Review: Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (2018)
Gets new peppy 1.5 chain cam turbocharged engine. Very well equipped as standard for the money. Tows 1,600kg.
Hard ride on larger wheels. Doesn't handle especially well. CVT gearbox is as noisy as you'd expect under acceleration.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (2018): At A Glance
- New prices start from £27,090, brokers can source from £18,901
- Contract hire deals from £253.99 per month
- On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure
There's hardly a shortage of crossovers on the market. Everyone and their aunt has some sort of SUV-style model in their line-up. Flavour of the month has become a regular on the menu it seems. Not to be left behind, Mitsubishi has this - the Eclipse Cross - its version of the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson.
So what makes the Eclipse Cross stand out from the crowd? Mitsubishi uses lots of words like 'defiant' and 'engaging' when talking about the styling. There's certainly a lot going on, whether you like it is personal preference - but it is at least not generic.
Mitsubishi describes the cabin as its 'best interior ever'. It certainly feels well made and step forward from the likes of the ASX, with less hard plastics and a generally nicer feel throughout. We wouldn't say it's as good as something like a SEAT Ateca but everything works intuitively and it feels solidly built.
Practicality wise it's a good family car. The coupe-esque rear end may cut into the load space somewhat - and that split rear tailgate glass compromises the view out the back - but we're assured you can fit four golf bags in the 448-litre boot while the rear seats slide back and forth plus also recline.
There's just one engine at launch - a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged chain cam petrol. The lack of a diesel will mean high mileage drivers ruling out the Eclipse Cross but a PHEV is on the way. The 1.5-litre petrol is an impressive unit that's responsive yet quiet and with 163PS isn't short of power. Claimed economy is 42mpg in a two-wheel drive model - you'll probably be seeing around early 30s in real life.
The standard six-speed manual is far better than the optional CVT automatic. The latter is fine at a sedate pace but ask for any meaningful acceleration and you're greeted with the usual whine as the engine sits at constant revs. Both transmissions are rated to tow 1,600kg.
Where the Eclipse Cross falls down is on the road. It's not especially good to drive with too much lean in corners, a hard ride on models with bigger wheels and artificial feeling steering. It's disappointing given how promising the rest of the car is.
It's also not that cheap compared to the competition and while well-equipped - there are no base-level cars here - there's not much that would tempt you to choose an Eclipse Cross over many of its better-to-drive rivals.
What does a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (2018) cost?
Buy a used Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross from £16,490
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (2018): What's It Like Inside?
The interior of the Eclipse Cross is a big step forward for Mitsubishi with a more upmarket feel and less hard plastics used than previous models. It gets all the basics right too with a good driving position, comfortable yet supportive seats and intuitive controls.
It's clearly a well put together interior, so while not as premium as some of the competition - there are still some slightly naff buttons hidden away while the silver plastic won't fill you with joy - it still feels solid and built to last.
Mitsubishi hasn't tried to reinvent the wheel here - the interior is pretty standard in terms of layout and design, but there is a new touchpad controller that's standard on all models along with a bright colour screen on the dashtop.
The laptop-style touchpad is similar to the one that Lexus uses and although it's a little unusual, you soon get used to it. Is it as simple as having a touchscreen? Probably not, but it nonetheless works well and navigating around the different menus is straightforward, even if the touchpad can be a little hesitant to react at times.
There's decent space in the Eclipse Cross and although six-footers will find head room tight in the back - not helped by the sloping roofline - it's no worse than many other crossovers this size.
The boot could be better though - it's narrow due to the bulky wheelarch intrusions (one of which houses a speaker) and there are lots of gaps for things to fall down into. The rear seats don't fold down flat either.
On the plus side, those back seats do have eight different recline settings while the bases slide forward by 20cm, so you can increase boot space if needed and still carry passengers.
The main appeal of the Eclipse Cross is how well equipped it is. There are no base-level cars so while the entry-level '2' model isn't particularly cheap with a list price of around £21k - a SEAT Ateca starts at around £18k - it does come well equipped as standard with 16-inch alloys, climate control, DAB, the touchpad controller, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus a reversing camera.
Eclipse Cross 2 comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, Smartphone audio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB, six speakers, rearview camera, Bluetooth hands free connection, touchpad controller, projection halogen headlamps, cruise control, climate control air conditioning, auto lights and wipers with auto high beam, LED DRL’s and interior lighting, rear spoiler, Front Collision Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, seven airbags, wheel arch moulding, black side sill garnish, front and rear silver skid plate, privacy glass, colour keyed mirrors and door handles plus black interior door handles.
Eclipse Cross 3 models have two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels, head up display, fabric interior with silver stitch, heated front seats, dual zone climate control, keyless entry and start, heated door mirrors with power fold, soundproof windscreen, silver side sill garnish plus front and rear parking sensors.
Eclipse Cross 4 has a Rockford nine speaker system, black leather interior with orange stitch, power driver’s seat adjustment, power panoramic roof, LED headlamps with wash function, 360° camera, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and lane change assist.
First Edition comes with premium Red Diamond metallic paint, silver front and rear styling extras, front, rear and side carbon extensions with red styling line, First Edition mat set with red trim and a First Edition exterior rear badge. It's limited to 250 models.
Child seats that fit a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (2018)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (2018) like to drive?
Just one engine is available from launch - a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol. With 163PS it has more power than Volkswagen's 1.5 TSI Evo engine used in the T-Roc, plus it develops 250Nm to give it enough low down pulling power that you rarely have to work it hard in everyday driving.
It's a refined engine too and while there's not as much sound insulation as in a Volkswagen, it's nonetheless quiet and rarely sounds coarse. Both two and four-wheel drive models are available with official economy around 40mpg for both.
The standard two-wheel drive manual is actually the best in the range. Not least because the six-speed gearbox has a nice smooth shift and gives the Eclipse Cross more than enough get up and go around town.
You can spend more by going for an automatic version - it's the only gearbox choice if you want a 4WD. Mitsubishi has fitted a newly developed CVT which is says delivers the 'smoothness and responsiveness' of a traditional automatic.
Sadly that's not the case in the real world. It feels like any other CVT so while you know it's designed to make the engine work at the best revs in terms of blending economy and performance, there's still that unpleasant whine when you accelerate. A standard torque converter automatic would make it much nicer to drive.
Gearbox aside, the Eclipse Cross isn't the best crossover around to drive. In fact it lags behind much of the competition. In and around town it's perfectly adequate, albeit rear visibility is hampered by the odd split tailgate design.
But on poor surfaces it's let down by an overly stuff ride, particularly noticeable on models with 18-inch wheels which are standard on 3 trim and above. Plus, despite the Eclipse Cross being fitted with multi-link rear suspension, it's far from enjoyable to drive with lean in corners, further hampered by the electric power steering which feels artificial and lacks any weight.
|1.5||39–43 mpg||9.3–10.3 s||151–155 g/km|
|1.5 CVT 4WD||37–40 mpg||9.8–10.4 s||159–175 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (2018)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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