Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Refined - comfortable - roomy

Mitsubishi has made a massive leap forward with its Eclipse Cross.This new compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) is refined inside; it is comfortable - and it’s planted on the road. The car is roomy, too, with sliding rear chairs that add flexibility for family purchasers.
I tried the petrol model, which comes with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic gearbox and four-wheel-drive. Super-all-wheel-control is also added to the 4x4 variants. This sends clout where it is required most, and a selectable driving setting can alter how it reacts. The modes encompass Auto, Snow and Gravel.

On the road, the Eclipse Cross offers an elevated driving position, with very supportive seats. The petrol propelled engine's muscle starts to show at 1,800rpm and while you can give it the beans up to 4,500rpm, you don’t really need to. The Mitsubishi makes fast enough progress if you keep to around 3,000rpm – it’s a smooth operator, too. Indeed, it's a difficult powerplant to criticise.
Wind noise rains on the car’s parade at speed – and that only happens because of the oversized wing mirrors. Other than that, the Eclipse performs well on motorways. At slower speeds on urban and rural roads, scarred tarmac does make itself known a little too much, with jolts coursing through the cabin. This is due to the Mitsubishi’s firm chassis, but it’s not any worse than, say, a Peugeot 3008 or a SEAT Ateca. And the good thing about a stiffer chassis is that there’s very little body roll on bends. What’s more, the Eclipse’s steering is direct and quick, whether motoring gently or rapidly.
The 1.5-litre turbo petrol I drove churns out 163PS, delivering 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds, a top speed of 127mph and returning a modest 40.4mpg. But, fuel economy is better if you go for the non-4x4 models.
Inside, there are masses of space for four or five occupants. Those previously mentioned sliding rear seats mean you can enhance rear legroom effortlessly. Headroom is also bountiful, despite the Eclipse’s attractive sloping roofline.
Space and practicality continue into the load area. With the rear chairs pushed back, there are 341 litres of cargo capacity, but with them forward, the Mitsubishi boasts 448 litres. Furthermore, the boot aperture is tall, and the load floor is flat, making the loading of items a cinch.

The interior has some plastics on display, but the cabin panels are well screwed together, and the texture of the materials is decent. Faux carbon fibre and piano-black trim make an appearance here and there, too.  
Tech-wise, there’s an infotainment system that encompasses Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The unit is quick to respond, and even the touchpad control, sandwiched between the front seats, is superior to many of its kind.

Mitsubishi’s Eclipse Cross has some stiff rivalry and its petrol powerplant isn't as efficient as some. That said, good finance pricing and decent residuals mean this car should be on your shopping list if you’re after a compact SUV with 4x4 capability.
Pros ‘n’ Cons
  • Build Quality √
  • Refinement √
  • Cabin Room √
  • Stowage Space √
  • 4x4 Efficiency X
Fast Facts (4 Petrol Auto 4WD – as tested)
  • Max speed: 127 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 9.8 secs
  • Combined mpg: 40.4
  • Engine layout: 1499cc four-cylinder petrol turbo
  • Max. power (PS): 163
  • CO2: 159 g/km          
  • Price: £27,900
Written by motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay.
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