Mitsubishi ASX SUV

£15,434 - £25,134

The Mitsubishi ASX is one of the army of SUV-inspired family cars that have been introduced to rival conventional mainstream hatchbacks such as the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus. Despite this, its closest rivals are models such as the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Yeti and Suzuki SX4 S-Cross.

The ASX manages to combine the commanding driving position of an off-roader with the fuss-free handling of a family hatchback. It's also a practical choice, with a large boot and versatile interior that offers plenty of space.

The ASX's rugged styling and compact dimensions are clearly designed to take advantage of the success that cars like the Nissan Qashqai have enjoyed in recent years. It comes with a choice of one petrol and two diesel engines.

There are two and four-wheel-drive versions, too – although four-wheel drive is only available with diesel engines.

We'd recommend avoiding the petrol and going straight for the new 1.6-litre diesel that was introduced in the summer of 2015 – especially if you cover more than 10-12,000 miles a year. This engine employs some advanced technology to reduce running costs without hurting performance. Despite this, the ASX isn't as much fun to drive as a Skoda Yeti or Nissan Qashqai.

All versions come with a decent amount of accessories and equipment as standard. The ASX comes in three specifications – ZC, ZC-M and ZC-H.

There's a clear winner here, too: the Mitsubishi ASX ZC-M 1.6-litre diesel. With two-wheel drive (four-wheel drive is limited to the top-spec ZC-H, but isn't really worth the extra), it manages around 61mpg in fuel economy and emits 119g/km of CO2. The ZC-M is also the sweet spot as far as specification is concerned, because you get kit such as Bluetooth phone connectivity, automatic lights and windscreen wipers, climate control and cruise control.

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