The entry-level 1.6-litre petrol version (which is available in two-wheel drive only) is reasonably flexible and delivers adequate performance in most situations. The 1.8-litre diesel - available with both two- and four-wheel drive - is strong once you're up to speed, but a little flat at low revs.
The ASX isn't the most dynamic SUV, with a fair bit of body lean when tackling even the mildest corners. The steering isn't terribly responsive, either. If you value comfort above ultimate control, though, it could be right up your street – the supple suspension and big tyres make it effective at absorbing most ruts and bumps.
In both the petrol and diesel versions, you're subjected to plenty of engine noise: the diesel is clattery and you hear whistles from the turbocharger, while the petrol engine sounds strained under acceleration. Road- and wind noise could be more subdued, too.
The ASX undercuts many rivals and yet discounts shouldn't be too hard to come by. Resale values are pretty strong, too. Insurance ratings are encouragingly low and, with the exception of the short service intervals (9000 miles on diesel models; 12,500 miles on petrol models), running costs should be affordable.
The interior plastics aren't as good as those in the Nissan Qashqai and the controls aren't as precise, but the ASX's cabin is smartly styled, with a passing resemblance to some BMW interiors. It's solidly built, too, and Mitsubishi’s reliability record is first-rate.
All versions come with anti-whiplash head restraints, seven airbags, brake assist, stability control, traction control, an emergency-stop signal system and the reassurance of a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating.
The dashboard is attractively styled and it's reasonably simple to navigate. However, the stereo controls and digital display are rather small. High-spec models get a touch-screen system that's even more fiddly. Still, there's plenty of space around the pedals, lots of adjustment for the seat and a good view of the road ahead.
Despite its compact dimensions, the ASX has a roomy cabin, as well as a well-shaped, practical boot. There are some practical features, too, such as hidden storage under the boot floor, and seats that fold flat with no need to move the seatbase first.
All models are well equipped, with even the entry-level cars getting alloy wheels, air-conditioning and four electric windows. Range-topping cars feature leather seats, sat-nav, Bluetooth, USB input and a reversing camera.
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