Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross LS 2WD
Positioned between the top-selling ASX and Outlander, the Eclipse Cross is the first of Mitsubishi’s new generation SUVs.
Mitsubishi sees it as a rival for the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and Mazda CX-5. Compared with the ASX, it’s 50mm longer and 28mm higher, but the same width.
The Eclipse Cross is available in two specification levels and three variants: LS 2WD, Exceed 2WD and Exceed AWD. The latter uses the latest generation of Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control system that offers a choice of three drive modes: Auto, Snow and Gravel.
The 1.5-litre, MIVEC direct-injection, turbo petrol four-cylinder common to all three is not especially powerful, but punches above the sum of its 110kW, with only a light throttle application needed to get it ‘motor-vated’.
There’s a broad torque spread that produces its best of 250Nm from just 1800rpm. Unlike some Continuously Variable Transmissions, the Eclipse Cross’ eight-step CVT feels less ‘artificial’ and more like a conventional auto. ADR fuel consumption is 7.3 litres/100km on regular unleaded.
Small bumps and corrugations can cause a little wheel patter (the Exceed rides on 18-inch hoops), but ride quality is impressively supple over a variety of surfaces.
NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) is largely well-contained, the exception being over ubiquitous coarse chip bitumen.
Shown a succession of back road twists and turns, dips and dives, the Eclipse Cross turns in incisively, grips well and corners with minimal body roll for an SUV of its size. Understeer can be induced, but only from overdriving. The steering is well calibrated in weight, though a little more feel would be nice.
The front seats support and cosset in equal measure, while the ability of the back-row to slide and recline adds a touch of practicality and comfort that other makes would do well to follow. Cargo capacity is 341 litres with the seat in its rear-most position, 448 litres in the forward-most position and 1000+ litres with it folded.
Connectivity is comprehensive (tick Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, digital radio), as is active safety. Standard equipment on the LS includes Forward Collision Mitigation and Lane Departure Warning. In summary, the Eclipse Cross puts up a compelling argument as the best SUV in Mitsubishi’s extensive range.
ENGINE: 1.5-litre turbo petrol 4-cyl.
ANCAP SAFETY RATING: ★★★★★
TAILPIPE CO2 (g/km): 165
FOR: All-round good drive, equipment, functionality.
AGAINST: Limited rear three-quarter vision, space saver spare wheel.