Since the ASX arrived in its model range last year, Mitsubishi has had high hopes the car would help the brand compete against mainstream rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai.

It’s natural to dismiss petrol iterations since the fleet sector is predominantly diesel, but BusinessCar went for the former, an ASX 3 1.6 113hp, on this occasion for several reasons.

Firstly, the car costs £2200 less than the 147hp 1.8 diesel option and CO2 is also less – 135g/km against 145g/km – meaning it falls into the 17% BIK tax banding. Official fuel figures are 47.1mpg versus the more powerful diesel’s 51.4mpg and the diesel is faster – 0-62mph in 9.7secs over 11.4secs for our test car – but even when taking into account these considerations it seemed like the petrol offering might make just as much, if not more, sense than the conventional fleet option.

Looking at comparable whole-life costs, residual values for the diesel is stronger (37.0% vs 33.2%), but add in SMR, BIK considerations and price and the petrol wins at 48.3 pence per mile against 52.9ppm.

We avoided options, bar a £450 metallic point add-on, as the car was already well-specced. Popular features with the BusinessCar team included the heated seats [1], rear parking sensors, which can be a costly extra, cruise control, and iPod and aux-in access.

Mitsubishi’s attention to detail was also appreciated with cubby holes in the boot for smaller objects [2] and a small U-shaped notch in the front of the central compartment just beneath where the lid shuts, which allows wire from the aux-in/USB sockets to feed through. A simple idea, yet one many manufacturers don’t adopt.

On the downside, the ASX desperately needs a sixth gear [3]. With fourth gear happily employed by 25mph, by the time a driver is on the motorway, it is begging for a sixth. Interior plastics are also a little cheap and squeaky.

All-in-all, the ASX proved its worth as part of our long-term fleet, and, if you can put up with less power, it does make more sense than its diesel counterpart. Those looking for a leftfield alternative will also appreciate the ASX – against rival and runaway success the Nissan Qashqai, the car’s distinctive styling stands out on the roads. And if boot space is a consideration, it beats the Qashqai with 442 litres versus 410 litres. A few tweaks to what’s already a good car and the ASX would earn even more consideration on a company’s car selection list.

Mitsubishi ASX 3 1.6 5-dr 5-sp
Mileage 8521
Claimed combined
Our average
P11D price £17,549
Model price range £15,999-£24,399
CO2 (tax) 135g/km/17%
BIK 20/40% per month £51/£102
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 To see how the ASX
fares in the sector
and viability of
running a petrol car
Positive Leftfield alternative,
Negative Lacking sixth gear,
interior plastics