It’s fair to say the Mitsubishi ASX was launched ahead of its time. Mitsubishi released the ASX as the SUV wave was building up, and today, the Triple Diamond compact SUV is shining brightly in a hugely popular sector.

There are four variations on the ASX theme, which boasts two petrol and two diesel-engined varieties in either XLS or VRX trim. You also get a choice of drivetrain too, with the diesel models having 4WD as standard. This example however – likely the fleet-oriented bread and butter version, being a 2WD petrol – just so happens to be a popular choice with the family buyer too, thanks to its impressively small price and equally impressive, though much greater, appeal as a sensible sedan replacement.

Over the time the ASX has been available, Mitsubishi has done some peaking and tweaking. This has resulted in a pleasantly contemporary level of kit, without loading the vehicle – or its price – with super fancy gizmos and gadgets. Tasking note of the specification, you might think “ooh, I wasn’t expecting quite that much” and being pleasantly surprised. A great many features have over time, been easily incorporated into the ASX’ design, looking for all the world like they were always planned for, rather than added as an afterthought. Not an easy trick.   

Power in this instance comes from the long proven 2-litre MIVEC petrol engine. It’s a modestly performing engine to be fair, but one which powers the perky little ASX in the manner to which you might expect based on what you can see – a tidy and respectable, well-proportioned SUV running on contemporary 18-inch alloys.

Getting MIVEC power to those alloys is the CVT transmission with a faux-manual six speed Sport mode in the higher-grade variants. As with any CVT, putting your foot down is a rather loud experience and it plays havoc with the 7.6 litres per 100km Mitsubishi claims on combined cycle. That’s being conservative by the way, we got into the 6’s without trying and not demanding huge jumps in acceleration.

Safety-wise, the ASX holds up a five-star ANCAP scorecard, thanks to seven airbags, ABS brakes, and active electronic stability control. Couple this with the in-cabin safety features of Bluetooth hands free telephony with wheel-mounted controls, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility to suit all phones, voice activation and a 7-inch touchscreen with reversing camera; yes, the entry level priced ASX is pretty well specified.

You do feel inherently safe in the ASX, mostly because of its on-road height – which makes it easy to get in and out of too – and general feeling of being well balanced on the road. You might be pleasantly surprised at how well it handles too, given its height. That height gives the ASX another handy advantage: ease of loading into the cargo area. This is a comfortable 393 litre space with all five seats in place, gives you a metre between wheel arches and 750mm floor to roof height. Great for reps and family-friendly too. 

Frankly, the ASX does well in the market sector it plays in, not only for its price and specification level, but also for its admirable ride quality and general feeling of being more than you would expect to find in a value proposition. Hardly a surprise to learn that the Mitsubishi ASX consistently features in the top three sales for its market segment is it? 

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