If you remember Mitsubishi’s Eclipse coupe of the 90s, the company’s new Eclipse Cross crossover is not related and totally new. It just borrows the Eclipse name.
Cross is actually a smaller, compact version of Mitsubishi’s Outlander and Outlander Sport SUVs, and in fact it’s built on the same frame. But everything else is all Cross.
The five passenger Eclipse Cross is offered in base ES, ES S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control), LE S-AWC, SE S-AWC, SEL and S-AWC that was tested.
Cross is a sporty looking crossover with daring styling, sexy sloping roofline that ends with a tail that resembles a Prius with its mid-height cross member that holds a set of LED lights. With splashes of chrome on its front end to a set of panels that are set to resemble skid plates, Cross strikes a snappy pose.
Cross’ interior has an equally upscale design with bright brushed aluminum trim that enhances the vertical stack along with a 7-inch touchscreen. HVAC controls are easy to use, and a console mounted touchpad selects certain functions and apps that include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and three free months of satellite radio. Also included free for 24 months is Mitsubishi Connect infotainment system. The display also provides surround-view parking that gives a birds-eye view around the vehicle.
Missing though is GPS nav. But by connecting your phone the corresponding apps provides the guidance. Or, use a stand-alone system that plugs into the cigarette lighter receptacle.
There’s a 3-inch high Heads-Up-Display that shows your speed and posted speed limits, but it can be retracted if it’s annoying.
Cross’ S-AWC system consists of Auto, Snow and Gravel modes. The latter is for mud, sand and fresh snow. The system combines with Active Yaw Control that controls the left-right driving/braking force when using the brakes.
Heated front seats are Recaro-like in appearance with excellent lateral support, but are actually better in that there’s extended under thigh support. They make long trips less tiring.
Rear seats are heated with the optional Touring package and are comfy for two adults (or three tweens) with decent leg room. Ingress/egress is easy thanks to wide opening doors and a low 18-inch step-in. Headroom however is marginal for really tall folks.
Back in the cargo area, which is fairly sizable, it offers 22.6 cubic feet with the rear seats up. Perhaps more understandable is it measures 30.75 inches deep, 40.5 wide and 31 high. Flip the sliding, reclining seatbacks and space increases to 48.9 cubic feet for 63 inches of cargo loading depth. And beneath the cargo floor there is some small item storage.
Mitsubishi provides a thoughtful First Aid Kit in the cargo area, and a CPR pamphlet to show the procedure in the owners’ manual along with a tire pressure gauge and pen. And when closing the front drivers’ door, the outside mirrors power inward.
Powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder producing 152-hp and 184 lb/ft of torque, it rates EPA mileage estimates of 25 city, 26-highway mph with a CVT transmission that offers an 8-step sport mode. The combination offeres peppy acceleration and a linear application of torque. And it’s rated to tow up to 1,500 pounds. At idle, the engine is a tad noisy but dissipates at highway speeds.
Ride quality on Bridgestone 18-inch tires is on par with most others in this class and size. Road imperfections and tar strips can be felt, but on highways, Cross rides smoothly.
Handling is decent and it parks easily with a tight turning radius. With the split rear window, backing up doesn’t provide a clear view, but the surround camera eliminates that problem and gives a better, safer view than just looking over your right shoulder.
Cross is attractively priced depending upon options added. The SEL started life at $27,895 but after adding $6,370 of goodies and delivery ($995), Cross bottom-lined at $35, 260. The options list reads as follows:
*Red Diamond Paint ($595)
*Touring Package ($2,500) and includes dual panoramic sunroof, Rockford/Fosgate audio, Forward Collision Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, Auto High Beam, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, auto dimming mirror with Homelink and roof rails.
*Rear Park Assist Sensors ($510)
*Chrome Package ($395)
*LED Illumination Package ($360) includes illuminated door sills, blue floor illumination and tailgate light.
*Cargo Tonneau Cover ($190)
*Premium Exterior Package ($1,395)
*Carpeted Floor Mats ($135)
*LED Interior Enhancement (lights) Package ($290)
The Cross carries one of the best warranties offering 10 year/100K limited powertrain coverage; 7/100K corrosion/perforation; 5/60K new vehicle limited warranty; and 5/unlimited roadside assistance.
While the Mitsubishi Cross is in a crowded field, and if you can do without some of the aforementioned optional goodies, this compact SUV is a compelling, attractive competitor that is fun to drive.
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