We’re swiftly approaching a temporary fleet retirement for the ASX since, according to Mitsubishi, it needs to be recalled for an interim 7,767-mile service. If that sounds odd, it equates to 12,500 kilometres. I wondered initially if they simply wanted to double-check its health at the hands of a car hack, but the first check is at this milestone. With 6,500 miles under our belt, itís interesting to picture the distance covered. Driving from London, that figure would get you beyond Johannesburg, Tokyo, and even Paddington Bearís original postcode. It would also cover a round trip to Lagos, in Nigeria. But what would such epic motoring be like at this wheel?
My own yardstick for a heroic drive would be my front door in Gloucestershire up to the shores of Loch Ness. Forget Nessie, itís the journey thatís the beast here. Iíve undertaken it in cars of varying quality, from svelte Audis to growly little Alfa Romeo MiTos. And the bottom line (bottom being your operative word) is that itís going to hurt. Nothing this side of a teleporter is going to get you well beyond the Trossachs without your body complaining of abuse; no matter how clever the car, homo sapiens were never designed to be a parcel.
In the case of the ASX, Iíd say there may be more cosseting SUVs out there, but there are certainly many that canít compete with this carís go-the-distance ability: itís undaunted by long high-speed motorway miles, unflustered in stop-start traffic and unbeatable for its reluctance to guzzle the hard stuff, so those illuminated fuel stations can slide by. And donít tell anyone, but in a month laden with supercar road tests, itís a blessed relief. If you threw in a DAB radio system that included all the channels you liked and didnít insist on a small handful of unwanted stations (and Iím surely not the only one to suffer this, irrespective of the car you own), itíd be bliss.
Longer journeys, however, also invite the opportunity to ponder whether youíve chosen the optimum version of your wheels. And thereís something which, had I funded this proposition, might niggle: could I have saved near-as-damnit £4,000 by choosing the ASX 3 diesel over this 4 model? True, this ASX 4 comes with AWD, touchscreen entertainment, leather seats and a panoramic roofÖ but consider baby brotherís fiscal treats: an average mpg that takes you 4.9 miles further, CO2 of 119g/km rather than 132g/km, performance sharpened to 62mph by 0.3 seconds and, if youíre a business driver, benefit-in-kind tax shaved from 28 to 25 per cent. Itís certainly food for thought as you ponder the online configurator screen. But as I steam on into the murkiest months, maybe Iíll be prodding that all-wheel-drive button a bit more and counting my lucky stars.
Date arrived 26th July 2017
Fuel economy 56.5mpg (combined) 51.1mpg (on test)
It’s not a Grand Tourer, but here’s a driving seat that’s keen to please for long journeys.
Months roll by when the panoramic roof knob goes untouched – is this an option no one needs?