Read our thoughts on Mitsubishi's new compact crossover
Pros: Distinctive styling, spacious and practical, interior
Cons: Centre console layout, CVT transmission
This is the Eclipse Cross, Mitsubishi’s answer to the Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai Tucson and Peugeot 3008, which are among the best-selling compact SUVs in Ireland right now. The Eclipse Cross is a brand-new model in Mitsubishi’s crossover line-up, and it sits between the ASX and the Outlander in terms of size. The Eclipse Cross marks a fresh new approach for Mitsubishi, with futuristic styling and a modern cabin, but can it impress against its popular rivals? We spent time with it on Irish roads recently to find out.
What is it like?
The Eclipse Cross marks a new styling direction for Mitsubishi thanks to new Chief of Design Tsunehiro Kunimoto. As its name suggests, the Eclipse Cross blends traditional SUV styling with a flowing coupe roofline, and it boasts slimline LED lights, an eye-catching chrome front grille and a split rear screen. The SUV segment is bursting with options from different brands, but the Eclipse Cross is certainly distinctive. We drove the range-topping Instyle model which features 18-inch alloy wheels and a full panoramic glass sunroof.
Inside, the Eclipse Cross is more interesting than previous Mitsubishi efforts. It feels spacious from the driver’s seat with a commanding view of the road, and there is enough leg and head room throughout to ferry five adults in comfort, along with 485 litres of space in the boot. The dashboard layout is attractive with touch screen infotainment neatly-integrated on top of the dashboard, however some of the switchgear is difficult to reach and takes getting used to. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both featured as standard and smartphone connectivity is strong.
The Eclipse Cross is currently available with a single petrol engine; however, a diesel variant will be added in the future. The 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine produces 160bhp and it offers lots of low down punch, with 0-100km/h taking just over nine seconds. The Eclipse Cross is available with a manual gearbox or a CVT automatic gearbox, and despite its off-road styling, it is only available in two-wheel drive. Our test car has the CVT automatic transmission and it is somewhat vague on upshifts, however is easy to live with around town. We averaged around 7.5l/100 kilometres of driving in economy, and annual motor tax is listed at €390.
Out on the road, the Eclipse Cross handles well thanks to its firm chassis and it is relatively composed in tight turns. The steering is light and somewhat devoid of feel, however it easy to park as a result. The Eclipse Cross is refined on the move and it soaks up bumps with aplomb, and the cabin is quiet at higher speeds too. The large 18-inch alloy wheels on our test car add a harsher ride quality, but they certainly add to the visual appeal. The Eclipse Cross is an accomplished performer on long journeys in and out of town, but don’t expect it to fare as well off-road.
Prices for the new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross start from €27,900 in Ireland. There are three specifications to choose from, with Invite, Intense and a range-topping Instyle model. The entry level Invite model is well-equipped and includes 16-inch alloy wheels, Smartphone Link, a reversing camera, sliding rear seats, cruise control, a suite of safety aids and LED daytime running lights. Our high specification Instyle test car is superbly kitted out with a premium sound system, a panoramic glass sunroof, leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control, heated front seats, an electric driver’s seat and lots more.
Carzone verdict: 3.5/5
While Mitsubishi is late to the compact SUV party with the new Eclipse Cross, it marks a fresh new approach for the brand. The Eclipse Cross has many strengths including striking styling, a spacious cabin and a great drive too, while it is distinctive enough to stand out in this increasingly crowded corner of the market. The lack of a diesel engine option at present may dissuade certain buyers however, and it isn’t an accomplished off roader either. That said, those who are seeking a comfortable and practical crossover should certainly add it to their shortlist.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Instyle 2WD
Prices from: €27,900
Price as tested: €37,400
Annual Road Tax: €390
Engine: 1499cc four-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Top Speed: 200km/h
0-100km/h: 9.3 seconds
Transmission: CVT automatic
Body style: SUV
Boot Space: 466 litres