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Most cars have a USP or two, but we're hard pressed to say what the Mitsubishi ASX's is. This doesn't make it a bad car - in fact, it's thoroughly pleasant - however, it is tricky to work out why business users would opt for one, as whole-life costs - at 45.7p per mile - exceed equivalent Nissan Qashqai, Mazda CX-3 and Suzuki Vitara models with figures of 43.1p, 41.8p and 44.2p respectively.
Helping the ASX's cause is a new 1.6-litre diesel engine, which emits 119g/km and returns 61.4mpg. It comes solely in two-wheel drive, as does the 1.6-litre petrol alternative. A four-wheel drive, automatic 2.2-litre diesel model is also available. These emissions put the ASX on a par with the Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDI 110 with a BIK rate of 21%, although Nissan, Mazda and Suzuki rivals beat this with figures of 17% to 19%.
The ASX comes in ZC, ZC-M and ZC-H trims. Our ZC-M test car included seven airbags, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, a digital radio, Bluetooth and climate control plus powerful xenon headlights and heated front seats. However, our mid-range model lacked any kind of media screen, meaning that those after a high-tech dashboard will be disappointed.
On the road, the 1.6-litre diesel motor feels sprightly, punting the ASX along relatively briskly, although the engine could be a little quieter when worked hard. The slick gearbox makes getting up to speed easy, but getting into second gear required a bit of force on our test car. We also noted that the gearstick material was wearing already.
Despite having no sporting pretensions, the ASX takes corners well enough, with reasonably precise steering and sufficiently strong brakes. We also found the seats quite comfortable, with plenty of space for those in both rows, although six-footers may lack headroom in the back. The boot is also usefully large with additional underfloor storage.
The ASX is likeable with a reasonably economical and punchy 1.6-litre diesel engine. Its Spartan screen-free dash and slightly high running costs, however, make Mazda CX-3, Nissan Qashqai and Suzuki Vitara alternatives more sensible business options.
Mitsubishi ASX 1.6d ZC-M
Model price range £15,249-£24,899
Residual value 36.0%
Service, maintenance and repair £2748
Vehicle Excise Duty £60
National Insurance £1695
Cost per mile 45.7p
Fuel consumption 61.4mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 119g/km (21%)
BIK 20/40% per month £68/£136
Boot space 416/1193 litres
Engine size/power 1560cc/114hp
Comfy and appealing in isolation, but does not stand out versus better-value rivals
Strong residuals, reasonable emissions and simple interior controls
Bland styling, loud diesel and slightly high whole-life costs limit appeal