The Mitsubishi ASX – the right SUV for you?

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It’s not a bad car – it’s just not going to rock your world either. Reliable, roomy, no-nonsense – the Mitsubishi ASX otherwise lacks character and looks a bit dull.

For a more head-turning design, buyers will probably opt for the Nissan Qashqai (why can’t I spell that correctly first time?), or the rather excellent Mazda CX-5.

I feel the 2.2 diesel is now long in the tooth and could be replaced by something more lively and economical. The interior is rather tired too.

Sure, it comfortable and the seats are excellent but the ASX also feels light and rather flighty along a potholed A-road.

There are plenty of options in this marketplace. The ASX might work for you but shop around first.

Is there a crossover SUV out there that’s desirable enough to set pulses racing?

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I can’t say there’s much wrong with the ASX but this being a blog about stylish motors, I wonder if the Mitsubishi makes the cut as a desirable car?

Our test vehicle is painted a smart metallic blue, which helps, but parked in Waitrose car park, it still manages to blend in perfectly with every other crossover in Cirencester.

I’m not a big fan of the Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar, or the pig-ugly Skoda Yeti either. I tend to think if you have to own a car like this (with occasional four-wheel-drive, butch looks, big boot) then the cheaper the better. SsangYong Tivoli anyone?

SUVs are where the motor industry is heading right now. I fear I may be stuck in the past a bit longer…

 

Mitsubishi ASX gearbox can trick even the best driver into bad gearchanges

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There’s a rather basic problem with the standard six-speed automatic gearbox on our top spec ASX.

It’s smooth enough between changes but the gear stick can be easily knocked into the wrong position. Rather than standard ‘drive’, the handle can be knocked into ‘manual’ change – with causes the engine to over rev.

The gate between the two positions is so easy to miss that embarrassing garchanges are never far away. It’s a very odd problem – not one I’ve experienced before.

Otherwise, the 2.2 diesel trundles along at unremarkable speeds without the slightest grumble. Only you will be cursing if you leave he stick in the wrong position…

How to turn the air blue inside a Mitsubishi ASX 5…

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I blame Land Rover. I’m sure it was them who first came up with the idea of ‘mood’ lighting in the Range Rover.

All the great innovations we see in posh cars finally filter down the food chain. And so it is with the latest version of the Mitsubishi ASX.

Press the key fob at night and the SUV turns the air blue inside! It’s quite startling the first time – I’ve never seen anything quite so in your face for mood lighting.

And that’s not all. Open the panoramic sunroof and a strip of yellow lights illuminate down both sides of the glass hatch.

A little bling perhaps? Well, it does give the ASX some personality – provided you are in the right mood, of course…

Not even Beyonce stripping inside a Mitsubishi ASX would turn heads…

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I’ve just been writing about James Bond. If Daniel Craig is going to take the part for the 2018 film, he will reputedly be tens of millions of pounds better off.

Being the best paid and most recognized spy in the business is a problem for secret service types. In fact, I reckon he’d be useless anywhere other than outer Mongolia (actually, having been there, he’d be chased by photographers too).

And choosing a discreet set of wheels would be very difficult. Which is where a Mitsubishi ASX might come in useful.

As any celeb will tell you, the best way to avoid photographer’s lenses and prying eyes is to drive a Ford Fiesta, or erm, a Skoda. I mean, who would imagine a ‘name’ driving one of those?

Day one with the Mitsubishi and I can guarantee nobody is going to give you a second look. There’s nothing wrong with the styling – it’s just one of those cars which is so totally unremarkable in the metal that you would pass it by even if Beyonce was stripping off on the back seat…

She doesn’t live round here but tempting to put it to the test myself…

The Outlander PHEV is Mitsubishi’s best-seller for good reason

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June 26 Another Goodwood Festival of Speed is coming to an end. I’m holed up at the Goodwood Hotel waiting to drive the forthcoming Maserati Levante to Monte Carlo tomorrow on a feature. Obviously, I’ve enjoyed the Outlander PHEV but am expecting a few more thrills in the Italian SUV (plus bigger fuel bills!).

So, since I last drove the PHEV more and more manufacturers have announced their intentions to go hybrid big time. We are about to be swamped with super-frugal cars of every shape and size.

I think the Outlander PHEV was something of a ground-breaking model in that respect. It wasn’t the first petrol-electric but it does seem to be the car that has convinced the great British public that a hybrid isn’t flakey.

It offers many of the qualities of a ‘conventional’ car without making ownership a compromise. It’s also very roomy, practical and reasonably priced – all backed up by Mitsubishi reliability. I like it in electric mode – it is just a shame the driving experience under petrol power is rather lifeless and uninspiring.

But don’t let me put you off. This is Mitsubishi’s best-selling model for good reason…

We’re out, Cameron’s gone – what will happen to the British car industry now?

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June 24 I just listened to Cameron’s exit speech in the Outlander. It reminded me of several other momentus pieces of news I have heard first via the car radio. The space shuttle disaster, the Queen mum’s death and, erm, Man City winning the premiership!

It feels very much like the morning after the night before… Trivial matters like cars should perhaps take a back-seat. However, life goes on and Britain has a new challenge to face.

Quite how the British car industry is going to cope with the news remains to be seen. But we have become a great automotive nation again and I don’t see that suddenly changing.

I shall travel to London today pondering what will happen next. The British public has spoken..