IT'S hard to believe the Mitsubishi ASX is already 10 years old and it's celebrating in style with a major facelift that includes a fresh look, lots of additional on-board kit and a new naming structure.
The 2020 ASX, which is priced from £20,295, is now available in two trim levels called Dynamic and Exceed along with a new petrol powertrain that can be mated to a CVT or manual transmission. In addition, customers can opt for two or four-wheel drive.
Competing in the densely overpopulated compact SUV sector, the five-door ASX needs to attract attention and its modern appearance certainly helps it stand out in a crowd.
New design cues include the introduction of Mitsubishi's Dynamic Shield styling with a distinctive grille, new LED headlights, a redesigned rear bumper with upgraded tail lights and new 18-inch alloy wheels.
Move inside and the ASX has been brought bang up to date with the likes of an eight-inch touchscreen with smartphone link for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is a DAB radio, TomTom sat nav, Bluetooth and plenty more besides.
Our range-topping ASX Exceed four-wheel-drive (4WD) model, costing Â£26,465, also boasted a panoramic glass roof with black roof rails, heated seats, leather upholstery with an electrically-adjustable driver's seat, plus the introduction of some extra safety features such as blind spot warning with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert.
The ASX was powered by the new 150hp 2.0-litre petrol engine with 195Nm of torque. This was mated to an automatic transmission and the car could reach from 0-62mph in 12.2 seconds, topped out at 118mph and could deliver combined fuel economy of 34.4mpg (WLTP) with carbon emissions of 167g/km.
The car has the practicality bases well covered with a boot capacity that ranges from 406 litres to 1,206 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat. There are also plenty of handy compartments scattered throughout the cabin to store away bits and pieces, including a glovebox, practical door pockets with a section to hold bottles in place, cup holders, a central cubby box and a couple of trays.
When it comes to passenger comfort, it rather depends where you sit. Up front, there's oodles of space and leg room. Move into the back and it gets a tad cramped especially if the front seats are pushed right back. But it's worth remembering the ASX is a compact SUV and the room in the back is fine for children.
When it comes to performance, the ASX is a very easy vehicle to drive. The acceleration through the CVT gearbox is smooth and responsive and there is ample power on tap to conquer steep hill climbs or overtake slower moving traffic. There are steering wheel mounted paddles for extra fun and when more adverse weather or driving conditions present themselves, simply turn a dial to alternate between the 2WD, Auto 4WD and 4WD modes.
In town centres, the car was agile as it weaved through the traffic and parking was made simpler thanks to the great all-round visibility and a reversing camera. Then out on the open road, it was nicely composed with good levels of grip and minimal body sway.
It's also a car that can hold its own on fast moving motorways where it cruises with ease at the national speed limit. You will feel buffeted a little by stronger gusts of wind on open stretches of road, but generally the ASX feels well planted.
The Mitsubishi achieved the maximum five stars when tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating and features a comprehensive range of systems to protect occupants and pedestrians as well as helping to prevent accidents happening in the first place.