There are plenty of qualities that should make the ASX a decent handling car. The suspension set up, for example, manages to check body roll better than a Vauxhall Mokka X, but remains supple enough to allow the ASX to keep to your chosen line, even on heavily undulating roads.
But the aspect that lets it down is the steering. It’s light enough for town duties and reasonably accurate if you’re driving slowly, but begin to press on and it gives you no confidence about what the front wheels are up to, and suffers terrible kick-back that causes the steering wheel to squirm away in your hands.
Grip levels are reasonable, but the front end will wash wide earlier than it will in the Ateca. For those that regularly trundle along muddy tracks or need a car that will cope with winter snow, the four-wheel drive versions add valuable extra traction.