What is it?
ASX is the best seller in the Mitsubishi family and a leader in its category.
The GSR nameplate itself harks back to the sporting Lancers and Galants of days gone by.
But, put them together, and you get a car that is a case of “missed it by that much.”
What’s it cost?
The ASX family is extensive.
Kicking off with the manual 2.0-litre ES at $24,990 drive-away, GSR sits one from the top in the seven-strong lineup and at $30,740 offers almost everything the Exceed does at $33,240.
Prominent on GSR is a black pack: wheels, grille, door mirror covers, a small black rear roof spoiler, and stitched suede/leather seats, with rubber from Bridgestone’s Ecopia range at 225/55/18.
The colour of our review vehicle is a sparkling Sunshine Orange and sets off the angular front end that is the signature of Mitsubishi now.
LED driving lights and quad-globe “ice cube” driving lights and indicator cluster sit over a chin guard that joins sill plates and a rear bumper line all lined in black.
However, there is only one GSR badge to be found.
Rear cargo is a decent size if not huge, because 393 litres is just enough for most — but it increases to 1193 litres with the seats down.
Given the compact size of the ASX head and leg room is quite spacious, with 963mm head room and 921mm leg room for the rear seats.
They’re good numbers given 1000mm head room and 1056mm leg room in the front.
Up front inspiration can be found when they decide to update the inside of the Outlander.
It’s a more modern and cohesive look, cleanly laid out and classy at the same time.
There’s a centre stack that is unfussy to look at, has the classic Mitsubishi dials for climate control, soft touch plastics for the dash material itself, with an 8.0 inch touchscreen taking pride of place in the centre.
DAB, smartphone connectivity, and a pair of USB ports take care of the modern touch.
But the drive selector evokes not-so happy memories of a gated design. Shaped in an F, and with an L for a low range style gear selection, it’s awkward and not intuitive.
In fact, more than a reasonable effort is required, and just that little too often, would strand the lever in Neutral or L when Drive was wanted.
Safety is prodigious, with Forward Collision Mitigation system, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Assist and Blind Spot Warning, with Rear Cross Traffic Alert to finish off the main package.
Auto headlights and wipers, flashing emergency stop signalling, reverse camera and front and rear parking sensors, plus seven airbags round out the supplementary systems.
What’s it go like?
GSR gets the bigger 2.4-litre petrol engine and CVT combo.
It generates 222Nm of torque and 123kW of power via the front wheels, in a vehicle that weighs just under 1400kg dry.
The CVT itself is one of the better ones, but disappointingly there’s no Sport mode. Nor do the paddle shifters do more than engage a set of the pre-programed ratios.
By the way, there’s no diesel, hybrid or all-wheel drive either.
Economy is always a pickle with Mitsubishi.
Their very informative information system shows a fuel average that changes depending on drive conditions.
No real problem with that, except that there’s no provision for a longterm average.
For example we went from a 9.0 plus around town to a highway figure of 6.7L/100km — but overall, we just can’t tell you . . .
Ride quality is very good, with less reliance on the tyre sidewalls, leaving the shocks and springs to do what they were designed for.
Even though it’s front-wheel drive, road holding isn’t compromised, because the suspension enables the rubber hold on with a more tenacious grip.
Torque steer is virtually non-existent too, with exuberant driving allowed and encouraged by the lack of pull against the steering wheel.
Where the GSR finally links to the intent of the nameplate is via those front driven wheels.
The traction control has been dialed back a little, allowing a moderately heavy right foot, that sees the engine spin lustily and it feels the same through the Bridgestones — even on dry tarmac.
They’ll scrabble for bite and will do so for a longer than expected interval.
Launch hard and there’s plenty of noise from the tyres, but a more noticeable intrusion from the engine nanny.
What we like?
- The Sunshine Orange is a looker
- Interior is well laid out
- Energetic drive
What we don’t like?
- Doesn’t really, in an historic sense, live up to the GSR badge
- No Sport mode
- Fussy gear selector
The bottom line?
ASX is holding off competitors comfortably.
Hopefully the company is looking at adding a hybrid option to the range.
The GSR spec looks great in a Sunshine Orange and black mix and drives well enough — but a GSR without a Sport mode misses the mark.
It’s comfortable inside and on road, the CVT is better than many, and it’s not a horrible price either.
Proper all-wheel-drive and a slick 6-speed manual? Now that would be more like it.
Mitsubishi ASX 2.4 GSR auto, priced from $30,740
Looks - 7.5/10
Performance - 7.5/10
Safety - 9/10
Thirst - 7.5/10
Practicality - 7.5/10
Comfort - 8/10
Tech - 8/10
Value - 8/10