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Review: The Mitsubishi ASX is a keenly-priced crossover contender - but can it outshine its rivals?

We test drive the Mitsubishi ASX on Irish roads.

Image: Max Earey

THIS IS THE updated ASX, Mitsubishi’s crossover contender. The current ASX model is eight years old now and this updated version is still using the decade-old ‘GS’ platform which also underpinned the old Outlander and the Lancer.

Crossovers like the ASX  - Active Sports Crossover – don’t usually come with the rugged abilities of bigger SUVs but what they do offer is the practicality, price, economy and emissions of a family hatchback wrapped up in a trendy SUVesque body style.

The Mitsubishi ASX certainly ticks all those boxes. It’s well priced, starting from €24,750. It’s economical – my test car powered by a 114hp 1.6-litre DI-D turbodiesel paired with a six-speed manual transmission has a decent claimed fuel economy of 4.6-litres/100km (61.4mpg). Emissions aren’t terrible either at 119g/km which is €200 a year in tax. This diesel model costs €27,700.

Source: Max Earey

For a compact crossover, there is a decent amount of room on board for four adults and a small child with impressive leg and headroom. While the boot at 406 litres isn’t massive, it is usefully shaped making loading and unloading easy. Plus there’s underfloor storage and the rear seats lie nice and flat when folded.

Source: Max Earey

The cabin is very sturdy and durable with plenty of family-friendly wipe-down surfaces as well as some soft-touch plastics and black gloss trim to try and give it a bit of a contemporary feel. Visually it doesn’t wow but from a usability perspective it scores well with plenty of large cubby spaces, storage solutions and cup holders.

Source: Max Earey

Out on the road, the high driving position and robustness of the ASX make you feel quite safe and confident on the move. Grip is good and there is decent chassis control. There is some noticeable body roll when cornering, though no more so than its rivals.

What the soft setup does help with is absorbing the lumps and bumps of rougher road surfaces and keeping occupants well insulated from these. Unfortunately, the cabin isn’t so well insulated from engine noise.

In terms of safety, the Mitsubishi ASX is loaded with kit, with seven airbags, including one for the driver’s knees, and Hill Start Assist (HSA). Towing capacity is 1,400kg.

For added peace of mind, it also comes with an eight-year/150,000km warranty.

Source: Max Earey

The ASX is only available in one trim level but standard equipment is very generous. Cars come with a rearview camera and rear parking sensors, automatic air conditioning, cruise control, a multi-function leather steering wheel, leather gearshift knob, electronic mirrors and windows, roof rails and 18-inch alloy wheels.

There is also the option of a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a five-speed manual transmission. This costs €24,750 but has a higher annual tax of €280.

Source: Max Earey

The ASX is a fine car that has got the basics right; it’s practical, well priced and economical. When you compare it to the flash new arrivals to the crossover market the ASX is showing its age, and just can’t keep up with the young ones in terms of style and driving dynamics. But what it has got going for it is a reputation for reliability, excellent build quality and family-friendly design.

READ: 5 cars for under €30k that are perfect for Irish families >

READ: Review – The MINI John Cooper Works handles like a dream – but has it lost its magic? >

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About the author:

Melanie May  / https://www.melaniemay.com

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