"New crossover with good looks and practicality for a small family."
"Number 3 in Mitsubishi’s crossover lineup, slotting right in between the Outlander and ASX."
"It looks modern with plenty of chrome like you’d see in any Mitsubishis."
"I felt there is a much larger space inside; all thanks to the long Outlander wheelbase," said Ershad.
We took the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross for a spin and I was kind of delighted to have one-after all, it was too long a wait for a new Mitsubishi product. Soon after the world premiere in Geneva last year, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross made its debut in the Middle East at the Dubai Motor Show. The iconic Eclipse sports coupe, as we know, was in the market since the 90s and eventually took a break in 2012. Speaking of the Eclipse Cross, I still can’t justify the purpose of including "Eclipse" in the model name: all just for the fastback roofline taken from the former model?
Things were on a stifle mode for some time at Mitsubishi Motors and then the Nissan acquisition occurred, and thus became part of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. The new crossover was in the pipeline, and it’s not rocket science as to why you’d assume so-such is the popularity of the segment. It’s number three in Mitsubishi’s crossover lineup, slotting right in between the Outlander and ASX. With the new model, Mitsubishi is targeting the well-established rivals: Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, and Chevrolet Equinox (entry level).
The Eclipse Cross looks modern with plenty of chrome like you’d see in any Mitsubishis. It’s a love or hate affair when you talk about the edgy and rakish design-but it certainly gives that upscale feel. The linear design adds to the modern aggressive exterior styling from the broad front headlights in the wedge side paneling to taillights that cut across the hatch glass and blend into the rear spoiler. The rear glass wiper sits right under the spoiler. The tail design is cut off much sooner than the Outlander. The rear window is split into two by the brake lights and such a design gives a futuristic appeal. All models come with 18-inch alloy wheels.
The athletic design extends into the very modern interior with the silver trim center stack, console track pad and a door paned sunroof. The rear seats slide a few inches to increase legroom or add cargo space. So that’s more versatility with a 60/40 split-folding rear seat that slides and reclines. With this peculiar design in the rear, the cargo gives a decent amount of room for daily utilities.
Mitsubishi has done a nice job on the inside. I felt there is a much larger space; all thanks to the long Outlander wheelbase. Most of the suspension set is also borrowed from the Outlander. Things like the chin-shaped curve below the seven-inch central screen, HUD, horizontal lines on the dashboard, heated seats, black/silver monotone color schemes and the aluminum accent, which is standard in all models, add to the appeal. Infotainment is pretty standard. For entertainment, we’ve got Rockford Fosgate sound systems and they are good. Our test car had leather seats and a big panoramic roof. The rear window, which, when you look at it gives the impression of hindering the driver’s sight, is actually the other way around. It gives a nice broad view.
Keeping up with the segment competition is critical and it’s equally important to offer a product with so many features in a friendly price tag. Yet, they didn’t compromise any safety features. The list goes on-Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Mitigation, Blind Spot Warning, Front & Rear Parking Sensors, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and seven airbags.
The Eclipse Cross is powered by a 148 horsepower 1.5-liter turbo four unit with 250 Nm of torque hitting at 2,000 rpm. The model only comes in front-wheel drive for the Middle East. The set-up is mated to a CVT.
The CVT has eight program shift points and it adjusts the transmission keeping the engine in that meaty part of the rpm range by choosing a ratio that plays to the engine’s low-rev strengths. It did a decent job while driving down the twisty roads of Jabal Hafeet. The engine hits the torque over a wide range responding well from low down and dribbles quietly at the top end. But that’s about it, and you don’t want to try beyond 4,000 rpm when the murmur sounds annoying. It’s very usable power in the city. For someone who’s not a CVT believer (myself included), the best thing is to get the entry right, play around with the gear paddles, turn in smoothly at roundabouts and curves, and get things under control. An Eco mode button as you’d expect softens the accelerator and keeps the CVT busier to go along with the traffic rumble. It has direct injection and port injection to help smooth the car out under spirited drive and light load drive respectively. The chassis and steering play their part and the balance is fine.
At the end of the day, here’s a new crossover with good looks and practicality for a small family. It is an easy range to hang on for someone who’s just finished with a small sedan. In all honesty, sportiness is limited to the design job but the overall package of cutting-edge design, decent engine performance, comfort for five passengers and an acceptable price bracket kills the dilemma.
Pros: Striking design, decent handling, room inside, fuel economy, compelling price range
Cons: Must be patient with the CVT, average power
Rivals: Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Chevrolet Equinox, Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4, Nissan X-Trail
one word: go-go rookie
3.5 / 5 stars
1.5L turbocharged I4 2WD, 148 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 250 Nm @ 2,000-3,500 rpm, CVT
0-100 km/h: 10 secs, top speed: 200 km/h, fuel consumption: 8.5 L/100 km
Weight: 1,550 kg