The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is a five-door compact SUV that is available in two or four-wheel drive. It boasts a bold exterior design and offers excellent levels of comfort. It is generously equipped and buyers can choice from a number of trim levels. At launch it is available with a 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to either a manual or CVT gearbox.
The goodStyling, practicality, performance and economy
The badNo sat nav available
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 4 Petrol AWD
There was a time when buyers could select from just a handful of compact crossover cars, but that has all changed with manufacturers often developing two or three models each to feed the overwhelming consumer demand.
And with such fierce competition, it’s a tricky business getting the formula just right with the perfect blend of style, size, practicality, performance and, of course, price.
The latest model from Mitsubishi seems to tick all the right boxes and it’s certainly getting plenty of attention. It’s called the Eclipse Cross and fits nicely into the Japanese marque’s line-up between the ASX and the Outlander. It’s very big on style, packed with on-board technology and even has a price-tag that will leave you on speaking terms with your bank manager.
Buyers can choose from a range of well-equipped trim levels and the car is available powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to either a manual or CVT gearbox. We tested the Eclipse Cross in range-topping ‘4’ grade with 4WD and the CVT transmission, priced at £28,480.
Boasting a sporty, muscular design, the five-door car is a real looker with stand-out design cues including a powered two-part sunroof, body-coloured door handles and mirrors, LED daytime running lights, privacy glass and 18-inch black and silver alloys to complete the look.
Move inside and you will discover a wealth of on-board technology packed into a neat and well-designed interior with lots of soft-touch surfaces, leather upholstery and smart piano black finishing. Both the seats and steering wheel have plenty of adjustment so it’s easy to get comfy and there is excellent all-round visibility thanks to the elevated driving position. The split rear screen does take a little getting used to, but it soon blends into the background – so to speak.
The dashboard is rather cleverly split into two sections by a horizontal bar with everything above it housing the infotainment functions and everything below it responsible for operational settings. Creature comforts are plentiful and include the likes of full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a premium Rockford Fosgate nine-speaker sound system, DAB digital radio, heated leather seats, front and rear parking sensors, dual zone climate control, a touchpad controller and plenty more besides. On the downside though, there is no navigation system built into the car but it’s easy to connect a smartphone.
Our test car was powered by the 1.5-litre 163hp petrol engine and could reach 62mph from a standing start in 9.8 seconds, topping out at 124mph. According to official figures it could deliver combined fuel economy of 40.4mpg with carbon emissions of 159g/km.
The Eclipse Cross is very spacious and comfort levels are high with ample room in the back for a couple of tall adults to stretch out (three at a bit of a squeeze). Storage options are also impressive with a boot capacity of 448 litres that can be increased to 1,140 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. Elsewhere there are lots of storage options scattered throughout the car, including a practically-sized glovebox, door bins with a designated bottle section, a compartment beneath the armrest, a tray in front of the chunky gearstick, cup holders, plus pockets in the backs of the front seats.
When it comes to performance, the Eclipse Cross delivers on all counts. It’s very happy weaving through the busy city centre crowds where the all-round visibility is a bonus, along with the light steering. It’s also very capable keeping up with fast moving motorway traffic. And then it can confidently cope out on the fast country lanes where the road holding is nicely assured. The light steering with little driver feedback is not so welcome when the car is being thrown into sweeping bends, but if driven respectfully, the Eclipse Cross is an accomplished all-rounder.
Unlike some CVT transmission, the one fitted to the Eclipse Cross is nicely timed with instant acceleration. The steering wheel-mounted paddles also offer extra control over the gear changing. There is an Eco button that really slows things down, but will certainly be beneficial to the car’s fuel economy and running costs.
Our car also featured on-demand 4WD with settings for auto or snow and gravel, and with Mitsubishi’s reputation for building go-anywhere vehicles, this system should keep the Eclipse Cross on the road no matter what Mother Nature has up her sleeve.
Other safety features include forward collision mitigation system, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, automatic high beam, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, along with front, side, curtain and knee airbags.
All in all, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is another worthy contender for sales in the highly competitive compact SUV sector. It looks great, drives well and is packed with technology – apart from the sat nav which is noticeable by its absence these days.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross – first drive (2018)
With manufacturers churning out new cars at a breakneck speed it seems to have been an absolute age since Mitsubishi introduced anything fresh. But that has all changed with the arrival of an all-new compact SUV Eclipse Cross model which fits snugly between the ASX and Outlander in the company’s line-up.
It boasts bold muscular design cues and an athletic stance meaning the five-door Eclipse Cross looks fabulously modern from any angle and with a pricing strategy that starts from just £21,275 it aims to draw buyers away from the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, SEAT Ateca and Kia Sportage.
At the moment the car is only available with a newly developed 1.5-litre 163hp petrol engine, but there are already plans to introduce a hybrid version later on and the company has not ruled out following up with a diesel powertrain.
