Thanks to the success of the Outlander PHEV, Mitsubishi has had more success in recent years offering fleet customers a model that they want to buy, primarily because of the tax breaks that come with running this plug-in-hybrid. The L200 pick-up is another Mitsubishi that sells well into businesse’s & is currently the second most popular pick-up in the UK behind the Ford Ranger. However, the remainder of the Mitsubishi range is far more lack-lustre when it comes to attracting fleet customers, so the launch of the Eclipse Cross, a Qashqai contender, is partly aimed at addressing this.
If you want your mid-range SUV to stand out, then the Eclipse Cross like Toyota’s C-HR, will tick that box. The front features Mitsubishi’s wide chrome grille & badge, wrap-around headlights, deep indented indicator lights with fog lights, looking not too dissimilar to the front of a Lexus NX. The sides feature a tapered sloping line that runs from front to back, finishing at the rear light cluster. A split rear screen looks different, but does affect rear vision, plus there’s a chrome skid plate & twin roof bars.
Inside, the Eclipse Cross feels the most grown up Mitsubishi yet, with better build quality than what’s on offer elsewhere in the segment. Again, the Eclipse Cross takes a leaf out of the Lexus set up in style & lay out. The materials used inside are very Japanese, that is high quality & long lasting, but a bit bland on the eye. Most are soft to the touch, with only a few cheaper looking plastics lower down, on the door pockets, glove box & centre armrest.
Sitting on top of the dash is Mitsubishi’s 7” touchscreen display, which is easy to use & responds quickly when instructed. There’s a trackpad lap-top-like controller located between the front seats, but it’s a bit fiddly to work & it’s much easier to use the touchscreen itself. From this you can control the Apps, including Apple Car Play & Android Auto, the DAB & FM radios, Phone functions & Bluetooth connectivity. There is no SatNav but if you connect using Apple Car Play for instance, you can utilise Google Maps instead. Good news is that there are heater & air-con controls as separate buttons, so theres no eyes-off-the-road adjustment required in the touchscreen to adjust these.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross also benefits from a Head-Up Display (HUD) which displays vehicle information, such as speed, Lane Departure Warning & Cruise Control, directly but unobtrusively in the driver’s field of view. The fold-out HUD unit is located on top of the instrument binnacle & opens and closes automatically or manually. The display angle can be adjusted for individual driving positions, while brightness can also be adjusted to match the surrounding light level both automatically and manually.
Entry level Eclipse Cross 2 models come with 16” alloys, Smartphone audio with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, DAB, 6 speakers, a rear view camera, Bluetooth, projection halogen headlamps, cruise control, climate control, Lane Departure Warning, privacy glass, 7 airbags, LED DRL’s & interior lighting.
Eclipse Cross 3 adds, 18” alloys, a Head up display, heated front seats, dual zone climate control, keyless entry & start & front & rear parking sensors.
Top of the range Eclipse Cross 4 is further enhanced with a Premium Rockford 9 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 & Lane Change Assist.
Despite the sloping roof line, it’s actually quite spacious inside. Eclipse Cross measures 4,405mm long, 1,805mm wide & 1,685mm high & comes only as a five-seater. The rear seats slide back & forth offering extra legroom or more boot space as required. The driver sits quite high with a good view of the road ahead as well as to the left & to the right. The split rear windscreen does take a bit of getting used to & visibility out of it isn’t great, especially if there are passengers in the rear. Storage includes a glove box, door pockets & cup holders. Front seat passenger & drive get plenty of head & legroom & in the rear legroom is good, although taller rear passengers may find that sloping roof a little too close for comfort.
With the seats all the way back there’s 341 litres of space in the boot. Slide them forward all the way and this increases to 448 litres, which is useful, but not class leading. The boot itself is quite narrow, but the floor is flat & the rear seats fold down neatly.
Our test model, the Eclipse Cross 4, was powered by an all new manual 1.5 four cylinder petrol. Whilst this won’t set the world on fire for fun it does give the driver a bit of oomph as you change up through the gears & reaches 62mph in 10.2 seconds, with a top speed of 127mph.
The Eclipse Cross handles pretty well both on the motorway, where we utilised cruise control & on smaller country roads, being both quiet & relaxing to drive. Pot-holes, are a problem in our locale & the Mitsubsihi was no worse than anything else I’ve driven recently in handling these. The leather seats are a little firm especially in the rear. Overall it’s not that far behind the excellent SEAT Ateca or Peugeot 3008 to drive & is more than a match for the Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar & KIA Sportage, especially on the motorway.
Business users are currently in a quandary on the question of petrol versus diesel & that’s before throwing hybrid or EV into the equation. With this 1.5 manual petrol engine. Mitsubishi claims a combined mpg of 42.8 with emissions of 151g/km, both hardly earth shattering. However, my week in the Eclipse Cross left me with an average combined figure of 38.7mpg, which equates to just 10% below the claimed. With WLTP replacing NEDC shortly, meaning that most cars will see their official fuel economy drop by 20%, Mitsubishi should feel confident that their claimed figure shouldn’t fall by more than 10%. Whilst this may not put the Eclipse Cross at the top of the table for economy in the sector, it does at least give Mitsubishi a place at that table.
With prices starting at £21,275 for the Eclipse Cross 2 manual, rising to £29,750 for the First Edition 4WD Auto, there should be a model to suit everyone. We would suggest looking at the 3 manual, costing £22,575 which offers a good mix of spec & safety for a reasonable price.
With all Mitsubishi’s getting five-year cover as standard in the UK, which covers the car for up to 62,500 miles, plus a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty, Mitsubishi customers also get peace of mind.
With it’s different look, top end safety features, good quality interior & decent price list, the Eclipse Cross deserves to do well. Whilst it may not be quite as good to drive as our 2016 Car of the Year SEAT Ateca, or 2017 third placed Peugeot 3008, it makes a refreshing change from the Nissan-Renault-KIA-Hyundai offerings. Fuel economy & emissions let it down somewhat, but otherwise this is really good effort from Mitsubishi.