WHEN it comes to trends in the world of motoring few have been stronger than the current one for SUVs and crossovers.
But one of the drawbacks of that is that is buying a model which is identical to huge numbers of others on virtually every public car park in every town in the country.
To find something which is good, which stands out from the crowd and gives you a sense of individuality isn't always easy. And this is where the Mitsubishi ASX comes in.
It's a car which sells more to people in the know than to the mass market so buying one means that - unlike with the Nissan Qashqai for example - you have little chance of parking next to one of its siblings every time you go to the supermarket.
Design-wise the ASX is a winner, particularly since its 2015 makeover, thanks to its high stance, sharp lines, and dramatic grille.
This particular model in lightening blue with cream leather upholstery certainly proved to be a winner with everyone who took a close look at it thanks to a very vivid exterior and very up-market interior.
The ASX is available in four trim levels and with a choice of either two or four-wheel-drive.
Even the entry level ASX 2 comes well equipped, but step up to the ASX 5 tested here and you get all the bells and whistles including all-wheel-drive, Nappa leather seats and LED mood lighting - not to mention blue tinted puddle lighting.
But it doesn't stop there. There's a vast panoramic glass sun roof with electric blind, keyless entry and start, satellite navigation and heated seats all round.
A seven-inch centrally set touch screen gives easy access to a host of on-board features and also doubles up as the monitor for the reversing camera which allows you to go backwards in ultimate safety.
Power comes from a 2.2-litre diesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox which, unusually today, still uses a dogleg system for the gear shift.
There are aluminium paddles behind the steering wheel - matching the new-look aluminium foot pedals - for manual gearchanges when you want to take total control although this seamless auto box works very well so there were few times when I used them.
The 147bhp engine has plenty of pulling power but I did find it a little noisier than I would have expected.
Despite a slightly soft suspension there is little roll on the ASX and I really enjoyed its handling and road holding. It has characteristics all of its own which when you get used to them allows you to push on hard at speed to give rewarding driving.
With a heritage for off-road driving like Mitsubishi's you would expect the four-wheel-drive version of the ASX to be well equipped for the rough stuff and it is.
With the simple push of a button near the gear shift you can change from two-wheel-drive - the most economic mode - to four-wheel-drive automatic or when the going gets really tough four-wheel-drive lock.
Even in four-wheel-drive automatic the sensitive system can alter the drive from 98 per cent to the front wheels and just two per cent to the rear to a full 50 per cent to both front and rear depending upon the vehicle's needs, so ASX owners need have no fear of a bad winter.
Passengers get more than adequate leg room and the boot area will accommodate 419 litres of luggage with the seats in the upright position and 1,193 litres with them down and there is also additional space for small items beneath the boot floor.