Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross road test report and review: DAVID HOOPER drives Mitsubishi’s latest SUV with its dramatic styling.
THE Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is a striking new model from the Japanese manufacturer whose model range has developed well in the last few years.
If you’re looking for a stylish, medium sized SUV, then surely this sharply styled newcomer to the line-up will tick most boxes, and as the Dealer Principal at Nunns Mitsubishi highlighted, it’s a welcome addition to the showroom’s line-up and is expected to be a good seller.
The Eclipse Cross sits in the Mitsubishi range between the ASX and the Outlander, and offers customers the choice of a 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine we reviewed or a 2.2 diesel combined with two or four-wheel-drive and CVT, manual or proper eight-speed automatic gearboxes.
While it’s front profile is instantly recognisable with its complex design highlighted by plenty of chrome trim and a skid tray which hints at the brand’s off-road heritage, the rear end with its split back window also looks good, but we’ll come back to that later.
The interior is just as smart as the outside of the Eclipse Cross, and the flexible rear seating can be adapted to optimise boot space by sliding the rear seats backwards or forwards depending on the requirements of the day.
The tech and is bang up to date with most of the latest toys you could wish for, including a head-up display on top models. The Infotainment is controlled by a touchscreen or a clever track-pad control on the centre console, and features Apple CarPlay and the Android Auto alternative, making connectivity simple and effective, and we loved the Rockford Fosgate premium speaker system which sounds great.
On the road, the car boasts a comfortable suspension set-up. The steering is a little vague around the dead centre position, but the car potters about quite agreeably. Pick up the pace a bit and it is quite an enjoyable drive, with lively performance from the 1.5-litre engine in our test car which provides 163PS and top speed of 127mph combined with good driving dynamics and body-control through the bendy bits. There is very little wind noise and plenty of glass gives a good view of the world and the large glass sunroof was a welcome inclusion on our test car.
There is lots of help available, either standard or optional, to keep you out of trouble, with collision warning, active cruise control, a start-stop system to save fuel at traffic lights or in queues , all-round parking cameras and a lane-departure warning system.
The split rear window on the boot lid is a new look for Mitsubishi and reminded me of Japanese rival Honda’s boot design which has featured on the Civic range for many years. The split back window may look trendy and is ok when the car is clean, although you do notice the strip of bodywork in the glass when you look in the rear view mirror, but for me, the biggest issue, as it is with the Civic, is when the car is dirty and the bottom half of the glass gets lathered in road dirt while the top half is cleaned by a small wiper blade.
The Eclipse Cross comes with Mistubishi’s respectable five-year 62,500 mile warranty and offers a refreshing alternative to its class rivals.
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THE VITAL STATISTICS
MODEL: Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 4 2WD
ENGINE: 1.5-litre 163PS four-cylinder petrol engine, driving front wheels through 6-speed manual gearbox.
PERFORMANCE: Top speed 127mph. 0-62mph in 10,3 secs.
ECONOMY: City: 34.4mpg.
Wheel World test average: ????mpg
CO2 EMISSIONS: 151g/km.
FUEL TANK: 63 litres.
INSURANCE: Group 19.
WARRANTY: 5 years/62,500 miles
• All data correct at time of publication.