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Alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, climate control (ASX 3), cruise control (ASX 3), keyless entry (ASX 3), DAB radio (ASX 3), reversing camera (ASX 3), 7in touchscreen with navigation (ASX 4), leather upholstery (ASX 4), panoramic sunroof (ASX 4), Nappa leather interior (ASX 5), ambient lighting (ASX 5).
118hp 1.6 Diesel: 115hp 1.6, 150hp 2.2
2, 3, 4, 5
5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
The Mitsubishi ASX has proved very successful for the Japanese brand, with 1.1 million sales since it first launched in 2010, with around a quarter of those coming from Europe. For 2017, the ASX has been given a makeover to sharpen up its looks, while its trim levels have been simplified and bolstered.
It's hardly surprising Mitsubishi felt the need to breathe new life into the ASX: the crossover segment has exploded in the last seven years and newcomers like the Hyundai Tucson, Renault Kadjar and Mazda CX-3 have set lofty standards, while proving popular with fleet and private buyers alike.
Fleet-friendly 1.6 diesel
A single 1.6-litre petrol and two diesel engines are available: a 1.6-litre with 115hp and a 2.2-litre with 150hp. The smaller engine is offered with a choice of fleet-friendly front-wheel drive or thirstier four-wheel drive set-ups and a manual six-speed gearbox, while the 2.2-litre gets an automatic and four-wheel drive as standard.
The headline figures for the smaller diesel are 61.4mpg and 119g/km of CO2 emissions, which are only middling against rivals. Despite being larger, the equivalent Qashqai only produces 99g/km and can top 74mpg, although it is slower, taking 11.9 seconds to get from 0-62mph while the ASX takes 11.2 seconds.
On the road, the ASX actually feels quicker, with an impressive pull from just above idle, although power does noticeably tail off at higher revs. First gear is particularly short, but a precise gearshift makes frequent changes less of a chore.\
Refinement is below par, however, with the 1.6 proving surprisingly vocal under acceleration, even if it does settle to a hum at cruising speeds.
Perhaps thanks to Mitsubishi's off-roading heritage, almost half of ASX buyers choose four-wheel drive, which is way ahead of the tiny proportion of Qashqai's (under 5%) so equipped, and the Kia Sportage with just over 30% uptake.
We'd recommend avoiding it, as emissions shoot up to 132g/km of CO2 and economy drops to 56.5mpg. Despite driving on a cold, wet day, we also found the front-wheel drive ASX surefooted. Handling is confidence-inspiring too, with little body lean, but a relatively firm ride if you head onto a rough track.
The smallest mid-size SUV
The most striking visual changes are at the front, where the ASX now sports Mitsubishi's Dynamic Shield nose, already introduced with the Outlander and set to adorn Mitsubishi's upcoming small crossover and large SUV, due to launch over the next few years. It certainly gives the ASX a more up-to-date look.
Being larger than a Honda HR-V or Renegade, but smaller than a Nissan Qashqai or any of its rivals, the ASX finds itself at the intersection between small supermini-based crossovers and mid-size SUVs. So, compared with a similarly priced Mazda CX-3,
its 416-litre boot looks impressive (it's 66 litres larger), while matching the luggage capacity of a Skoda Yeti and being much smaller than the 591 litres found in a Peugeot 3008. Interior space is adequate for adults front and rear, but you feel rather perched in the firm front seats, with not enough height adjustment.
For 2017, the trim levels have been simplified to an easy-to-remember 2, 3, 4 and 5. The entry-level model gets 16-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass and desirable features like a leather steering wheel.
We tested an ASX 3, which is the best all-rounder, with 18-inch wheels, climate control, cruise control, keyless entry, DAB radio and a reversing camera all included. ASX 4 does get navigation, however, coming with a new seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, as well as leather upholstery and a panoramic sunroof, so may be worth a look.
Mitsubishi is clearly serious about boosting the ASX's appeal, both in terms of its desirability and financial sense. Its residual values of 35.9% are ahead of the Skoda Yeti's 32.0%.
Mitsubishi ASX 3 1.6 diesel 2WD
P11D Price: £20,349
On sale: January 2017
Residual value: 35.9%
Service, maintenance & repair: £2,478
Fuel consumption: 61.4mpg
CO2 (BIK Band): 119g/km (23%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £78/£156
Boot space: 416 litres
Engine size/power: 1,560cc/115hp
Nissan Qashqai Acenta 1.5 dCI 110
P11D Price: £22,630
Cost per mile: 47.0p
Fuel consumption: 74.3mpg
CO2 (BIK Band): 99g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £72/£143
Suzuki Vitara 1.6DDiS 120 SZ-T
P11D Price: £18,194
Cost per mile: 42.6p
Fuel consumption: 70.6mpg
CO2 (BIK Band): 106g/km (21%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £64/£127
Skoda Yeti 2.0TDI SE
P11D Price: £20,450
Cost per mile: 48.2p
Fuel consumption: 62.8mpg
CO2 (BIK Band): 118g/km (23%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £78/£157
The ASX might not top sales charts in the UK, but customer feedback is positive and its facelift is an improvement. The 1.6-litre diesel performs well and has relatively low running costs, although it is a little noisy. Improved trim levels are sure to impress customers too, even if the ASX still feels like an older design when compared with a Peugeot 3008 or Renault Kadjar.