The ASX has not been given an easy time in the consumer press by journalists writing for such titles as Auto Express, CAR and MSN Cars. They say that, judged on a number of criteria, it falls short against competition from Ford, Nissan, Mazda and Kia in a crowded segment.
Comments such as those on the right are a fair summary of the opinions expressed to thousands of potential buyers in their collective audience.
But talk to a dealer and there are revealed forces at play that tell a different story, forces that fellow scribes have not taken into account.
“Since the Japanese government devalued the yen to the pound to improve export potential, Mitsubishi was able to give the face-lifted ASX much better equipment levels, better-quality interior materials and reduce prices,” one dealer said.
“The confidence is back in the brand after some difficult economic circumstances, which made it difficult to compete or offer the quality we now see.
“I have a compelling offering for my customers – I can compete with the Koreans.”
More to the point, like many brands, Mitsubishi has recognised the importance of service plans and finance offers.
According to its website, the Mitsubishi Service Plan (MSP) is available for £450 (inc VAT) for the petrol model over three years or 37,000 miles and for £650 for the diesel over three years or 27,000 miles.
It covers the first three scheduled services and includes parts such as filters, oil and consumables, as well as labour costs.
The PCP available on our model would see a deposit of £7,690, plus monthly payments of £229 over 43 months with a 6.9% APR and final payment of £8,200. With a basic on-the-road price of £22,684, the total amount payable is £25,508.
The manufacturer-supported service plan – much like the Mini TLC offer – has a near 100% take-up among customers, the dealer said, and with an attractive PCP offer, the reduced prices and attractive running costs mean happy customers and a guaranteed service parc for the dealer.
These factors plus one more – the ease at which disabled drivers can get in and out of the ASX – have also made it a very appealing choice for Motability customers, according to the dealer AM spoke to.
What’s been said about the Mitsubishi ASX
In ASX4 auto form, the ASX is a strong buying proposition, well priced against rivals, good to drive and low on fuel bills. Yet, in other respects, it lacks the solid feel and thoughtful design that could result in day-to-day life becoming less enticing. We are far from being won over.
The Mitsubishi ASX is a worthy contender in an ever-expanding market segment and should appeal to those seeking a reliable, no-nonsense choice. However, while being well priced and well equipped is appealing, the ASX doesn’t do enough to stand out alongside competitors like the Mazda CX-5, Škoda Yeti, Suzuki S-Cross or Nissan Qashqai.