Spoiler alert. Mitsubishi’s ASX is available only as a front-driver in South Africa. But don’t damn it just yet. Its crossover genes include a raised ride height, command driver’s view, lots of interior space and a generous 442-litre boot with easy access. The hardware is a little dated: a naturally aspirated, fuel-injected 2.0-litre petrol with 110kW and 197Nm, both peaks achieved with little fanfare at high-ish revs, and a five-speed manual, albeit a smoothshifting one. Expect some catching up with the rivals here soon. A 2015 update has focused on pimping the CVT-equipped six-step version to lower fuel consumption to a theoretical 7.4l/100km. The manual GLS spec we tested offers a claimed 7.5l/100km; we achieved an average of 8.5-9.0.
The underpinnings (shared with the Mitsubishi Lancer and Outlander, Peugeot 4008 and Citroën C4 Aircross) are decent: McPherson struts up front, a multi-link set-up in the rear, calibrated for compliance in the urban commute and on the odd gravel road. It absorbs bumps and bangs effortlessly, but a high centre of gravity makes it lean-prone when chucked into the bends or barrelled full-bore along curves. But the target market will never do that. Sensible speeds are the perfect match for the light steering, tight turning circle and rewarding easydriving it does offer.