Your winter runabout safely transporting kids to school and coping with the daily commuter grind seems to be just a long gone memory as the warmer weather blows in your face and the great outdoors beckon each weekend.
The sensible commuter car is transformed into a purely pleasurable experience as the ASX swallows family and fun-gear for a day in the hills or on the coast.
This versatility of the SUV explains why this sector is the fastest growing in the market and why manufacturers are piling into it.
But did you know that Mitsubishi was one of the first to have what is now an SUV when it developed the Space Runner in the late 1980s?
So almost 25 years on we have the ASX and it’s as modern and fresh as any rival but it comes with a sound pedigree few can really match.
Essentially there are nine ASX models sold in the UK from £15,100 to £24,400 in three trim levels and choice of powertrains including 115hp 1.6 petrol or 114hp 1.8 and 110ps 2.2 diesel engine with manual or automatic transmission.
Our test car sits towards the top of the range with its level-4 trim and 4WD automatic transmission new for 2014, but it means you get a lot for your money including the very useful intelligent grip system which does not unnecessarily sap fuel.
It’s a big and beefy engine for a comparatively modest sized car so it performs well from standstill, pulls effortlessly irrespective of load and its has sufficient flexibility not to keep wastefully changing gear, so our 42mpg average was easily and effortlessly attained.
The ASX soaked up some bad surfaces without complaint although you could hear the suspension coping as the wheels banged into potholes or over bumps but it also confidently gripped the road on twisting pieces and its handling was fairly neutral and worry free.
Secondary controls were convenient and the instruments simple and clearly displayed inc. the on-board computer for a variety of functions. Access was good all round and the boot was easy to load and empty while the cabin provided good family friendly oddments spaces throughout.
I liked the very supporting, adjustable front seats but thought the rear three seats lacked shape and headroom was tight in the back. There is, however, a truly enormous panoramic roof in the ASX4 specification and you have good visibility through all windows, good wipers and bright lights.
The driving position suits tall or shorter users alike and it gives a commanding view of the road ahead, which is something I now many appreciate after experiencing a normal saloon or hatchback, whatever the weather.
|Mitsubishi ASX 4 2.2D 4WD Auto||Price: £23,899|
|Insurance group: 20||Mechanical: 4cyl 2.2 litre 110bhp, automatic 4WD|
|Max speed: 118mph||0-62mph: 10.6sec|
|Combined mpg: 42mpg||CO2 emissions: 153gkm|
|BIK rating: VED band G/ 23%||Warranty: 3yrs/ unlimited miles|