Eclipse shines bright in SUV range

North West Telegraph - - Motoring - Derek Og­den

With the Eclipse Cross, a new spin has been given to the Mit­subishi sports util­ity ve­hi­cle or­bit.

Launched this year, the all-new Eclipse Cross is the first of a new gen­er­a­tion of Mit­subishi SUVs and joins the brand’s cur­rent line-up of the ASX, Out­lander, Out­lander PHEV hy­brid, Pa­jero Sport and Pa­jero.

Ini­tially, three vari­ants were of­fered in Eclipse Cross LS and Ex­ceed spec­i­fi­ca­tion lev­els. Re­cently, an en­try-level ES was added to the range, tak­ing the lineup to four mod­els.

Weigh­ing in at a com­pet­i­tive price of $29,990, plus on-road costs, the ES fea­tures 18-inch al­loy wheels, six-speaker Smart­phone Link Dis­play Au­dio, LED day­time run­ning lights, re­verse cam­era, front fog lamps and for­ward col­li­sion mit­i­ga­tion.

The LS 2WD model ($31,990) is well equipped, with the stan­dard di­rect in­jec­tion tur­bocharged en­gine, eight-speed con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion, smart key and seven-inch SDA.

The Ex­ceed adds dual-zone air­con­di­tion­ing, leather in­te­rior, power and heated front seats, LED head­lamps with auto lev­el­ling, dou­ble panoramic sun­roof. The 2WD Ex­ceed is priced at $36,000.

At $38,500 Mit­subishi’s flag­ship Eclipse Cross AWD Ex­ceed comes stan­dard with the same lux­ury ap­point­ments and com­pre­hen­sive safety pack­age as the 2WD Ex­ceed with the ad­di­tion of Mit­subishi’s Su­per All Wheel Con­trol four­wheel-drive sys­tem, all for $38,500. This was on our test menu.

The ex­te­rior has the com­pany’s Dy­namic Shield ex­te­rior de­sign theme, with fog lamps and in­di­ca­tors be­ing set lower within bumper re­cesses, and LED head­lamps and day­time run­ning lights in­cor­po­rated in the main light­ing assem­bly.

A bar and mesh up­per grille, re­in­forced by roof lip spoiler and “ven­turi”-style lower bumper pro­file, add to the sporty look of the SUV.

Eclipse fea­tures dou­ble rear win­dows di­vided by high-mounted LED brake lights, giv­ing a deeper, more ex­pan­sive rear view than is nor­mally found in SUVs of a coupe na­ture.

Pres­tige is the by­word here with qual­ity cabin trim cre­at­ing a stylish and crafted feel. Car­bon and pi­ano black ac­cents adorn the in­stru­ment panel, steer­ing wheel, cen­tre con­sole and door pan­els.

A high fin­ish sil­ver trim sur­rounds the lower dash, cen­tre con­sole, front door arm­rests and air vents.

A 2670mm wheelbase makes for a roomy am­bi­ence, added to by the twin bub­ble roof de­sign en­sur­ing gen­er­ous head­room, even with the panoramic glass roof of the Ex­ceed model. Wide-open­ing (75 de­grees) rear doors are handy.

Stor­age in­clud­ing a large dou­ble-com­part­ment glove box, cen­tre con­sole with sun­glass tray and un­der­floor cargo box. A new Sync func­tion for the air-con­di­tion­ing left and right tem­per­a­ture is a neat touch.

Mit­subishi’s Smart­phone link Dis­play Au­dio en­ables phone con­nec­tiv­ity through An­droid Auto and Ap­ple CarPlay, while se­lected apps, in­clud­ing nav­i­ga­tion, stored on their smart­phone, can be ac­cessed through the colour touch­screen or via voice con­trol.

The SDA, which is stan­dard fit­ment to all Eclipse Cross mod­els, also al­lows users to make calls or send SMS mes­sages hands-free and com­bined with a new touch­pad con­troller on the cen­tre con­sole, al­lows for a more in­tu­itive op­er­a­tion of Ap­ple CarPlay. An­droid Auto users miss out here.

Dig­i­tal Au­dio Broad­cast (DAB+) is stan­dard on all vari­ants, along with the tra­di­tional AM / FM tuner.

