Small city-based SUVs are one of the fastest-growing car segments in Australia. Their success comes down to practicality, value for money and driveability. Here we are going to compare two of the most popular models, the Mazda CX-30 and the Mitsubishi ASX.
On paper, these two cars look difficult to separate. They cost roughly the same, offer similar performance and provide comparative levels of comfort. But in the metal, they are very different animals.
So which of these two popular SUVs should you park on your driveway?
Price: $29,390 - $47,490
Drivetrain: Petrol/Diesel/Hybrid 2.0L, 2.5L ULP, 6 SP Auto FWD, AWD
Body type: Compact SUV
Towing capacity: 1200kg
Dimensions: 1540 x 1795 x 4395
Read Our Complete Review Of The Mazda CX-30
Price: $24,490 - $33,900
Drivetrain: Petrol 2.0L, 2.4L, ULP, CVT, Auto, FWD
Body type: Compact SUV
Towing capacity: 1300kg
Dimensions: 1640 x 1770 x 4365
A quick look at the specifications highlights some important differences. While both cars come with a 2.0L petrol as standard, only the Mazda CX-30 is available with a diesel and Hybrid option.
Buyers looking for an AWD option will also have to go with the Mazda. The Mitsubishi used to be available with AWD, but this option got dropped a couple of years ago along with the diesel engines.
If space is important to you, the Mitsubishi offers more legroom and luggage space. But the headroom in the back is a little tight. Children should be fine but adults, especially those over 6 ft, will find the rear a little cramped.
The Mitsubishi ASX also has a more generous towing capacity, although both cars are more than capable of towing a small caravan, boat or trailer. Remember though that only the Mazda is available with AWD, which could make a big difference to your towing.
Style is subjective, but most people would consider the Mazda to be the better looking of the two. The CX-30 has a low slung sporty appearance while the ASX is more rugged and utilitarian by comparison.
You won’t feel embarrassed to drive either of them, but the sleek European styling of the Mazda looks more at home in the city and it will appeal to younger buyers. The boxy Mitsubishi looks more at home on country trails.
Inside, the Mitsubishi has a more spacious cabin. Both driver and passengers have more legroom front and back but headroom in the back is a little tight, especially for taller adults.
The quality of materials in both cars is good, but the Mazda has a more premium feel. The seats in the Mazda also offer more support, which means they should prove to be more comfortable on long journeys.
Both cars also come well equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard on all models. The Mitsubishi ASX has an 8-inch touchscreen and the CX-30 has an 8.8-inch screen accessed through Mazda’s console-mounted touch wheel.
Performance & economy
Engine: 2.0 Petrol
Transmission: 6sp auto AWD
Power: 240 Nm @ 4200 rpm
Fuel economy: 6.5L/100km
Engine: 2.0 Petrol
Transmission: CVT auto FWD
Power: 195 Nm @ 4200 rpm
Fuel economy: 7.7L/100km
Tech & Safety
Both cars have 5-star ANCAP ratings, ensuring they offer the highest level of protection. They both come with the latest life-saving equipment, but the Mazda benefits from a more impressive list of active safety equipment.
Auto Emergency Braking, ESC, lane assist and driver attention detection all come as standard on the Mazda while the Mitsubishi is only available with Auto Emergency Braking and ESC.
Both cars come with reversing cameras as standard but the Mazda also includes Vulnerable Road user Auto Emergency Braking and a blind-spot warning buzzer, neither of which are available on the Mitsubishi.
A sporty car-like drive
Advanced safety features
Good value for money
Who should buy the Mazda CX-30?
The Mazda CX-30 offers an upscale driving experience that is the best in its class. It feels more like a hot hatch than an SUV, so if you value driving dynamics but still need the practicality of an SUV, this is the car for you.
The Mazda also comes with a more comprehensive range of safety equipment. The list of features is impressive for a car in this price range and when combined with the AWD system, the result is one of the safest compact SUVs on Australian roads.
Who should buy the Mitsubishi ASX?
The Mitsubishi ASX will appeal to families that need a large towing capacity to tow a caravan or boat, while the spacious interior has enough room for a family of four plus the dog.
The ASX also comes with a 10-year, 200,000 km mechanical warranty and a 5-year perforation corrosion warranty as standard. This generous warranty should ensure resale values remain strong.
Choosing between these two cars is easier than it looks. There is no doubt that the Mitsubishi ASX is starting to show its age in this company. That is not to say the ASX is a bad car, but the Mazda is so much better in almost all respects.
The Mazda CX-30 offers a more refined ride, a better quality interior and more safety tech as standard. The Mazda is also the only one of the two available with both diesel and hybrid engine options.
The only reason to buy the Mitsubishi is for the more generous interior and towing capacity, but the Mazda hardly feels cramped inside and 1200 kg towing capacity is enough for most people.
Looking To Buy A CX-30 Or ASX? Get A Finance Quote With Credit One
Other options to consider
With its eye-catching design and engaging driving experience, the Hyundai Kona gives the Mazda CX-30 a run for its money. The Hyundai also costs a little less so you get more bang for your buck.
Learn More About The 2022 Hyundai Kona
The Toyota C-HR is fun to drive and packed with the latest safety tech, but not everyone will love the way it looks. Aesthetics aside, the CHR offers incredible value for money in a versatile package.
See Our Review Of The 2021 Toyota C-HR
The 5th generation Kia Sportage is bigger and more refined than the previous model, but the futuristic styling will not appeal to everyone. This is still a compelling package that is better equipped than most rivals.