The Mitsubishi ASX XB isn’t exactly the second generation ASX, but represents the third and fourth facelift of the original ASX. And I do understand that you can do a facelift once, twice, or thrice, but come on, move on already.
The Mitsubishi ASX XB is clear evidence that Mitsubishi withdrew from the European car scene a long time ago. Boring cars built on platforms borrowed from others. Just as the Outlander is based on the Citroen C-Crosser platform, the ASX is based on the Citroen C4 Aircross platform. The same interiors for all Mitsubishi cars, bare minimum marketing, reliability that left the company faster than my pants did when I saw the showdown between Piers Morgan and Alex Jones, and prices that sit somewhere in the middle.
And yet, why do people keep buying the Mitsubishi ASX?
Actually, they don’t really buy it these days. The first ASX was an unexpected success for Mitsubishi, just like the Outlander PHEV. Mitsubishi frequently launches brilliant cars but they forget to market then yet somehow are bought left and right. However, the first ASX had advantages like reliability, aggressive looks, and a decent price. But since then, the Suzuki Vitara came along, which is even more reliable and has an even better price. So, the only reason to buy a Mitsubishi ASX XB is for its aggressive looks. That’s it. Especially since most engines have been dropped, and the third facelift is left with only three engines, while the most recent facelift has only one engine option. This way, you don’t need to bother with calculations you wouldn’t make anyway, as you’re interested in buying a crossover. You don’t care about performance, reliability, or other complicated terms. You want a car that looks good and offers you that higher driving position from where you can see the rest of the traffic. And on this aspect, the ASX still does its job wonderfully, not that it’s hard to do.
Mitsubishi ASX XB Engines
- 1.6 MIVEC 4A92 of 117 horsepower – The same engine used from ’93 until 2018, the 1.6 MIVEC has always been a noisy tool. You could however say that it’s very reliable, as long as it starts. Because it behaves as well as a customer in a salon talking on the phone while getting her makeup done. If you’ve driven around the city and then parked and turned off the engine, there’s a chance the engine won’t start again. Otherwise, you get the same Japanese reliability of which their engines are so famous for.
- 2.0 4J11 of 150 horsepower – The only available engine for the 2020 facelift, this engine is another fine, classic JDM petrol engine. Apart from the occasional carbon build-up, this engine has no thrills to give as long as you change it’s oil regularly.
- 1.6d PSA DV16C of 116 horsepower – The same trubbish carried over from the first ASX, which was actually scavenged from the Peugeot dumpster. Yes, everyone, the notorious 1.6 HDi is still alive. I’ve talked more about this in the article about the ASX and the Ford Focus 2, but the basic idea is that the engine has a filter that gets clogged and takes the turbo with it. On top of that, you have issues with injectors and the particle filter that regenerates every 200 meters. In essence, they should have made the particle filtre regenerate continuously without a break. At least you’d know what’s happening. However times have moved on and most of the issues have been solved and it’s a fairly reliable engine as long as you can keep it out of the urban jungle as the particle filer will still clog like the toilet after eating ethnic food.
- 2.2d 4N14 of 150 horsepower – You might have been ready to pop the champagne and play Audrey Bitoni videos, but don’t get too excited. Don’t get too excited because this engine tends to break it’s crankshaft and leave you stranded and it’s one of the worst engines you can buy. Luckily nobody bought it on the ASX as it would’ve been too big and too expensive so stick to the 1.6 diesel.
Mitsubishi ASX XB Common Issues
- The automatic transmission is actually a CVT gearbox, and this is like going to the doctor and being told you have a cold when in fact you have hemoptysis and acute tuberculosis.
- “Keyless Go” system? More like “Keyless No.” The car has a habit of not recognizing the key, and you’ll need to use the emergency key to get going.
Mitsubishi ASX XB Verdict
If you go for the petrol engine mated to the manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, you’ll have a classic crossover that looks more aggressive than the guy delivering entertainment during Pain Harmonica. In essence, the Mitsubishi ASX XB in 2019 does what the RAV4 did in 2005 and the Qashqai did in 2010. You could say that now it faces serious competition in the form of the Suzuki Grand Vitara and the Dacia Duster, but the Mitsubishi ASX XB doesn’t have competition. Because it was never interested in competing. Because Mitsubishi Europe no longer goes to the bathroom because it doesn’t have any poops to give.
Which engine do I recommend? The only reliable engine on the list is the 1.6 petrol, which only comes with front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox. The 2.0 petrol is fine too, but nobody bought it because it was too expensive and you don’t really the 150 horsepower for the ASX.