All ver­sions of the Mit­subishi Eclipse Cross are pow­ered by a di­rect in­jec­tion tur­bocharged petrol en­gine de­vel­op­ing 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque.

It’s matched to an ad­vanced new au­to­matic trans­mis­sion with Sport mode, man­ual over­ride and pad­dle shifters.

The Eclipse Cross is avail­able in two or four-wheel drive, the lat­ter in­cor­po­rat­ing the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of Mit­subishi’s Su­per All­wheel Con­trol that of­fers a choice of three ad­vanced drive modes — Auto, Snow and Gravel.

Com­pre­hen­sive pas­sive safety fea­tures are based on Mit­subishi’s RISE (Re­in­forced Im­pact Safety Evo­lu­tion) im­pact safety body and seven airbags, in­clud­ing for driver and front pas­sen­ger, side, cur­tain and driver’s knee po­si­tions.

Pedes­trian pro­tec­tion mea­sures are en­ergy ab­sorb­ing struc­tures un­der the bon­net panel, cowl top and front bumper.

Ac­tive safety in­cludes for­ward col­li­sion mit­i­ga­tion, lane de­par­ture warn­ing, au­to­matic high beam and hill start as­sist. Ex­ceed mod­els add blindspot warn­ing, lane change as­sist, rear cross traf­fic alert, multi-around mon­i­tor, and adap­tive cruise con­trol.

Also in­cluded is ul­tra­sonic mis­sac­cel­er­a­tion mit­i­ga­tion that re­duces the chance and sever­ity of hit­ting ob­sta­cles when the driver mis­tak­enly presses the ac­cel­er­a­tor when sta­tion­ary or at speeds of up to 10 km/h. Us­ing ul­tra­sonic sen­sors to de­tect ob­struc­tions in front of or be­hind the ve­hi­cle, it reg­u­lates en­gine power while emit­ting an au­di­ble warn­ing.

If si­lence is golden, the Eclipse Cross takes on a par­tic­u­larly au­ric char­ac­ter, with en­gine and road noise kept at bay from oc­cu­pants in an ef­fi­ciently in­su­lated cabin.

The new trans­mis­sion fol­lows suit, ben­e­fit­ing from the lat­est step logic tech­nol­ogy to com­bine smooth­ness and re­spon­sive­ness with fuel econ­omy, the last rang­ing be­tween seven and eight litres per hun­dred kilo­me­tres on a range of city and high­way driv­ing over the test pe­riod.

Snow and gravel were in short sup­ply over this time, so the Su­per All Wheel Drive sys­tem was strictly lim­ited to Auto mode.

In spite of the on­set of sum­mery con­di­tions, I had the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the seat heat­ing, hav­ing caught the switch while drop­ping a set of keys into the ad­ja­cent cubby at the foot of the cen­tre stack.

On switch­ing off, the heat took some time to dis­si­pate. I hes­i­tate to say “no sweat”. De­spite the heated mo­ment, the leather up­hol­stered seats were com­fort­ably cool and at the rear a 60:40 split, with slide and-re­cline ad­just­ments gave oc­cu­pants 200mm of legroom, while also al­low­ing oc­cu­pants to get com­fort­able with eight 16 to 32de­gree re­clin­ing steps.

The Smart­phone Dis­play Au­dio touch pad con­troller, sit­u­ated on the cen­tre con­sole, took some get­ting used to, with the left hand not al­ways up to the del­i­cate touch and move­ment re­quired.

How­ever, I’m sure it could be con­quered with prac­tice.

The Eclipse Cross is a wor­thy ad­di­tion to the Mit­subishi line-up of SUVs.

With a price range of less than $10K over the four mod­els, the well­specced up­per-class vari­ants, in­clud­ing the Ex­ceed AWD, of­fer quite an at­trac­tion.

Launched this year, the all-new Eclipse Cross is the first of a new gen­er­a­tion of Mit­subishi SUVs.

The new Eclipse Cross is the har­bin­ger of Mit­subishi’s fam­ily of SUVs.

The Eclipse fea­tures qual­ity cabin trim that cre­ates a stylish, crafted feel.

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