This is the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Now – I know what you’re thinking; that’s a strange name for a car when they’ve never made an Eclipse – cross or otherwise. Well, they have. Resort to the almighty power of Google and you’ll find that the Eclipse was a big-selling coupe for Mitsubishi from 1989 until it was discontinued in 2011. Why have we never heard of them? Because it was sold in many countries, but not here. We got the FTO for a few years instead.
Eclipse Cross – Coupe SUV?
If you’re wondering what a small coupe’s got to do with this SUV, well that’s where the Cross part of its moniker comes in. Look closely at the Eclipse Cross’s basic shape and it slopes gently from the C-pillar downwards, like a coupe. Look upon it as Mitsubishi’s take on the BMW X4 or Mercedes GLC Coupe if you like.
4×4 or FWD
When a manufacturer’s got 4×4 heritage like Mitsubishi have, it’s no shocker that they’ve jumped with both feet onto this particularly fashionable bandwagon. What’s perhaps more surprising is that, although the Eclipse Cross is available with all four wheels powered, it’s also available in front-wheel-drive guise. We’d bet that’s the one that’ll take the lion’s share of Eclipse Cross sales.
So, you can have your Eclipse Cross as 4WD or FWD, but what about engine/transmission choices? Well, there’s one engine. Like so many recently, Mitsubishi have ditched the diesel for this model and it’s a 1.5l petrol or nothing. It creates 161bhp & 250Nm torque whilst returning 42.8mpg and emitting 151g/km CO2 at best; very middle-of-the-road numbers all round.
Transmission choices are a 6-speed manual or, on certain specifications, a CVT auto. If you do want your Eclipse Cross to be a ‘proper’ 4×4, it won’t be a manual – CVT only I’m afraid. That said, having spent time with the manual gearbox, I’d be tempted to go for the automatic anyway. Yes, it has a slightly negative effect on economy and emissions, but it’s marginal (42.8 vs 42.2mpg & 154 vs 151g/km CO2). On the plus side, a whole second is lopped off your 0-62mph time (10.3 vs 9.3s) and, perhaps more importantly, you won’t have to suffer the manual ‘box that constantly feels like you’re in too high a gear from standstill as it struggles with the engine’s considerable turbo-lag.
Once you’re on your way, though, the 1.5l engine’s 250Nm copes well, making gear changes fairly infrequent. The multi-link rear suspension can get uncharacteristically jiggly over broken surfaces, though, yet the suspension’s lean through corners would suggest it’s set up for comfort. Add to this lean the FWD version’s propensity for understeer and I’d seriously suggest going for a 4WD Eclipse Cross if spirited driving’s your thing.
Spacious and loads of storage
Inside the Eclipse Cross there’s more than enough room for 4 adults to sit in comfort, despite its coupe aspirations. Storage is good, every model supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although the infotainment screen is way too small by modern standards and its touchpad is a pale imitation of more premium systems. All but the lowest spec comes with HUD and dual-zone climate control. Standard safety features include auto high beam, forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning and either rear view or 360° cameras.
The driving position itself is good – high up as you’d want and expect in your SUV. One aspect that could honestly make or break your buying decision, though, is the rear view that’s massively compromised by the rear window’s split-screen design. Yes, the door mirrors’ size goes some way to compensate, but it might not be enough. This is especially the case when it rains as the rear wiper is next to useless and what you can see in your rear view mirror is more distraction than help.
Should I buy an Eclipse Cross?
With prices starting from £21,290 OTR, the Eclipse Cross is a very tempting way into the highly fashionable world of coupe SUVs, and even our recommendation – the £25,365, 3 auto AWD looks like good value. It’s spacious, safe and comes with loads of kit, just don’t expect BMW levels of refinement or ride for your money.
By Ben Harrington
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 4 Manual Specifications:
Engine – 1.5l 4-cyl petrol, Layout –Front engine, FWD, Transmission – 6-speed manual, Power – 161bhp, Acceleration –0-62mph – 10.3s, Maximum Speed –127mph, Maximum Torque – 250Nm, Economy – 42.8 mpg combined, Emissions – 151g/km CO2, Price – £24,990 OTR
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is available now. For full details go to; www.mitsubishi-cars.co.uk
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