I’ve written about the Mitsubishi ASX, and theoretically, it’s not exactly the first generation, because this car is being produced since time in memorial. The Mitsubishi ASX GA, the official car of the minimum effort. If this car were a person, it would be a student with barely passing grades. But it passed.
Arriving in 2010 so that Mitsubishi wouldn’t say they had nothing to present in brochures under the SUV section, the Mitsubishi ASX GA was theoretically supposed to take on the Hyundai Tucson, VW Tiguan, Nissan Qashqai, probably the Dacia Duster, and not even in the wettest dreams – the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.
Built on the same platform as the Mitsubishi Outlander and Lancer, as well as the Jeep Patriot and Peugeot 4007, and Citroen C-Crosser, the Mitsubishi ASX GA initially launched in Europe with just two engines and 65 engines everywhere else. But yup, for Europe it was one diesel and one petrol, and that’s it. A car made with minimal effort that’s just there to exist, without excelling in anything other than being another crossover that looks aggressive and seems off-road capable , but is just as capable of off-road as Preston Lacy.
Buuut, just like many Mitsubishi cars, the ASX sold like hotcakes, just like the Outlander and especially the Outlander PHEV. I don’t know what’s going on at Mitsubishi’s office buildings, but they definitely haven’t heard of marketing over there and they accidentally create cars loved by many people who trample each other more than in the ’90s when MC Hammer pants appeared.
Why is the Mitsubishi ASX GA more popular than Heroes of Might and Magic 3?
It’s a simple car, sort of reliable, and it’s quite good if you consider the price-to-quality ratio. It’s somewhere between a Duster and a Kadjar in terms of price. In terms of looks, it’s not quite Diane Morgan but neither Sofia Boutella. Anyway, after the unexpected success of the first ASX, considering they only had two engines, the 2012 facelift comes with a cohort of new available engines – some decent engines, some excellent ones, and others just as good as the beer from a supermarket that boasts about it being cheaper than water.
Mitsubishi ASX GA Engines
- 1.6 4A92 of 115 horsepower – The most average engine for the most average crossover. I don’t think anyone’s buying it anyway, so I won’t talk much about it. Sometimes it doesn’t turn on, but that’s what you deserve if you buy a crossover just for the “status”. And then there’s the 117 horsepower unit which is the same 1.6 naturally aspirated engine, but with MIVEC technology. It’s reliable and quite good in Lancer and Colt, but not really meant for the ASX.
- 1.8 4B10 and 4J10 of 140 horsepower – Codenamed 4J1, this engine comes to improve Mitsubishi’s old engines and align to modern emission standards. You get power, reliability, you shouldn’t be allowed to buy anything else.
- 2.0 4B11 and 4J11 of 150 horsepower – An old-school engine that arrived when the party ended for one last smoke from a cigarette butt and to steal another bottle of Prosecco. The old 4B11 was replaced by the 4J1, but it remains a simple, reliable, and fun engine. Exactly what the Mitsubishi ASX GA isn’t. Be aware though of the not-so fuel economy and the fact that it makes a scene every morning when starting.
- 2.4 4B12 of 175 horsepower – This oily boy was present for a few year on a few markets and it’s the standard 4B12 engine used pretty much on everything, even the Colt. If it’s old school reliability you want and you want it delivered fast and you don’t really care about fuel or oil consumption, then this is the engine to buy. Provided you find one.
- 1.6 DI-D DV6C of 114 horsepower – The same mechanical disaster from Peugeot that ruined the reputation of Ford, Volvo, Mini, Peugeot, and whatever unfortunate cars it powered. The idea is that this failure of an engine has a filter in the turbo that gets clogged every 2 drops of oil. The filter clogs, the turbo stops receiving oil and therefore cooling, and from the glove compartment the N-Sync band comes out while singing “Bye! Bye! Bye!” You can change as many turbos as you want (all of them), but unless you change the filter, you’ll live miserably and contemplate at what have you done. But wait – there’s more, you also get complementary issues with injectors, flywheel, and clutch.
- 1.8 DI-D MIVEC 4N13 of 114 and 150 horsepower – This engine is of Mitsubishi’s own recipe, so you won’t get the French issues. However, like any Japanese engine, it lasts for about 300,000 kms / 180,000 miles without major interventions, after which issues start. Turbo, injectors, and EGR start from tire out and give up, but if you don’t drive with the engine only at 1250 rpm, you should be okay, otherwise prepare for soot and carbon trouble and make it double.
- 2.2 DI-D DW12 of 147 horsepower – An engine that would have been excellent if it didn’t come standard only with a CVT automatic transmission. The official engine of “I’ve seen potential.” Even though it’s a French engine, this single-turbo 2.2 diesel turbo is one of the most reliable modern diesel engines.
- 2.3 DI-D 4N14 of 150 horsepower – Did anyone buy this engine on the Mitsubishi ASX GA? Anyway, it’s another Japanese diesel, and this old school legendary diesel sacrifices performance for reliability and fuel economy. Good luck finding one on an ASX tho.
Mitsubishi ASX GA General Issues
- The automatic transmission is a CVT type, standard on all-wheel-drive models, and it’s ready to make your mechanic rich. The irony of fate is that if you want a diesel and manual gearbox, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
- For those who have Keyless Go, the days when the car recognizes the key are numbered. It’s not Renault bad, but it will still give your financial nads a kick from time to time.
- In the vast intelligence brought by the French and adopted by the Japanese, the particle filtres have a regeneration cycle every 200 kilometers. Basically, if you make a Birmingham – Bradford trip, you’ve regenerated the particle filter twice. Just like the 1.6 TDI on the Polo 6R or the 2.0 MZR-CD on the Mazda 6, you really don’t want to drive a diesel like this in the city.
Mitsubishi ASX GA Verdict
A relatively simple, cheap, and reliable car as long as you stay away from diesel engines. Basically, it represents the quintessence of the first Qashqai: petrol engine, manual gearbox, and front-wheel drive. Except Nissan did this in 2007, and the Mitsubishi ASX I used this recipe until 2012 and beyond. It’s clear they don’t have money for research and development, and it’s clear they don’t care that much about the ASX, using the same recipe from the Outlander: They took an existing car (Citroen C4 Aircross), modified the front and back, and that’s it. If you want something other than a Qashqai, a Duster, or a Tiguan, and you want a good bargain hero, then getting a Mitsubishi ASX GA is a decent choice. Not great, not terrible. Decent.
Which engines do I recommend? I’d recommend the 140 horsepower 1.8 petrol engine, but it’s probably too intense for the typical Mitsubishi ASX GA driver. So, I’ll recommend what’s already the most popular choice: the 1.6 petrol engine with 115 horsepower, manual gearbox, and front-wheel drive.