Mitsubishi ASX

refreshed for 2017

Mitsubishi ASX, 2017, front
Mitsubishi ASX, 2017, front, static
Mitsubishi ASX, 2017, interior
Mitsubishi ASX, 2017, rear, static
Mitsubishi ASX, 2017, side, static
Mitsubishi ASX, 2017, dashboard

IT stands for Active Sports Crossover and it's competing in the crowded and bustling compact SUV segment where manufacturers are battling for top dog position, but Mitsubishi's ASX has plenty to help it stand out from its rivals.

With prices starting from a very competitive £15,999 rising to £28,349 and a choice of four richly-equipped trim levels to select from, customers have lots of choice and when you factor in the vehicle's dynamic styling and great all-round packaging, the ASX is quite a catch.

There are highly-efficient, yet powerful diesel and petrol engines with impressive fuel economy and low emissions figures to help keep running costs low.

In addition, the newly styled model has lots of head-turning characteristics, including an imposing yet attractive stance, smart light clusters, tinted windows and chunky alloys.

The entry-level ASX 2 features the likes of air conditioning, privacy glass, a chrome exhaust finisher and a high contrast LCD display.

Step up to ASX 3 and you will see the addition of 18-inch alloys, climate control, front fog lamps, cruise control and a six speaker sound system. There are rain sensors, automatic lights, a reversing camera and additional infotainment kit.

ASX 4 adds leather upholstery, 4WD and automatic transmission, plus a panoramic sunroof, the Mitsubishi Multi Communication System with seven-inch HD touchscreen, sat nav, DAB radio, a CD player and lots more.

Then the range-topping ASX 5 features Nappa leather upholstery with a choice of three colours, heated rear seats, twin rear USB charging ports, LED mood lighting and plenty more besides.

So there is lots of options for customers and when you factor in the automatic or manual gearboxes along with two- or four-wheel drive, there is an ASX to suit all tastes and requirements.

We tried out the 1.6-litre 114PS diesel model ASX 3 with 6-speed manual gearbox and 2WD. This car was priced at £20,349 (plus £437.50 options) and could reach from 0-62mph in 11.2 seconds and topped out at 113mph. According to official flgures it can deliver combined fuel economy of 61.4mpg with carbon emissions of 119g/km.

The first thing to note is how beautifully spacious the cabin is with all dials, controls and instrumentation ideally positioned for usability.

The upright seating position and narrow pillars means the driver benefits from unobscured all-round visibility and the seating is comfortable for all occupants with back seat passengers enjoying ample leg, head and shoulder space.

When it comes to driving dynamics and performance, the ASX is good but not outstanding. Whilst the acceleration, road holding and suspension is perfectly adequate there are certainly sportier alternatives out there. That said; the more lively rivals do tend to cost more than the ASX so it's worth weighing up budgets and needs before splashing out.

In traffic, the ASX ambled along quite smoothly and then on faster lanes, the road-holding was nice and assured. The acceleration is okay, although not blistering and you will hear a fair amount of road surface and engine noise if pushed particularly hard.

However, there are so many plus points when considering the ASX. It's very competitively priced, it's well equipped, the technology is simple to operate, the running costs are low, it looks smart and the space within the vehicle is excellent with a boot capacity of 442 litres which can be increased to 1,193 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. So it is an excellent all-round package.

The small SUV market is a challenging segment to compete in with the likes of the Kia Sportage, Skoda Yeti, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Qashqai as rivals, but Mitsubishi is confident the ASX can lay down its marker too as Lance Bradley, managing director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, explained: "The crossover marketplace has grown rapidly in recent years and Mitsubishi Motors has been a key player in this important segment. The Mitsubishi ASX is a stylish, well-priced, practical contender that has won many admirers and delivers genuine driving pleasure.

"Delivering excellent economy and emissions, versatility, as well as comprehensive standard equipment, not to mention reassuring safety features, the ASX has everything the crossover buyer is after."

And for any doubters, it's also worth remembering the ASX comes with the company's five-year warranty too.

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