Mitsubishi ASX 3 1.6

Diesel 2WD

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

WITH the automotive world going crossover crazy it's no surprise that Mitsubishi should be an eager competitor.

One would rightly expect a manufacturer that boasts a long and illustrious record for turning out rugged and capable SUVs to make a worthy contribution.

While Mitsubishi might have been a relative latecomer to the crossover market - the emphasis is more on its large and compact SUVs the Outlander and Shogun - the ASX has a lot going for it.

While it might be compact it has the feel of a far larger car and that is one of its great strengths.

Also, while a lot of crossovers have the feel of a car that secretly wants to be an SUV but falls short, the ASX somehow feels like a ‘proper' scaled-down SUV.

It's hard to put one's finger on but it feels like it has SUV DNA running through its veins somehow, which I imagine is in large part down to the marque's expertise and track record in this regard.

Design-wise the ASX is an attractive vehicle that looks stylish and appealing while still sticking to that essential boxy blueprint that defines most SUVs. It also has a premium look and feel.

Last year saw it given a refresh, with the styling updated inside and out.

A sleek new look has been delivered via Mitsubishi's ‘Dynamic Shield', which saw the ASX acquire the family look pioneered on the Outlander.

Its defining feature is a distinctive front end with striking chromed streaks sitting either side of the grille, shielding the familiar three diamond Mitsubishi logo.

There's also a new shark fin antenna, revised seat cushions, new upholstery across the range and new exterior colours.

The range consists of 2, 3, 4 and 5 models and trim levels have been updated.

Engine-wise the options are the same as before, with a 115bhp 1.6-litre MIVEC petrol, a 112bhp 1.6-litre DI-D diesel and a 147bhp 2.2-litre DI-D diesel. The smaller engines are two-wheel drive and mated to a six-speed manual gearbox while the larger diesel offers on-demand four-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission as standard.

An entry-level petrol-powered ASX 2 at £16,254 looks like remarkably good value for money.

Standard equipment levels are high and it comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, air conditioning, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB port with iPhone compatibility, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, multifunction colour instrument display, electric windows front and rear.

This car, an ASX 3 diesel, sits in the low to middle end of the range and for a little more of an outlay has much which make it a great all-rounder.

Priced at £20,564 its excellent diesel engine offers the kind of blend of performance, refinement and economy that's hard to beat.

The ASX 3 comes with 18-inch alloys, automatic climate control, keyless entry, cruise control, automatic light and rain sensors, xenon headlamps with washers, DAB radio and Bluetooth music streaming, heated front seats, electric-folding door mirrors and a reversing camera.

Move up to the 4 and 5 models and you get add-ons like a panoramic glass roof, Mitsubishi's Multi Communication System, four-wheel drive and more besides.

From a practicality point of view, the ASX is nicely proportioned and feels a lot bigger than it looks from the outside.

It has a roomy cabin and stands up well against hatchbacks and estates with a 442-ltre boot.

To drive the ASX impresses. It has a nicely elevated ride height and manages to be a good halfway house between a conventional car and an SUV.

Pitch and roll are kept to a minimum and it feels light, agile and not overly cumbersome.

It's comfortable and rides nicely with a decent and supple suspension set-up.

FAST FACTS

Mitsubishi ASX 3 1.6 Diesel 2WD

Price:£20,564

Mechanical:112bhp, 1,560cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 113mph

0-62mph: 11.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 61.4

Insurance Group: 18

C02 emissions: 119g/km

Bik rating: 25%

Warranty: 5yrs/62,500 miles

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