We compare the all-new Renault-based Mitsubishi ASX with its predecessor
It was back in 2016 when we last saw Mitsubishi launch an ASX at the 6th Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS). This was the first time the automaker gave the crossover the Dynamic Shield look, along with several updates both inside and out.
Unfortunately, it was also the last time we saw the ASX as Mitsubishi quietly discontinued it for the Philippine market the following year. While it did get another facelift in other countries, we actually didn't get that in the Philippine market.
But just recently, Mitsubishi finally retired the first-generation model after launching the all-new second-generation ASX. Unlike its predecessor, the next-generation crossover is not a Japanese-made product. Instead, it's all French as the vehicle is based on the Renault Captur. The automaker didn't even bother changing the exterior or interior aside from replacing the Renault badges for Mitsubishi ones.
With the ASX now a European-manufactured crossover (it's made at Renault's Valladolid plant in Spain), we just can't help but do a comparison between the all-new Renault-based ASX and the older GS Platform-based model. That's right, it's time for another spec check.
Roll Out The Measuring Tape
First and foremost, let's compare the two crossovers in sheer size. The Captur-based ASX measures 4228mm long, 1797mm wide, and 1573mm tall. Wheelbase, on the other hand, comes in at 2639mm while ground clearance is rated at 174mm. Not bad, but the older ASX is actually a little bigger.
With a length of 4295mm, a width of 1770mm, and a height of 1625mm, the previous ASX is marginally longer and taller than the all-new model. Its wheelbase is also longer at 2670mm while ground clearance is at 195mm.
Looking at the dimensions between the two crossovers, it seems the older ASX still has the advantage when it comes to size, cabin space, and even ground clearance. Even in ground clearance, the GS-based ASX provides more peace of mind in case you need to go over rough terrain. It's only in sheer width that the Captur-based ASX was able to one-up the previous generation.
Spoiled for (engine) choice
So the previous-gen ASX is larger and has more ground clearance than the Renault-based crossover. But when it comes to powertrain options, the all-new ASX is literally spoiled for choice.
Since the ASX is now a Renault-made vehicle, it shares its engines with the Captur. The range begins with the humble 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo that puts out 91 PS with 160 Nm of torque and is connected to a 6-speed manual. Next is the larger 1.3-liter turbocharged mild-hybrid four-cylinder that's available in two states of tune; 140 PS with 260 Nm when mated to a 6-speed manual, and 158 PS with 270 Nm when paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch.
Those who prefer a gasoline hybrid can choose the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. While it doesn't come with forced induction, it does come with two electric motors which make for a respectable 143 PS along with 148 Nm of torque. More importantly, it comes with a multi-mode 6-speed automatic that allows for a more fuel-efficient driving experience. Last but definitely not least is the 1.6-liter plug-in hybrid four-cylinder. It makes more power at 159 PS but has slightly less torque at 144 Nm. But since it's a plug-in hybrid, the 10.5 kWh battery pack and dual electric motors allow the ASX to travel for around 49 km with no emissions. It too comes with a 6-speed multi-mode automatic gearbox.
As for the previous generation ASX, it only came with one engine for the PH market, the 2.0-liter 4B11 four-cylinder MIVEC derived from the last generation Lancer. It produced 150 PS with 197 Nm of torque and is connected to a CVT with 6-speed sequential shifting and paddle shifters.
Thanks to forced induction and electrification, the all-new ASX gets a more generous serving of powertrain options for every discerning customer. While the 2.0-liter 4B11 did impress us years ago, its age and limited use on the Lancer and previous ASX meant it wasn't long for this world.
It goes without saying that one of the important features a vehicle must have are safety equipment. The Mitsubishi ASX is no different as both the old and new models come with them. But which of the two comes with more standard amenities?
Starting with the older ASX, it gets dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, a brake override system, a tire pressure monitoring system, cruise control, traction control, and stability control. It also gets a reverse camera which aids in parking safely.
As for the Renault-based model, it comes with much more. Aside from having a host of airbags, anti-lock brakes with EBD, brake assist, and traction/stability control, the new ASX also comes with intelligent driver aids called MI-PILOT. This gives it smart safety systems that include adaptive cruise control with active lane centering, front and rear collision warning, active lane-keeping assist, pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind-spot assist, and auto high-beam assist.
In just a short span of time, automakers are now equipping their vehicles with more intelligent safety systems in an effort to reduce the number of accidents as well as fatalities from such incidents. While the previous ASX already came with a good number of safety features, the one on the all-new model comes with more intelligent systems.
Packed with amenities
It's one thing to let drivers enjoy the car while on the road. But it's another completely different matter to keep them entertained and relaxed while driving for hours (or kilometers) on end. With that, automakers nowadays make sure that they have enough amenities to keep drivers and other passengers entertained.
It might already be a few years old but the previous ASX still came with a respectable number of in-car features. It comes with full leather seats, automatic climate control, a 6.75-inch touchscreen infotainment with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a panoramic glass roof, a leather steering wheel, and paddle shifters.
Over to the 2023 model, the French-built ASX gets a bit more advanced when it comes to interior amenities. It comes with a fully-digital 10.25-inch instrument display, digital automatic climate control, a full-leather interior with contrast stitching, and LED ambient lighting.
Infotainment comes in two forms; a standard 7-inch touchscreen and a bigger tablet-inspired 9.3-inch media display. Despite the difference in size, both come with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, along with navigation. Both touchscreens also control and manage the desired driving modes, infotainment settings, as well as other various car functions.
When Mitsubishi quietly discontinued the ASX for the Philippine market several years ago, it left a sizable gap in the automaker's lineup. It also came at a bad time because today, B-segment crossovers are now thriving and are the go-to choice for most buyers. From cars like the Geely Coolray, MG ZS, Honda HR-V, Ford Territory, and the Nissan Kicks e-Power, the subcompact crossover scene is booming.
With an all-new crossover in their lineup, could the Renault Captur-based ASX fill that gap in Mitsubishi's local lineup? Perhaps, but since the new-generation model is built in Europe for European markets, we might have to wait for the official word if the automaker actually decides to bring it here.
Should Mitsubishi actually bring the French-built ASX to the Philippines, would you consider it over countless other choices? Let us know in the comments below.