Stuff wot I've driven – Mitsubishi ASX

Published: 13 March 2012

Unremarkable time spent in Mitsubishi’s instantly forgettable ASX has left me thoroughly baffled. Is there really room in a market segment already packed tighter than Linford Christie’s Lycra for yet another SUV of this order? Especially one which, more than any rival I’ve yet encountered, merits a paraphrasing of that old Beatles number: ‘I’ve got nothing to say but it’s OK. Good Morning.’

Looks OK. Drives OK. Comfort just about OK. Practicality ditto… Apart from a stop/start system so woefully out of sorts with the clutch that I often found myself rolling backwards in North Circular traffic with a dead engine when I had expected to simply pull away, I can think of absolutely nothing either overtly positive or negative on which to comment.

It made me wonder, honestly, why Mitsubishi went to the expense of building this car. And then it made me wonder why the manufacturers don’t all sit down around the burnt coffee and Bourbons and thrash out a strategy which allows them not to have to commit such vast sums to such low sales volume mediocrity…

Why don’t they simply divvy up the market? ‘You build a B-segment MPV, and I won’t… I’ll build a C-segment SUV instead, which you won’t. So we can both save money on manufacturing costs and maximise sales profit through a lack of competition.’

OK, I don’t expect the likes of Audi to play. But, let’s face, there are so many segments and sub-segments out there today that this must surely have some appeal to other, lesser manufacturers for whom world domination remains only a sub-text… Forward into the soft underbelly of simple, wholesome, healthy profit.

By Anthony ffrench-Constant

Contributing editor, architect, sentence constructor, amuse bouche