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.
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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..
June 23 I still get a buzz out of pressing the start button on any hybrid car and hearing the sound of silence. It’s kind of cool to trundle down the road without disturbing the piece. (I appreciate sports car owners won’t get that at all!).
Mitsubishi is based just down the road from me in Cirencester. Consequently, Shoguns and PHEVs are everywhere. I don’t think either vehicle is easy on the eye but they still have mass appeal as practical workhorses.
PHEV is roomy on the inside, with five seats and masses of rear space. The battery pack for the electric motor is under the floor, so you don’t have to compromise at all.
It may be heavier than a normal Outlander but under electric power alone it really shifts. Sadly, when the petrol engine kicks in, the Mitsubishi power train feels dated and rather course.
Right, I’m off to vote on the EU – more tomorrow…..
Jessica: The retro appeal of the Shogun is rather charming.
However, there’s nothing up to date about the Shogun’s fuel consumption compared to modern SUVs.
This week on trips to the gym and to view Grayson Perry’s Exhibition in Bath it was well below 30mpg. A Land Rover Discovery is 37mpg by comparison and much more comfortable and refined.
You have got to hand it to the big Mitsubishi though, it looks every inch the modern workhorse from the outside.
There is no stopping you pulling heavy horses or any other weighty cargo depending on your profession or passion, as the tow capacity exceeds that of its rivals.
So to sum up, if you are a horse-loving, retro-living person who has no cares about fuel bills, prefers the bumpy track to the open road, you will love this car.
For those with more contemporary ideas on modern motoring, shop around. There are plenty of rivals to suit your budget and fashion outlook.
Jessica: In some respects the retro Shogun is right on fashion trend for 2016 – mainly because it’s channeling a groovy 70s vibe.
Even the interior has an enormous automatic gear shift that puts you right back into the big buttons and knobs era.
So driving the Mitsubishi is a chance to turn back the clock. You can cruise down the highway listening to 70s disco, steering a large fuel guzzling car, relaxing your suede flares in those big comfy seats.
Just watch those flares on the running board though. It’s easy to end up with a mud stripe across the back of your trousers. Not the best impression to carry away from your parked Shogun on the Kings Road…