Mitsubishi ASX 2012 review

* Mitsubishi ASX 2012 review * Lower CO2 emissions * On sale now, from 16,499...

Mitsubishi ASX 2012 review

The ASX is Mitsubishis answer to cars such as the Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Tiguan.

For 2012, there are tweaks to the ASXs 1.8 DiD diesel engine that cut CO2 emissions for the front-wheel-drive model from 145g/km to 136g/km. Theres a 12g/km reduction for the four-wheel-drive version, which takes it down to 138g/km.

Average economy has also improved, with the 2WD model up from 51.4mpg to 54.3mpg, while the 4WD car jumps from 49.6mpg to 54.3mpg.

There are no cosmetic changes.

Whats it like to drive? We drove a 1.8 DiD 4x4 model, which has a 147bhp diesel engine and four-wheel-drive. The engine is strong when it gets into its stride, but is rather flat at low revs. Its reasonably civilised, but there's a bit too much clatter when revved and engine noise never quite fades away on the motorway.

There's some road noise at higher speeds, too, but overall the ASX is no less refined than many rivals.

The ASXs ride has a slightly firm edge, but the pay-off is decent poise through corners. Overall, it strikes a reasonable balance between comfort and control, although the steering is slow to react and has a fuzzy feel at the straight-ahead.

Whats it like inside? The ASX has a raised driving position that 4x4 fans will appreciate and its cabin is, on the whole, a reasonably pleasant place to be.

The front seats are supportive and the driving position is good, while big door mirrors contribute to fine all-round visibility. The controls are straightforward, too, unless you go for the range-topping ASX 4 model, which has a touch-screen sat-nav/entertainment system thats horribly distracting to use on the move.

Quality is good throughout, although some of the materials are dour and the colourscheme is relentlessly black.

The ASX looks compact from the outside, but its cabin is surprisingly spacious. Theres plenty of head- and legroom in the front and rear seats and a large, well-shaped boot.

Should I buy one? Prices for the 2012 ASX have risen by between 190 and 330. The entry-level 1.6 front-wheel-drive petrol model now costs 16,499 and the 1.8 DiD ASX4 4x4 tops the range at 25,895.

The cheapest diesel model the 1.8 DiD 3 2wd costs 20,599 and is our pick of the range. Its decent value, but costs 904 more than a Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi Visia 2wd, which has CO2 emissions of just 119 g/km and the Nissan is what our money would go on.

Nissan Qashqai
Volkswagen Tiguan

What Car? says

Leo Wilkinson