Mitsubishi has never been a big fleet player but it hopes the new ASX will up the brand’s game, while denting sales of the ever-popular Nissan Qashqai, which has pulled off not only retail but also business car success.

While the 1.8 diesel engine could be seen as the default choice for fleet drivers, BusinessCar has opted for the ASX3 1.6 petrol 113hp engine. It costs just under £2000 less than the diesel option yet CO2 emissions are also less – 135g/km against 145g/km, meaning it falls into the 16% BIK tax banding. Official fuel figures are 47.1mpg versus the diesel’s 51.4mpg. So, unusually, the petrol offering might just make as much, if not more sense, than the conventional fleet option of diesel.

The diesel is faster – 0-62mph in 9.7secs over 11.4secs for our test car – but this won’t be a deal breaker for the average fleet operator.

We’ve chosen to avoid extras, as the ASX3 is a well-specced car anyway. The only option is metallic paint at £550. Already on the model is climate control, auto lights and wipers, Bluetooth and privacy glass. Those taking the £2000 step to top-spec ASX4 trim also get leather seats and the slightly clunky, from our previous experience, Kenwood in-car navigation system with reversing camera.

In the cabin, the car features a pleasant dark interior with just about enough space for four adults to travel in comfort [1]. The central console is smart with easy-to-operate controls [2] and steering wheel buttons include handy cruise control for high-mileage drivers [3].

Looks-wise, it’s not as chunky as the Qashqai yet maintains a distinctive presence on the road – probably because the model is relatively unknown. To drive, the ASX is good, too, although not quite up to the excellent Qashqai, but it can hold its own against anything else in the class. Ride quality is slightly lacking on bumpy B-roads, but for the average journey it’s more than comfortable.

We’re hoping that the crossover, a mix of hatchback, off-roader and mini MPV, proves its worth as a well-specced, well-priced left-field alternative to its most prominent rival for fleet drivers looking for something different.

Mitsubishi ASX 3 1.6 5-dr 5-sp
Mileage 2088
Claimed combined
Our average
P11D price £17,549
Model price range £14,999-£22,049
CO2 (tax) 135g/km/16%
BIK 20/40% per month £47/£94
Service interval 12,500mls
Insurance group 13
Warranty 3yrs/unlimited mls
Boot space (min/max) 442/1992 litres
Engine size/power 1590cc/113hp
Top speed/0-62mph 113mph/11.4secs
Why we’re running it Can the ASX hold its own in
a competitive sector against
rivals like the Qashqai?
Positive Leftfield alternative,
Negative Not as good-looking
as Qashqai