After all, the Japanese carmaker already has the excellent and well-received Outlander, not to mention the well-established Shogun range.
But then I drove it, and realised that this is a very different animal to the Outlander or the Shogun. The ASX is much more car-like. Mitsubishi calls it an “urban crossover”, which describes it well. This is for buyers who might normally go for a Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus. This is not a country estate mud-plugger.
The ASX is a nice package. It has a smaller footprint than most family saloons and so takes up less space, and delivers respectable fuel consumption compared to some vehicles of similar size and weight.
There’s a choice of three engines: 1.6 petrol, a 1.6 litre direct injection diesel, or a 147 bhp 2.2 diesel. I tested the 114 bhp 1.6 diesel manual in ZC-M trim level, with two-wheel drive.
The 1.6 diesel is a nice unit, delivering plenty of mid-range pulling power while never sounding overworked, although it is slightly noisier than some diesels. However it’s very frugal, delivering an impressive 61.4 mpg in mixed driving – very good for a big car.
The six-speed manual gearbox is easy to use, and the vehicle handles very pleasantly. It held the road well, and was confident when cornering. Despite being a high vehicle there is no body roll.
Like most crossovers from other manufacturers the ASX is a good looking vehicle, but unlike some of its competitors it starts at just £15,434 on the road for the entry level petrol version. The specification I test drove comes in at £19,554. Still well-priced for its sector.
Equipment on this trim level includes rear parking sensors, cruise control, electric windows, RDS radio/CD player, all-round airbags, 17 inch alloys, cruise control, automatic climate control, and keyless entry and ignition.
I like the ASX’s smooth, confident and distinctive styling. Despite its upright road stance this is a car that looks at home on a motorway or a country road. The deep front grille further improves its purposeful looks.
This is a solid crossover vehicle that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re downsizing or upsizing you’ll enjoy it.