Simply driving the Mitsubishi ASX is unlikely to reveal why it deserves the positive review it gets here. In almost every tangible way it is an unexceptional car. But analyse the reasons why you might buy one and it becomes clear that it is up there with the most sensible cars in its class. 

The ASX is not the most complete family car, given its bland interior, excessive engine noise and lack of glamour. But it’s practical, safe, easy to drive, well equipped and affordable to run. It’s comfortable, too, with a ride quality that’s well-judged for British roads.

It's the ASX’s engineering breakthroughs that really deserve acclaim

There’s a decent amount of space in the cabin, although that doesn’t translate to the boot space which is below average. The same can be said of the quality of the interior with quality in keeping with style – both are lacking.

You’ll also be seeing a little too much of your dealer. Not that you should have any reliability worries with a Mitsubishi; these cars are built to last. But servicing happens every 9000 miles in the diesel, while rivals go further.

However, it is the ASX’s engineering breakthroughs that really deserve acclaim. It may be noisy, but an engine with such usable real-world performance that returns nearly 50mpg over our test route is a very welcome addition to the class, especially with the financial savings that brings in tax terms, too.

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If only the vehicle it propels were quite so noteworthy. As it is, the ASX is eminently sensible but all too forgettable, hopefully the 2017 facelifted ASX could inspire a more positive reaction.