Above: 2020 Mitsubishi ASX Exceed Review

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ABOVE: 2019 VS 2020 models

2020 Mitsubishi ASX Exceed Review

There are a million choices for buyers in the small to medium SUV market.

ASX has been around for 10 years, with a few nips and tucks here and there to keep it up to date. But, has it?

Mitsubishi is an All-SUV line-up with the exception of the pint-sized Mirage. ASX is the smallest offering in their SUV range, and now has the corporate family front end with striking light arrays. It is very angular, and the LED lights really stand out.

The range has many models: ES (man or auto), MR, ES with ADAS, LS, GSR, and EXCEED. ADAS is the fancy name for the safety features combined into a single suite. That means the bottom 2 don’t have ADAS.

We drove both the entry ES ($26,740 drive-away), and range-topping Exceed ($35,990 drive-away), with our video to follow in a few weeks.

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ABOVE: 2020 Mitsubishi ASX


Exceed looks quite smart.

Had you never seen the pre-facelift models, you’d swear it was always meant to look this way. LED headlights have Auto-On and Auto-High-Beam. They sit in an angled facet in the façade, which connects to the driving-light array in the lower bumper. It all looks very modern, but I can’t shake that nagging feeling that it is just a new set of buttons on an old jumper.

Doors have rubber buttons for smart entry/start. The key need never leave your pocket, but only on the upper models, of course.

18” wheels have a two-tine effect, and paint choices include a deep metallic blue, and retro 70’s metallic orange.

The side profile has aged well, and manages a chunky muscular look without being awkward. See the pics for an old VS new comparison.

Outside, it is good news.



Front and centre is an 8” touch screen.

The command centre houses an array of features including Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, to compliment the inbuilt Navigation system with 9 Rockford Fosgate Premium speakers. Although the subwoofer takes up a bit of space in the boot, it is worth it. Sound is quite good. Navigation only available in the top model.

The seats are leather “appointed”, which is a fancy way of saying, some covering comes from a cow, and some doesn’t.

The driver gets powered adjustment, and both seats have heating, but no lumbar adjustment.

Driving position is aided by tilt/reach adjustment for the steering wheel.

Rear seats fold flat 60/40, making the 735L cargo hold an impressive 1143L, that is of course with your gear piled to the roof. Lower models gain 50L with the absence of the subwoofer.

There are 4 cup holders, 2 bottle holders, and the front doors have pockets.

Climate control is limited to a single zone.

Cabin design is ok, but it is starting to age, especially around the dash and driver dials. Exceed’s large sunroof goes some way to making up for it.


Mitsubishi makes much of the 5-star ANCAP rating. While the claim is true, it is worth noting that ASX was rated in 2014. ANCAP now date stamps the tests and limited those results to a period of 6 years. That is significant for two reasons: 1 – If Mitsubishi does not have ASX retested, it will not have a valid 5-star claim after 2020., 2 – a car tested in 2014 may or may not pass for 5 stars in 2020. It isn’t that ASX has become less safe, it is that the criteria change yearly to reflect advancements in safety and testing.

Features include:

  • Forward Collision Mitigation system (FCM) AKA AEB.
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Blind Spot Warning (BSW)
  • Lane Change Assist (LCA)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Automatic High Beam (AHB)
  • Emergency Stop Signal function (ESS)
  • Emergency Brake Assist system (EBA)
  • Hill Start Assist (HSA)
  • Active Stability Control (ASC)
  • Active Traction Control (ATC)
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
  • Brake Override System (BOS)
  • Driver & front passenger SRS airbags
  • Driver & front passenger side SRS airbags
  • Curtain SRS airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Front seat belt pretensioners
  • Auto Locking Retractor (ALR) seatbelts on outboard 2nd row seats
  • ISO-Fix child seat anchorage 2 Child restraint top tether 3 Child proof rear door locks
  • Power window lock driver control – passenger windows
  • Cruise control
  • Electrochromatic rear view mirror
  • Speed limit display
  • Automatic dusk sensing headlights
  • Speed sensitive intermittent windscreen wipers
  • Automatic rain sensing wipers
  • Intermittent rear wiper and washer
  • Rear view camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Auto door lock
  • Theft protection alarm
  • Encrypted engine immobiliser

The Drive:

Exceed and GSR models scored some extra power thanks to a 2.4L addition. Previously, all ASX models shared the 110kw 2.0L engine. The 2.4 4cylinder gains a little boost to 123kw, and 222Nm. Both engines use 91ron fuel. The 2.4L gets 7.9L/100k with 186g/k of CO2.

Ground clearance is 204mm, which matters little because you won’t be going too far off-road. ASX is a front-wheel-drive-only family.

Ride is firm despite the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear end.

It had been a long time since last heading into the hills in an ASX, and the drive hasn’t changed appreciably in that time. It’s also worth noting that the test was less comprehensive than before. Covid restricted travel somewhat.

So, while highway K’s were limited, we managed shopping and some chores, and the things people usually do when they’re bored sensless.

For that, the 2WD ASX was great. The front-wheel-drive gave the occasional chirp at the lights, and the steering is extremely light. That should please those lazy-bones.

Parking was easy with rear camera/sensors/cross traffic alert, but it’s a bit mean not to have sensors at the front too. The thing I missed most was the absence of any active steering assistance. Blind spot monitoring is a warning only, and there is no lane assistance. That is something others in the segment consider a must-have.

The engine does get a bit rambunctious when pushed, and there is a little more road noise than I’d have liked.

One last thing, the CVT feels decidedly old school. Newer CVTs simulate gears under harsh acceleration. It stops the engine from sounding like the pistons are about to shoot through the bonnet. If you stick the boot in, ASX will be screaming her head off within a few metres. It is quite off-putting.


ASX does nothing wrong. Drive away pricing, and a 5 year warranty are reassuring, but one wonders why the 7 year Triton warranty wasn’t applied right across the brand.

Roadside assist is complimentary for the 1st year, then an extra year each for the life of the capped price service. That is dependent your Mitzi being serviced at one of their dealers of course.

10 years is a long time in the auto world, and ASX is showing its age. The question a buyer will ask is, does this car have the latest of everything. If not, is it the best on price.

Price $35,990 Drive away

Update to ASX 2.0L v 2.4L:
2.0 (4B11)à 2.4 (4B12)
Power: 110kW @ 6000rpm à 123kW @ 6000rpm
Torque: 197Nm @ 4200rpm à 222Nm @ 4100rpm
Econ (CVT): 7.6 l/100km à 7.9 l/100km
CO2 (CVT): 176 g/km à 186 g/km