Affordability and practicality make the compact SUV segment one of the most popular destinations for buyers looking for a vehicle that does a bit of everything.
This market segment has grown significantly over the past decade with just about every mainstream manufacturer now offering a small SUV.
One of the first models to hit the road a decade ago was the Mitsubishi ASX.
Sharing the same DNA as its bigger brother the Outlander, the ASX has recently undergone a facelift to mark its tenth birthday.
It’s a large facelift which includes a new front end bringing the design in line with the L200, meaning there’s now bold lines, square wheel arches and a clamshell bonnet completing a handsome look.
The engine line-up is also more simplified with just the one option – a 2.0-litre petrol with five-speed manual or automatic (CVT) and two- or four-wheel drive.
Although there’s a hearty 148bhp under the bonnet, the latest ASX does feel a little underpowered, meaning you have to work it quite hard which undermines its fuel economy.
This will be due to the fact that, unlike the equally powerful 1.5 TSI Seat Ateca or Skoda Karoq, the ASX doesn’t use a turbocharger to boost engine power.
Stick with the manual gearbox and 0-62mph takes a reasonable 10.2 seconds, however, if you were to opt for the auto, the pace reduces to a sluggish 12.2 seconds.
The ASX’s soft suspension does a decent job of ironing out rutted tarmac and potholes, but its vague steering and poor body control doesn’t inspire confidence on winding roads.
The new ASX range couldn’t be simpler, with just the two trim levels to choose from – Dynamic and Exceed.
Dynamic trim, which offers much of what most buyers will really need, includes 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a rear-view camera, climate control, heated seats and cruise control.
For around £3,000 more, Exceed trim level adds a panoramic glass roof, leather seats, TomTom sat nav, as well as some extra safety kit.
The ASX feels adequately roomy in the front, with generous head and legroom, but it’s in the back where passengers will complain.
Kneeroom for a couple of average-sized adults is fine, but anyone tall will find their head brushes the roof lining.
It does have one of the biggest boots of all the smallish SUVs, though.
Rear seats in place, the ASX offers a decent 442 litres of space in the boot.
Fold the 60/40-split rear seats and that expands to a reasonable 1,193 litres which is pretty good, too.
All-in-all the ASX is practical, well equipped and four-wheel drive is handy for those that need it, however, it’s hard to ignore the fact that despite the recent facelift, it can’t fully disguise its advancing years and struggles to match newer rivals on the road.
Mitsubishi ASX Exceed Automatic 4WD
Mechanical: 148bhp, 1,998cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox
Max speed: 118mph
0-62mph: 12.2 seconds
Combined mpg: 34.4
Insurance group: 23
CO2 emissions: 185g/km
BIK rating: 37%
Warranty: 5yrs/62,500 miles