Customers can however choose between manual or automatic transmissions and there is the further option of two or four-wheel drive. Trim levels called Eclipse Cross 2, 3 and 4 are all generously equipped and there is a First Edition model that is limited to just 250 cars.
When competing is such a popular segment a car has to have stand-out qualities and the Eclipse Cross is an instant attention grabber thanks to its distinctive SUV-coupe styling with strong flowing lines, a tapered roofline, muscular flared wheel arches, a panoramic sunroof, short overhangs, privacy glass, sweeping light clusters with LED lights, sculpted bonnet and a split-tailgate.
Move inside the spacious cabin and there is an upmarket, modern and clutter-free feel to the car with a wealth of on-board technology to explore. A horizontal bar rather cleverly splits the dashboard into two with everything above it responsible for infotainment functions and everything below it contributing to operational settings. Mitsubishi claims it is the company’s best interior design to date with high quality materials, piano black and satin accents, soft touch surfaces, along with classy upholstery.
Creature comforts are plentiful and, depending on trim level, include the likes of smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, up-to-date mapping services with live traffic reports, a seven-inch colour touchscreen, head up display, a premium Rockford nine speaker sound system, dual zone climate control, rearview camera, parking sensors, touchpad controller and plenty more besides.
However rather disappointingly, even the higher specced models don’t have a sat nav built in, but instead rely on a smartphone being connected.
That aside though, the interior is very roomy with ample space in the back for a couple of six footers to sit comfortably with the front seats pushed back. Another plus point is the amount of adjustment available on the rear seats which can be moved forwards or backwards up to 20cms and have eight levels of recline. That is impressive in a family car that may be transporting children in the back one day and adults the next.
The boot is also generously sized and its Japanese designers proudly boast it can hold three or four golf club bags with the rear seats in an upright position depending on seat adjustment. The 60:40 split-folding rear seats would free up even more space and elsewhere throughout the car there are numerous convenient storage options, including a glovebox with partition shelf, door bins, cup holders and a deep central box.
We tested out the range-topping First Edition model which is based on the Eclipse Cross 4 but is finished in a stunning premium red diamond colour and features some specific design traits to help it stand out in the line-up. These cosmetic touches include a red styling line along the sides of the car, silver flashes on the front and rear, First Edition badging and branded mats.
The first test car, priced at £26,825, featured the six-speed manual gearbox and had 2WD. It has the same engineering and performance capabilities as the Eclipse Cross 4 so can sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 10.3 seconds, tops out at 127mph and has combined fuel economy of 42.8mpg with carbon emissions of 151g/km.
Comfort levels within the car are excellent and there is ample seat and steering wheel adjustment to find the perfect driving position. All the controls are ideally situated for ease of use and there is a rather clever touchpad which is used to access many features – it takes a few minutes to get used to but once mastered, it is less of a distraction than buttons and switches.
In busy town centres and villages, the Eclipse Cross was agile and easy to manoeuvre and the driver’s all-round visibility is good which is vital with cars and pedestrians darting out from all angles. Then out on the faster roads and country lanes the acceleration through the gears proved silky smooth and responsive.
Mitsubishi has introduced a rigid chassis to the vehicle and that assists with its ride and handling resulting in excellent road-holding even when driven enthusiastically into bends. It delivers a sporty, engaging drive with plenty of driver feedback and the 1.5-litre engine offers all the firepower needed for everyday motoring.
We also tested the Eclipse Cross First Edition 4WD model with eight-speed automatic gearbox costing £29,750. This car can complete the 0-62mph dash in 9.8 seconds, maxes out at 124mph and, according to official figures, can achieve combined fuel efficiency of 40.4mpg with CO2 emissions of 159g/km.
Once again this version of the Eclipse Cross was an absolute delight to drive and despite being fitted with a CVT gearbox, there was no evidence of any screaming or screeching under heavy acceleration. The Steplogic gearbox feels like a normal automatic unit and there is a sport mode that can be accessed via steering wheel paddle shifters. The car also featured an on demand all-wheel-drive system with auto, snow and gravel settings.
Mitsubishi has also given careful consideration to refinement and the likes of the soundproof windscreen along with noise-damping rear suspension help to insulate the cabin against any road surface or engine noise.
In addition, the Eclipse Cross is kitted out with a raft of safety features that have helped it achieve the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP tests. These include forward collision mitigation system, automatic lights and high beam, lane departure warning system, rain-sensing wipers and seven airbags.
Other safety features available on the range-toppers are adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera and rear cross traffic alert, plus blind spot warning with lane change assist.
All in all, the Eclipse Cross is a beautifully designed, well-equipped new arrival into the bursting compact SUV sector. It is easy to drive and offers good all-round economy along the way.
Mitsubishi has set a target of 6,500 sales this year, but not surprisingly believes the real figure could be more.