Sadly, the 2016 facelift will do little to endear the ASX to the young and hip. The new ‘Dynamic Shield’ front grille shape is different, but whether it’s an improvement of old chrome-surround design is very much up for debate.
Keeping things consistent, the dashboard design lacks flair but a new ‘shark fin’ aerial means Radio 4 should rarely fall from the stereo’s reach. Interior improvements are limited to revised upholstery and re-cushioned seats. That said, there’s plenty of space for four adults, room to stretch out in the back and the boot is among the largest in class.
The biggest surprise is that the ASX drives way better than it looks, relatively speaking. The steering is meaty and body control is pretty decent, too. It’s not as cosseting as the Nissan Qashqai but copes well with most bumps and poor road surfaces.
And it’s on the latter of those two that the ASX shines – offering genuine off-road potential that eclipses all its aforementioned rivals, especially when it’s paired with four-wheel drive and the torquey 2.2-litre diesel engine. The 1.6-litre petrol motor is better suited to the city and only comes fitted with two-wheel drive to cement that view.
Equipment levels are good with basic models, called ASX 2, having the bare necessities such as air-con and phone connectivity as standard. Mid-range ASX 4 models represent the best value, adding attractive extras such as a leather interior and sat-nav.
A capable all-rounder that is let down by a marginal infotainment system and lack of personality
The Mitsubishi ASX is a fine car that doesn’t change the rules one iota. If you’re after a no-nonsense practical family SUV with loads of standard equipment then it’s fairly easy to recommend.
However, so are its rivals, which also feel more car-like to drive, offer better engine options and interiors that are a few steps ahead in terms of design and technology.
For a more detailed look at the ASX, read through the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. Or, if you want to see what sort of savings to expect on an ASX, just click through to our deals page.