As comfy cruisers go in this class, the ASX is a firm bet.
There’s one petrol and two diesels to choose from and it’s best to stick to the latter. There is a choice between a six-speed manual or an automatic that delivers precise and decisive gear shifts.
Mitsubishi’s Intelligent Motion is fitted to all models. It’s unobtrusive and bundles together stop-start, regenerative braking, electric power steering, a clever alternator that only works when it’s needed, power-saving LED tail lights and low rolling resistance tyres to save fuel.
The 1.6-litre petrol engine is slow, thirsty and best avoided – it’s outshone by smaller, more modern units in the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008. It sits at high revs on the motorway, so matching the claimed combined fuel consumption figure of 48mpg is difficult and CO2 emissions of 135g/km, which is more than its rivals.
The cosseting ride won't suit boy racers, but it’s perfect for family transport
The 115hp 1.6-litre diesel is the one to go for. It has enough pulling power at low speeds and isn’t bad on fuel – returning 61mpg and CO2 emissions of 119g/km.
The 148hp 2.2-litre engine is claimed to get 49mpg, which is decent for the size of the engine, but not class leading by a long shot. The most powerful diesel Renault Kadjar averages 58mpg.
Unlike many of the latest small SUVs, which sometimes have sporty and firm rides, the ASX is much softer and inevitably, rolls heavily in corners as a result.
Push in corners and you’ll find the ASX has more grip than the squealing tyres might lead you to believe, but it isn’t an involving drive – a benefit or a drawback, depending on whether you want a car that’s actually rewarding to drive quickly.
Four-wheel drive is available on most engines – it’s a selectable system, meaning it sends power to the front until you flick the switch to 4WD. There’s no trick traction control system like in the Peugeot 2008 – although it won’t get you as far as the Mitsubishi’s system – and running costs take a substantial hit, so owners are advised to stick to the front-wheel-drive version unless they have a genuine need to go off-road.