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The Top Gear car review:Mitsubishi ASX
For:Has a measure of off-road ability, the ride is comfy, car-like to drive
Against:Not as practical as some rivals, harsh interior plastics
1.8 4 5dr 4WD
A crossover-hatch to rival the like of the Qashqai – better it, even – with sharp looks and a decent drive
The Mitsubishi ASX is not a car. It’s an ‘Active Sports X-over’, to give it the full marketing speak. Designed to take on the Qashqai in the...
What we say:
Roomier than a Qashqai, but somehow less practical, less desirable, and less good. Nearly there, Mitsubishi
What is it?
The ASX is Mitsubishi’s take on the Nissan Juke/Qashqai. It’s not as practical as the latter, and hardly as trendy as the former. Exciting it is not, but it has a measure of off-road ability and the ride is comfy. Go for 4WD to make the most of it. Despite the 2013 facelift, we’d still give it a miss.
Despite being narrower and only marginally lighter than the Nissan Qashqai, it somehow suffers less from top-heavy lolloping. This is especially noticeable over knobbly speedbumps, where the ASX feels low and car-like rather than lofty and SUV-like.
Three engines are available: a 1.6-litre petrol with 115bhp, a 1.8-litre DiD with 114bhp, and a 2.2-litre DiD with 147bhp (which is only available with 4WD and an auto gearbox).
On the inside
Although they look dimensionally similar, the ASX beats the Nissan Qashqai for roominess, if not outright practicality. Mitsubishi has put it on exactly the same wheelbase as the larger Outlander SUV, then pruned bits from either end. So at its core is a spacious cabin, with 12 litres more bootspace than the Qashqai.
We’d like to see a more welcoming cabin - Mitsubishi claims the plastics are soft-touch, but they felt about a squidgy as Formica to us.
Thanks to the car’s size and SUV aspirations, running costs are more than a standard hatch’s. The 1.6 returns 47.1mpg and emits 137g/km of CO2. The diesel 1.8 returns 54.3mpg and not-particularly-impressive 136g/km of CO2.