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The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross stands out with its coupe-like roofline, comfortable cabin and turbo engine.

19 Feb 2018



The Eclipse moniker isn't new to Mitsubishi. The last tri-diamond car badged as an Eclipse was a coupe first produced in 1989. The company later made a convertible version, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GTS, which was featured in the movie Two Fast Two Furious.

While those Eclipses ceased to exist seven years ago, Mitsubishi has revived the name for its brand new model, the Eclipse Cross.

In the brand's lineup, the Eclipse Cross sits in between the ASX and the Outlander. And no, Mitsubishi says it isn't a replacement for the former.

The Eclipse Cross gets its name from its sloping roofline and the fact that it's a crossover

It does, however, sit on the same architecture as the Outlander, which means it's larger and more spacious than its rivals, the Honda HR-V, the Nissan Qashqai and the Toyota C-HR.

Design wise, the Eclipse Cross appears to be the product of a Honda CR-X, Lexus NX and Toyota C-HR threesome.

And because it's bigger in size compared to its aforementioned rivals, casual observers may even mistake one for an Outlander. But the Eclipse Cross' dead giveaway is its interesting lighting signature at the back, where the brake light strip bridges the taillights, breaking up the rear windscreen.

The car's rear lights extend from end to end, forming a signature lighting strip

Unlike cars like the Audi A8, however, they do not form a continuous lighting pattern. Still, it's a refreshing design that's unseen in this segment so far. It does have one flaw, though.

During our rainy test drive, the lower portion of the rear windscreen, which comprises 40 percent of your rear view, doesn't benefit from the rear wipers; only the upper ones does and that hinders the view out back slightly. That design niggle aside, the Eclipse Cross is still a rather appealing proposition.

For example, despite its biggish footprint, it's perky off the line, thanks to its turbocharged 1.5-litre engine that sends 161bhp and 250Nm of torque to the front wheels. In this respect, it's also the most powerful one amongst its peers.

A healthy 161bhp and 250Nm of torque is produced from its turbocharged 1.5-litre engine

Mitsubishi claims the Eclipse Cross will go from 0-100km/h in 9.3 seconds but it does feel faster, especially from 0-60km/h. Credit for this goes to the quick-spooling turbo, which kicks in from just 1,800rpm.

The downside to this is the powertrain running out of steam early but then again, it's not a car you'd be enticed to drive hard. The engine delivers its best down low. Mated to the turbo-four is an 'eight-speed' CVT transmission that's equipped with a paddle shifter overwriting 'Sports Mode'.

But like many other CVT boxes, which offer manual shifting, the Eclipse Cross' powertrain is best left to its own devices.

The pretend ratios are convincing only under gentle use. It's smooth and audibly unobtrusive but at higher revs the CVT slurs, even if you choose to take control by using the manual mode.

It also handles averagely at best, with the suspension tilted more towards everyday comfort. After all, despite its coupe-infused styling, the Eclipse Cross is more about sensibility than fun.

Cabin is well-finished and furnished for its price

That maturity continues inside, with a fit and finish that's better than expected for a sizeable car priced at $119,999 (as of 8 February 2018).

More importantly, the Eclipse Cross offers enough leg and headroom for a family of five thanks to clever interior packaging.

Local models come equipped with an Apple CarPlay-equipped Kenwood touchscreen infotainment system, an electronic parking brake with auto-hold, cruise control and a head-up display, as well as safety features like a Forward Collision Mitigation System and a 360-degree Multi-around Monitor, as standard.

There's up to 448 litres of storage space on offer

You can recline and slide the second-row seats back and forth by 200mm to shuffle between having more legroom and more stowage (up to 448 litres). They can be split-folded, too, although not completely flat but enough to load large items like bicycles and golf bags.

There are currently two Eclipse Cross options, a more affordable one without the dual sunroof, and the one you see here.

According to Cycle & Carriage, a 'Super All-Wheel Control' all-wheel drive version (think clever torque-tweaking system offered on the Lancer Evolution X) will arrive in Q2 2018, which is expected to cost about $5,000 to $8,000 more.

Not one but two sunroofs in our test car

But whichever offering you decide on, you can rest assured that the Eclipse Cross is a well thought-out cross-body foray for Mitsubishi that will shake up the segment.
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Car Information

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Price

: $111,999

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve DOHC MIVEC Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1499cc

Horsepower

:

120kW (161 bhp) / 5500 rpm

Torque

:

250 Nm / 4500 rpm

Transmission

:

8-Speed (A) INVECS III CVT

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

9.3sec

Top Speed

:

200km/h

Fuel consumption

:

14.9 km/L

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