By Nauman Farooq
It’s been a year since I last tested the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross; a vehicle I wasn’t expecting to like, but I did!
So, can it still impress 12 months on?
Let’s find out!
Styling: For 2019, the styling of the Eclipse Cross has not altered at all, but now you can get roof rails on all model trims.
While in the past year, a few new models have entered into the same price bracket as the Eclipse Cross, but none stand out as much as this Mitsubishi. This is a sporty crossover, kinda like a junior BMW X6, and that is not a bad association to have!
While Mitsubishi will be happy to sell you a traditional SUV box in the shape of the Outlander, those who are looking for a bit more style, would prefer the Eclipse Cross, and so would I.
Interior: Step inside, and the Eclipse Cross really impresses. The cabin is not only fairly roomy (at least for the front seat passengers), but the quality of the fit and finish is very impressive.
For 2019, you also get gloss black power window switches, and my tester even had a heads-up display screen that would pop up from the top of the dashboard – I didn’t have this feature on my tester last year, and really liked the addition of it this year.
The infotainment system is also fairly good, but it’s missing an in-built map (you can get navigation to work on it, but it’ll run off your cell phone, and use its data). The infotainment system is controlled via a touch pad, which I complained about last year, but this year, the system worked much more smoothly and precisely – perhaps Mitsubishi has quietly tweaked the control pad to be easier to use.
Other notable features includes a panoramic sunroof, but unlike most vehicles, the front seat passengers can control their own sunshade, and the rear seat passengers have a separate control for their own sunshade – so if you want to block out the sun, while the kids in the back want more light, they can do that. This is a clever set up, and I wish more vehicles were like this. Trunk space is good, but as you can expect, the sloping roof robs it of some extra space. But, you’d be aware of that when buying this vehicle, because you’re buying style over practicality. If you need more space, the Mitsubishi Outlander will be of interest to you.
Powertrain: Under the hood you’ll find a turbocharged 1.5L, four cylinder motor, that features double over head cams. This unit produces 152 hp (which is not very impressive), but more importantly, 184 lb-ft of torque (which is impressive).
Power is sent to all four-wheels via a CVT automatic, which is smoother than most gearboxes of this nature, but not sporty.
Performance & Driving Dynamics: Which brings us to performance. In my testing, I recorded a 0 to 100 km/h time of 8.8 seconds, which is respectable for this class of vehicle, but is not going to set the road ablaze! Top speed is electronically pegged at 190 km/h, which is adequate.
The Eclipse Cross is actually quite a nice vehicle to drive. It rides well, and thanks to its S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control), it not only handles well on tarmac, it’ll handle well on loose surface as well, such as gravel or sand – so, it’ll be just fine in winter, too.
So, while the performance of the Eclipse Cross is not going to cause amazement, thanks to its road manners, you come to a realization that as a daily driver, it is very satisfying. I can surely live with one on a daily basis – but would need a sportscar in addition for the weekend.
Fuel Economy: In my test cycle (170 km of highway driving + 130 km of city driving), the Eclipse Cross averaged 9.6 L/100 km. So, it is thirstier than most of its competition.
Pricing: The 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has a base price of $27,998 – so it is priced well for what it is.
Verdict: There aren’t many vehicles that you can buy for under $30,000 that offer style, good ride and handling, plus is capable on more than just tarmac – but the Eclipse Cross does. I actually liked it the second time around even more, and that usually doesn’t happen with most vehicles. I hope, in the near future, Mitsubishi will offer a PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) version of the Eclipse Cross, because that’ll be excellent!