My wife wants a compact SUV for a higher ride height. I like the Honda HR-V, but it’s pricey, so I consider the Mitsubishi ASX or MG ZS. The budget is $25-30,000, and it should be petrol automatic. The latest tech isn’t essential, and it will rarely have more occupants than just my wife and the dog. She likes my Nissan X-Trail as you sit so high. Stephen Harrington, Templestowe, Vic.
The compact SUV segment is busier than a student bar on a $2 schooner night, so your choices are many. If a high ride height is paramount, “larger” small SUVs are essential, even if they won’t match the lofty position of your X-Trail. I’ll exclude the Honda HR-V as it’s due for replacement early next year. I’d point you towards our 2020 Car of the Year Skoda Kamiq 85TSI, but its popularity means you’re unlikely to get one until 2022. If cutting-edge tech isn’t your target, there are some tempting entry-level buys to consider.
MITSUBISHI ASX ES, $27,240 DRIVE-AWAY
Has been Australia’s best-selling small SUV for years. The current model is more than a decade old, but it has had plenty of aesthetic, technology, and safety refreshes over the years. It is tall for its segment, and older buyers tell me seat height is ideal for easy entry and exit. There’s good visibility from the high driving position, and the suspension prioritizes bump-absorbing comfort rather than excellent handling. The 2.0-liter engine’s a bit gutless and thirsty at 7.6L/100km, and the CVT auto gearbox is a bit whiny. The tailgate’s quite heavy and difficult to reach if you’re short, but a roomy cabin and 393L boot — plus essential tech and safety kit — are positives. If you’re prepared to service the car with Mitsubishi, you will be covered by a 10-year warranty and receive a 10-year capped price servicing, which costs $1495 for the first five years. A safe choice.