It was one of the first compact crossovers on the market and now in its third generation the ASX, as it is known in the UK, is going better than ever. Its available in six versions and three trim levels and is offered with a range of petrol and diesel engines. Of course the higher the number the more equipment you get. The engine range comprises of 4-cylinder units, a 1.6-litre petrol, 1.6-litre turbo diesel and 2.2-litre turbo diesel.
Prices start at just over £15k for entry level models and range up to £24k for top spec ASX 4 Auto. The ASX may be designated as a compact crossover but its actually anything but, its bigger than a Mini Countryman and that means you get a lot more room than the designated category suggests. Indeed interior room is good enough for burly adults and generally suits all sizes. Except the obese and the unnaturally tall.
The 2015 ASX has undergone the traditional model update, new set of headlight designs, more aggressive looking bumpers, that sort of thing. The ASX has never been eye catching but neither is bland to the point of being visually extinct.
On the inside its pretty much unchanged, its well built, part of the front dash is surfaced in softtouch materials whereas most of the cabin is finished in more durable plastics. The interior design is functional, in all honesty it could still do with an upgrade but all-in-all its not too bad, for most people its not going to be a deal breaker.
Bootspace is predictably generous for this class of car 442-litres with the seats and predictably bigger with the seats folded flat it’s a good lifestyle load lugger though not the biggest in class. If you can’t do the thug lifestyle then its good for swallowing up those items on a refuse-tip weekend binge.
The ASX 4 Auto on test was powered by the 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine. Mitsubishi have really refined this engine over the years. A few years ago it sounded like tractor, today its barely audible at idle and with 160bhp and 250Nm of torque power is as plentiful as it is delivered smoothly.
I initially felt that the six speed auto gear box would prove an inappropriate match for the ASX, traditional auto boxes use torque convertors, sapping a little power from the engine to shift the gears. In actuality the driving experience and gear shifts felt well matched with little detectable compromises.
And the autobox doesn’t interfere with the mpg figures, driving normally I managed to get close to 55mpg on a combined cycle, which is quite impressive for what is a high riding vehicle.
Road manners are excellent the ride is pleasant enough, the ASX does err to the side of being slightly soft, but the handling allows you to chuck it into corners where it grips progressively without causing any unnerving moments. In other words the ASX is quite good fun to drive.
And the ASX’s party trick is the 4WD system, the antiquated lever system Mitsubishi used in the past has long gone, its all digital now, at a press of a button. If you really do need to go off-road then the ASX 4 is fully loaded with an arsenal of 4WD weaponry. Yes proper low-range, diff-lock. For off-roadies that’s better than a billion watt sound system.
The ASX 4 came fully load with kit, the third party infotainment system is still a little clunky to operate and you have a better chance of finding Nemo then you do a DAB radio signal but at least the Sat-Nav worked without a hitch. The Panoramic sunroof brings light where once there was none, and it also looks cool.
At £24k the ASX4 is a purposeful all-rounder, with proper off-road ability. Its also dependable and won’t cost the earth to run. Yes it could do with improvements but its plenty enough to give already.