.

Both front fenders have a black plastic insert ringed with chrome. These sit on the join line with the doors and draw an upwards incline through the door handles to the rear window. The tailgate is manually operated, a feature that Mitsubishi should have sprung for to change to powered.

Tyres are from Bridgestone and their Ecopia range. They’re 225/55/17 and are on distinctive ten spoke alloys with black paint. The sheetmetal has a choice of eight colours, with the review vehicle in Lightning Blue.On The Inside It’s: Starting to show the base design’s age. Flat and slabby are how to describe the dashboard. Only the seats could be described as soft touch, and they’re sat on, not in. Again, the front seats are heated only, an oversight that doesn’t suit Australian summers.The driver faces a traditional two dial display with Mitsubishi’s standard colour LCD screen in between. For the Exceed, at least, a full LCD screen for a little class difference should be here.

The driver’s seat is powered for adjustment, at least. The second row fold easily and offer over 1,100 litres of cargo space. It’s here that you’ll find the subwoofer driver for the Rockford Fosgate DAB audio system. The company is a long time supplier of audio to Mitsubishi and it shows. It’s beautifully integrated and provides a sensational kick from the sub, balanced by outstanding treble and mid-range notes. The touchscreen is an 8.0 inch unit and the interface has been redesigned for a better look and use. Naturally it’s Android, Apple, and Bluetooth compatible in regards to the sounds system.Piano black surrounds the screen, as it does the gear selector and portions of the steering wheel. Auto wipers and headlights are standard also. The aircon is single zone and a pair of USB ports sit below the knurled chrome dials. The centre console houses two cupholders close to the console storage locker.

For a vehicle that fringes the small and medium SUV class, at just 4,365mm in length, it’s well packaged inside for head, shoulder, and leg room. Up front is 1,056mm with the rear seats having 921mm. Headroom is fine considering the ASX Exceed has a full glass roof. Front and rear measurements are 988mm and 934mm.

On The Road It’s: Frankly disappointing. The CVT hobbled the 2.4L to the point Sports mode was the preferred choice for driving. Sports mode should a mode to complement the normal Drive, not be the preferred standard. The Low range gear option made its presence appreciated when hitting the upwards slopes in Sydney’s Blue Mountains too, utilising the 222Nm far more efficiently than standard Drive.Left in Drive, acceleration was akin to wading knee deep in molasses whilst wearing boots and jeans. An Apollo trip to the moon and back is quicker than the ASX Exceeds time to 100. Flip the gear selector to the left and the chains are broken, the molasses is gone, and Apollo is still on the launch pad, such is the startling difference in nature. It also makes for a decent highway cruiser, quietly bubbling along and showing no signs of struggle. Corners, though….there’s little body roll but hit a road joint, an expansion joint, and suddenly the words lateral stability disappear. The front and/or rear skip violently sideways and for the unaware, it’s a moment of wondering what could happen.Braking and steering are suitable for the ASX Exceed too. There’s enough pedal pressure to tell the driver what’s going on in the stopping department whilst the steering, as light as it is, doesn’t feel artificial or over assisted.

Ride quality is also on par for expectations. It’s well tied down, finding that fine balance between absorption, suppleness, and tautness. Freeway driving has the steering requiring just the right amount of minimal input required.

What About Safety?: No problems here. Forward Collision Mitigation starts the list, Blind Spot Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Lane Change Assist are here, along with seven airbags including driver’s knee. Front seat seatbelt pretensioners and a pair of ISOFIX seat mounts in the rear seats are also standard. A reverse camera with guidelines and rear sensors add to the package.

At The End Of the Drive. In our opinion, as much of a difference the facelift has made, it’s still, essentially, the same decade old ASX inside and it shows. It’s a massive seller for Mitsubishi, it’s fair to say, and that’s due to some very good pricing and the less than discerning tastes for a quality drive from those buyers. Given that there are similar vehicles at not much more that have a better interior and are dynamically superior, Mitsubishi should be giving thought to an improvement underneath from here on in. Find out more here.