It was with great anticipation that I picked up the Mitsubishi ASX (Active Smart Crossover) from Imperial Mitsubishi Sandton. I have done test drives on their Pajero (I’ve owned a short wheel base and loved it), Pajero Sport and Outlander, and have been impressed with all three. The ASX was no different. They call it ‘love at first drive’, and they’re not wrong.

Designed to sit between a hatchback and an SUV – the former quite small, and the latter rather bulky – this Mitsubishi will perfectly suit the family who want an urban run-about, and a car for extended cross-country trips.

This vehicle has recently been upgraded and refined for improved drive performance and style, and offers a host of high-tech features; daytime running lights, a spacious interior, flexible seating arrangements and the option of a 5-speed manual or a six-speed CVT transmission – ideal for those hours spent crawling in stop-start Joburg traffic.

It has all the safety features (advanced passive and active technology; 7 airbags – driver, front passenger and curtain airbags for the rear seats, crush zones, Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution for all-direction collisions and side impact protection bars), and is designed to improve collision safety for all occupants, regardless of impact direction. Further, this car has ABS, EBD, ASC, brake assist, traction control, hill start assist and a collapsible steering column. Giving the driver comfort in the knowledge that they’re very safe, cocooned in a protective shell. They call this ‘safety first’.

This ASX is powered by a 2.0 litre, four cylinder, multi-point fuel injection engine that produces 110 kW of power and 197Nm of torque, utilising a lightweight aluminium block for optimum performance. Fuel economy is estimated at 7.5 litres per 100km – giving a range of approximately 800 kms on a tank.

The exterior offers a panoramic roof with LED illumination, auto light control, high intensity headlamps, headlamp washers, front fog lights, daytime running lights, dusk sensing headlamps, rain sensing windscreen wipers, foldaway outside mirrors and park distance controls.

The interior is lavish, with the following; leather upholstery, electronic seat controls, heated seats, electric windows (front & rear), a multi-function steering wheel, keyless operating system, Bluetooth and hands-free voice controls, MP3 and USB port, a rear view camera, a touchscreen radio and the option of a Rockford Fosgate audio system.

The Mitsubishi ASX is available in three derivatives; the GL, GLX and GLS, with the CVT gearbox available in the GLS models.

We took our test drive into the country for the weekend, fighting congested traffic, then rural roads and a short corrugated dirt road, and this car performed beautifully. The only niggling thought was that we had to return it on Monday morning.

The guys at Imperial Mitsubishi Sandton have always been very supportive, and I highly recommend the dealer principle Michael, and Henry and Malcolm in sales.

They can be contacted on 011 244 7000 and are located at the Grosvenor Crossing Shopping Centre, corner Main and Grosvenor Roads, Bryanston.