Mitsubishi offers three versions of the small Eclipse Cross SUV, two with front wheel drive and one with all wheel drive.
A CVT transmission is standard across all three with ‘steps’ like a conventional auto’s gears.
Eclipse Cross is a new model featuring a swag of advanced driver assist technology as standard but I can’t figure out why Mitsubishi needs two contenders in essentially the same space.
They already have the popular ASX in the small SUV segment starting at about 25 grand while the kick off point for the Eclipse Cross is a tad over $30 grand.
It does have a new engine and is a new shape offering more interior room than the ASX but…..
I drove the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Exceed front wheel drive variant and found it quite a sporty little device with plenty of punch from its 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine even if the front wheel drive is a limiting factor.
It is feature rich and can be light on fuel driven carefully. Fun to drive too.
Frontal styling is in current Mitsubishi idiom with heaps of chrome on and around the grille and a fairly imposing, handsome face
The side has plenty going on with curving creases accentuating the guards flowing into the barrel shaped rear bumper which is a bit on the strange side.
I reckon it rides a tad high with too much air under the guards.
The overall effect isn’t hard on the eye but is generic Mitsu’ right down to the small details.
I’m not really a fan given the extent of good looking competition in the small, affordable SUV segment.
Eclipse Cross benefits from being a completely new car designed only in the past couple of years. That means it has the latest Mitsu’ styling and all the latest technology.
There’s a new dashboard with a horizontal sweep across the entire car to create a wider feel inside.
A vertically positioned centre console gives a cockpit look to the driver’s area.
They upped the ante in trim materials too using staples like carbon and piano black accents on various facia.
New seats offer plenty of support and are comfy over the longer haul.
I am not a fan of sunroofs so the double one in the test car seemed superfluous to me.
Inside Eclipse Cross you’ll also find a version of Mitsubishi’s comprehensive audio, connectivity infotainment system with touch screen.
Being the higher spec’ Exceed brings plenty of kit including;
- Dual zone climate control
- Leather upholstery
- Heated front electrically adjustable seats
- Premium audio
- LED headlights
- Head-up display.
It’s well endowed electronically too with comprehensive infotainment and connectivity though the latter is problematic and at times difficult to access.
The test car seemed to have a mind of its own with my Bluetooth phone connection – really annoying.
I liked the paddle shift and the roomy interior that takes four or five at a pinch with a decent load space down the back. Twin sunroofs are over the top.
Drive And Engine
Power comes from a new, 1.5-litre, direct injection, turbo petrol four cylinder engine good for 110kw and 250Nm. It gets going pretty well delivering a wide spread of power that’s easily accessible, aided by the CVT transmission.
Turn up the wick and it uses a fair bit of juice albeit the cheaper E10. I saw an average of 7.2-litres/100km in mixed driving.
Ride and handling is surprisingly sharp for a small box like the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
It sits neat and tidy through turns and steers fairly quickly offering decent braking power into the bargain…not that this sort of driving is what you’d do in such a vehicle. Just saying…..
Is it a sporty SUV?
In parts yes.
Scores a 5-star ANCAP crash rating but also boasts a decent range of advanced driver assist technology like;
- Forward Collision Mitigation
- Lane Departure Warning
- Automatic High Beam
- Hill Start Assist
- Blind Spot Warning
- Lane Change Assist
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Ultrasonic misacceleration Mitigation System
- Multi Around Monitor
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Strong engine performance
- Roomy Interior for vehicle size
- Generous advanced driver assist technology
- Electric adjust and heated front seats
- Nimble handling for a small SUV
- Attractive frontal styling
- Bit of a surprise package
Not So Good Bits
- Annoying infotainment/Bluetooth system
- Can be thirsty
- Unattractive rear styling
- Some front wheel traction issues with 2WD model
- Too much space under guards
This is a polarising car that has an attractive face but an ugly rear. It goes well, can be economical and has plenty of advanced driver assist features. However, it costs thousands more than the similar size Mitsubishi ASX.
Aussies like a bargain and the ASX demonstrates that.
Facts And Figures: 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Exceed
- Engine: 1.5-litre direct injection turbo four cylinder petrol 110kW/250Nm
- Transmission: 8-step CVT auto
- Safety: 5-star ANCAP
- Origin: Japan
- Warranty:5 years/100,000km
- Price: Exceed 2WD test car from $36,000