Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 2018 review

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 2018

TALKING POINTS

  • Attractive appearance
  • Improved quality and refinement over its siblings
  • Easy-to-drive nature
  • Versatile use of cabin space

The all-new Eclipse Cross again proves that Mitsubishi’s main focus is on its SUV range, and it broadens and strengthens the brand’s appeal in this field. The Eclipse Cross is on the cusp of the small and medium-size SUV categories, sitting between Mitsubishi’s top-selling ASX and the evergreen Outlander.

Design cues play a big part in this market segment, and the three-model Eclipse Cross line-up brings a fresh look and feel to the ageing Mitsubishi offering. It exhibits a bold, distinctive face, but Mitsubishi has not gone over the top, maintaining a clear family resemblance with other models in its line-up. The wedge-shaped beltline and sloping roof create an almost coupe-like wagon shape. Inside, there is a noticeable quality to the trim materials and general fit and finish which gives the cabin an upmarket appearance.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 2018

Generously equipped

The entry-level 2WD LS grade is equipped more like a mid-spec version than a base model and is priced accordingly, starting from $30,500 plus on-road costs. The long-list of standard equipment includes smart-key entry and push-button start, reversing camera, dusk-sensing lights, automatic rain-sensing wipers, seven-inch touch-screen, digital radio and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility. Satellite navigation, however, relies on your mobile phone data, and the Eclipse Cross’s touchpad, which allows more intuitive connection with the infotainment system, does not work with Android Auto.

It is pleasing to see the added safety of a driver’s knee bag, autonomous emergency braking and lane-departure warning across the range, with all Eclipse Cross versions getting a five-star ANCAP rating.

The Exceed 2WD model is a substantial $5500 step up, but for that money ($36,000) you get a double panoramic sunroof, leather-trimmed and heated front seats, powered driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, 360-degree camera and a useful head-up display. An excellent suite of advanced safety features includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, lane-change assist and cross-traffic alert. There is also the innovative ‘Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System’ which is designed to prevent/minimise unintended acceleration into stationary objects.

For buyers wanting extra traction for gravel roads or slippery conditions such as snow, the Exceed AWD version, which employs the latest version of Mitsubishi’s well-proven ‘Super All-Wheel Control’ (S-AWC), is another $2500.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross interior

Thoughtful interior

The Eclipse Cross has a well-thought-out interior that uses the available cabin space in an efficient, very practical manner. There is the commanding SUV forward view for the driver, while redesigned front seats provide plenty of side bolstering and comfortable support. All-new dash architecture creates an open feel, while well-positioned instrumentation and switches add to the driving ease. A split-folding rear seat that not only reclines but also slides 200 millimetres fore and aft provides the versatility of extra leg room or greater load-carrying capacity. The styling-focused, split tailgate rear window is noticeable when looking out the back, but the view is not as restricted as some similar set-ups.

Mitsubishi has given the Eclipse Cross a new, sophisticated, all-aluminium, 1.5-litre petrol engine. Its maximum power output of 110kW at 5000rpm is around average for this type of vehicle but this four-cylinder engine’s real appeal is a broad spread of strong torque delivered by turbo-charging. Peak torque of 250Nm arrives at 2000rpm and is maintained through to 3500rpm, bringing an enjoyably punchy feel to the operating range normally used for everyday driving. It’s well supported by Mitsubishi’s new-generation CVT transmission. With a simulated eight-step gear-shift built in, plus Sport mode, manual override and paddle shifters, it drives and feels more like a conventional automatic than the older-style CVTs.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 2018

Smooth and responsive

On the road, the Eclipse Cross proved to be far more responsive, much smoother and quieter than the ageing ASX automatic we recently tested. Fuel economy is competitive, with official consumption for the 2WD versions of 7.3L/100km, while the AWD version returns 7.7L/100km. Over a combination of city, country and dirt-road driving, our AWD Eclipse Cross used a creditable 9.1L/100km. The fact that the 1.5-litre turbo engine runs on 91-grade petrol, whereas the majority of turbo-charged engines require more expensive premium fuel, is also a cost saving.

MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link rear set-up deliver a comfortably compliant ride and surefooted handling. Electric power-assisted steering provides a relatively light, accurate feel that is well suited for around town. The general quietness of the cabin tends to accentuate some tyre noise with changing road surfaces.

There is no doubt the Eclipse Cross is Mitsubishi’s best small/medium SUV offering. In terms of cabin practicality, driving ease and general on-road ability, it looks set to challenge the well-established models in its class.

MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS

Price range

$30,500 to $38,500 plus on-road costs

Built

Japan

Drivetrain

1499cc in-line four-cylinder direct-injection turbo-petrol engine. 110kW@5500rpm, 250Nm@2000-3500rpm. Eight-step CVT transmission, with paddle-shifters. 18-inch alloy wheels, 225/55 R18 tyres.

Fuel consumption (government figure)

7.3L/100km (2WD); 7.7L/100km (AWD). 91 RON petrol. 63-litre tank (2WD), 60-litre tank (AWD).

Standard safety

Seven airbags. Autonomous emergency braking. Lane departure warning. Front and rear parking sensors. Reversing camera. Automatic headlights and wipers. ISOFIX child seat fittings. Five-star ANCAP rating.

Exceed model adds

Blind-spot warning. Lane-change assist. Adaptive cruise control. Rear cross-traffic alert. Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System.

Connectivity

7-inch touch-screen. Digital/AM/FM radio. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Bluetooth. USB input.

Features

Climate-control air-conditioning (dual-zone in Exceed). Fully adjustable steering. Power-folding mirrors. Cloth seats (LS), heated, leather-faced front seats (Exceed). Powered driver’s seat (Exceed). Keyless entry/start. Roof rails. Dual panoramic sunroof (Exceed). LED headlights (Exceed). Head-up display (Exceed).

Towing

1600kg limit (braked trailer).

Service intervals 

12 months/15,000km, capped price for three years.

Warranty

5 years/100,000km.

Written by Greg Hill
March 05, 2018