Mitsubishi is bringing again an previous identify for a brand new automotive. The final Eclipse was a coupe designed for the US market and was by no means formally bought within the UK, however the Eclipse Cross is that the majority trendy of issues – a mid-sized crossover. In area phrases it slots between the ASX and the Outlander and is additional proof of Mitsubishi’s willpower to develop into an SUV specialist; the unloved Mirage is the one typical automotive left within the European line-up. Having been developed earlier than the corporate was absorbed into the Nissan-Renault alliance, this may be the final automotive Mitsubishi ever develops by itself.
It sits on the identical primary structure because the bigger Outlander, it’s 4405mm general size which means it’s simply fractionally longer than a Nissan Qashqai. Mitsubishi would like comparability with the Toyota CH-R, reckoning the Eclipse Cross’s falling roofline and related know-how will assist it attraction to youthful consumers.
Just one engine shall be out there from launch, a newly developed ‘4B40’ 1.5-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol producing 161hp. The entry-degree model could have entrance-drive and a six-velocity guide gearbox, plusher iterations providing a CVT auto and the choice of all-wheel drive. A 2.2-litre diesel model, with normal AWD and a torque converter eight-velocity auto, will probably be launched later subsequent yr.
What’s it like?
Mitsubishi claims the Eclipse Cross is a radical new path, however on first impressions the similarities to the corporate’s present merchandise are extra apparent than the variations. Styling is glossy and there are some good particulars, however a lot is generic crossover – particularly the gray plastic wheelarch cladding used as visible shorthand for an on a regular basis ‘softroader’. Solely the cut up rear display, like that of the Toyota Prius however higher executed, stands out as notably unique, permitting each the coupe (-ish) roofline and respectable rear headspace.
Inside it’s the identical story. The standard of trim supplies has improved by a number of notches over these of the ASX or Outlander, however there’s nonetheless a considerable amount of darkish plastic, and lesser-used switchgear has been shunted into a tough-to-see block between the steering wheel and the door. We’re informed that normal UK spec will embrace a touchscreen infotainment system that may work with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, however it doesn’t have its personal sat nav system. Area is sweet, each entrance and rear, though the driving place feels barely offset in the direction of the centre of the automotive.
Whereas the brand new petrol engine performs strongly, it has detached CO2 numbers in comparison with its cleanest rivals. There’s numerous low down torque and a purposeful if subdued exhaust soundtrack that makes the Eclipse Cross really feel keen, even at trundling speeds. It’s much less eager to rev, refusing to get inside 500rpm of its marked 6000rpm redline, however general it nonetheless feels extra enthusiastic than the claimed 9.eight-second zero-62mph time makes it sound.
It’s exhausting to like the CVT gearbox, although. It’s certainly not the worst of its style, however even with programmed stepped ratios to chop down on the meals blender impression in full accelerator-on-carpet mode it nonetheless struggles to persuade, slurring between its fake gears. There’s additionally noticeable surging at manoeuvring speeds.
Regardless of the ‘Tremendous All Wheel Management’ sticker on the rear window the elective 4-wheel-drive system is extra about sensibleness than enjoyable, making certain flawless traction however providing little apparent mitigation to the Eclipse Cross’s understeer-heavy dealing with stability; you’ll be unsurprised to listen to that is no Evo 7. Grip ranges are respectable however the low-geared steering saps enthusiasm, and solely probably the most rudimentary suggestions will get previous its electrical help. The journey felt pliant over the few bumps I might discover on the Spanish check route and cruising refinement is sweet.
Ought to I purchase one?
On first impressions the Eclipse Cross is a strong all-rounder, one which feels impressively properly screwed collectively and which, we’re promised, will include beneficiant commonplace package from the entry-degree model upwards. Mitsubishi reckons that it’ll carve out its personal area of interest between the ASX and the Outlander, and though pricing isn’t finalised the indication is that a unfold of round £21,000 to £29,000 is more likely to cowl the vary.
The automotive’s sensible, smart and even modestly trendy, and while UK spec isn’t finalised, we should always see loads of huge automotive options on plusher variations – from radar cruise management to a 360-diploma birds’ eye digital camera system. Nonetheless, I think that is a type of automobiles that will probably be purchased with head moderately than coronary heart.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 1.5T AWD ‘three’ Location: Barcelona, Spain On sale: January 2018 Worth: £21,000 (est) Engine: 1499cc 4-cylinder, turbocharged, petrol Energy: 161hp @ 5500rpm Torque: 184lb ft @ 1800rpm–4500rpm Gearbox: CVT Kerbweight: 1550kg zero-62mph: 9.8sec Prime velocity: 124mph Financial system: 39.2mpg CO2: 159g/km Rivals: Nissan Qashqai, Seat Ateca