2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Review

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross front three quarter view

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 2WD Road Test Review
AU$36,000
(3 / 5)

Currently Mitsubishi’s best product, the Eclipse Cross is the SUV the company has needed for a very long time. But has it come too late?

Missing a train or a bus is the worst feeling. You know when you’re trying to get there that you’re not quite going to make it, and there’s a sick feeling in your stomach.

Well, the steam train that is SUV sales has been on its way for a while. Mitsubishi appears to have missed it, with some very old offerings. There’s the Mitsubishi Outlander which has recently been updated, but is basically the same car, and then there’s the Outlander Sport (ASX). The less said about that one, the better.

The company’s attempt to jump on the SUV train comes in the form of this week’s test car – the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. So, has Mitsu missed the train?

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross rear three quarter

What is the styling like?

Perhaps the biggest giveaway that this is a brand new machine is the styling. You can tell that this wasn’t hampered by using an old platform and simply grafting on a new face.

The rest of the Mitsubishi range does look a bit piecemeal – sure they’re trying to get the front ends to look quite similar – but the Eclipse Cross flows beautifully. Up front is the “Dynamic Shield” styling that has been designed holistically, creating a handsome crossover. Yes, it looks like it was built in 2018.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross interior

What is the interior quality like?

Look inside and normally you’d find an aging interior, however as the brand’s first all-new car for years, the Eclipse Cross looks very nice indeed. Like the exterior, it’s quite a cohesive place to be.

Of course, it’s not going to take on Audi, but there’s a well-grained dashtop and the flowing design works well.

You’ll find that the silver breaks up what could be a monotonous amount of black, however you’ll find a lot of different surfaces. And some closed cup holders would be nice.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross back seats

These aren’t exactly sports seats but the bolstering creates a tighter seat base. There’s red stitching and good padding, too. We did find that the hide doesn’t quite stretch enough, however it does look high-end. Certainly the leather is the highest quality we’ve seen from Mitsubishi and availing yourself of seat heaters is always nice when it’s cold.

It’s the second row of seats which piqued our interest. Thanks to a sloping roof line you may think that headroom is compromised, but on the contrary, the headroom is superb.

And there’s a good amount of leg and foot room, too. The Eclipse Cross is certainly packaged well.

What technology does it have?

There’s a new infotainment control pad similar to Lexus which looks great, but the usability falls down somewhat.

Sure, there’s haptic feedback, but you need more than that.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross gear lever

Instead of having a touchscreen (which as it’s mounted currently is probably a bit too far away to reach it) this touchpad feels like it’s already a generation old.

Most apps require you to swipe across, which is fine, but every icon needs a separate swipe. You can’t just do it in one motion, whether that’s left and right or up and down. Why do you have to swipe four times to get across to the other side? Wouldn’t a single motion swiping across do the same thing, but be a lot quicker?

We’d also like to see sat-nav included as standard, but instead Mitsubishi if encouraging everyone to connect their phone and use the phone’s in-built apps to give you your directions.

What are the engine specs?

Some good news is found under the hood. With a brand new engine, the Eclipse Cross makes 152 hp (110kW) and 184 lb-ft of torque (250 Nm) from its 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline motor. It’s refined and easily keeps abreast of competitors like the Nissan Qashqai and others.

It’s not class leading in terms of power or torque, but it is the smoothest engine the brand offers. Which is why Mitsubishi needs to use this or larger versions of it in its other vehicles.

Our test car was a front-wheel-drive, and the power is transferred to the front end via a continuously variable transmission. It’s not quite as rubber-band-like as others, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Subaru’s CVT, for example. There are paddle shifters, too, but in a CVT we wonder why.

You’ll get to the 60 mph benchmark in just less than nine seconds, meanwhile it uses gas at a rate of around 26 mpg.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross wheels

How does it drive?

Mitsubishi has created a more Euro feel with the Eclipse Cross, using big wheels to imbue some reasonable handling. However, unfortunately the steering just can’t keep up enough so you can enjoy the dynamics. There’s a lot of twirling of the wheel when going into and out of corners, and around the straight ahead it just feels a bit strange, losing some of its natural and progressive weighting. Will buyers of a FWD crossover care about that? Maybe not.

The larger wheels (which do look good, we must say) also impinge on the ride, which is Euro-centric – in other words, quite firm. While buyers may not care about the steering, they will care about the ride.

Is it safe?

Well, yes. Having been assessed by the European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP) the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross received the full five star safety rating. You can watch the video of the crash test below.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross front view

Is it worth buying?

We were quite impressed by the styling and presentation of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, but when the company has put out some mediocre vehicles over the last few years, it tends to lower your expectations.

What you really need to do is put it in context with its rivals and in this light the Mitsu’s sticker price is too high. The driving experience is average and the infotainment just isn’t high-tech enough.

The Nissan Qashqai, Mazda CX-5 and excellent (and updated) Hyundai Tuscon all offer better value, so there will have to be something you really love about the Eclipse Cross to make it worth handing over your dollars.

By itself, this little crossover is fine. But in this SUV market, Mitsubishi has just missed that train.

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Specifications

BASE PRICE $28,890
PRICE AS TESTED $32,310
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-passenger, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 1.5L/152-hp/184-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION Continuously variable transmission (CVT)
CURB WEIGHT (Front/Rear Distribution) 3,593 lb (57/43%)
WHEELBASE 106.4 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 175.5 x 71.9 x 67.3 in
0-60 MPH 9.0 sec
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 20.2/27.9/23.1 mpg
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 25/26/25 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 135/130 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.76 lb/mile
About Karl Peskett 424 Articles
A passionate writer, editor and driver, Karl is the go-to man when it comes to four wheels. With stints in television, radio, print and online, Karl has been writing about cars for more than a decade. He drives around 100 vehicles every year and has tested everything from Bugattis to Suzukis. Sometimes on track, sometimes off-road, his focus is on producing objective journalism without fear or favour.

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