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 Â£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.