Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Mitsubishi may have closed the door on the Lancer’s illustrious career and has opened another on the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross XLS.
What is a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross? Well, if you take a Mitsubishi ASX and pump it up by a few hundred pounds or you take a Mitsubishi Outlander and trimmed it down some, you’d have an Eclipse Cross. Though in the interests of accuracy, the Eclipse Cross sits atop an Outlander platform which makes it larger by a smidge than its rivals in class. Of course, that’s only part of the picture. This gives you the physical size of the fresh and funky five-seater SUV. It doesn’t tell you that that the Eclipse Cross is likely to be the next Triple Diamond superstar. It uses a new generation engine, which can trace its ancestry back to 2004. The 1.5-litre turbocharged MIVEC engine incorporates direct injection and port injection to deliver smooth and enthusiastic performance. This compact engine has been matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. This combo is a well-suited match-up and complements the fresh look of the Eclipse Cross, which is a little familiar but a lot fresher, particularly around the boot area, where Mitsubishi has contrived a modern look and injected some serious styling cues. Inside, the Eclipse Cross is a happy mix of great spatial consideration for five occupants and some new driver-friendly tech – like the touch pad Commander track pad which controls car/driver interfacing. And the car/driver interfacing is sophisticated too: along with music controllability, Apple Carplay, Android Auto and Google maps are available through the centre touchscreen which you now don’t have to touch and get grubby fingerprints all over – you can use the pad instead. To drive – which is what we should be doing with our cars these days – the Eclipse Cross is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde trick. It’s perfectly happy trundling about town all day long, yet it has the ability to rapidly spool up the turbo quickly and without fuss for those times when you need – or want – a little more get up and gone. Handling is excellent with the donor Outlander’s characteristically muted bodyroll even further reduced in the Eclipse Cross and with the added advantage of Mitsubishi’s Super All Wheel Control adding increased stability. Mitsubishi’s sound engineers have really done the company proud with this SUV. Given its actual size – rather than its compact, apparent one – and its sharply chiselled edges, the Eclipse Cross is a doddle to park and its reverse camera is spectacularly accurate for those trickier than they look parking spots. Mitsubishi has installed as much techno-wizardry possible to keep Eclipse occupants safe. This includes lane change assist, forward collision mitigation, automatic headlight dipping, adjustable speed limiter, hill start assist and active traction control, along with Smart brake and brake assist. Final analysis: the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is a worthy – if not worthier – replacement for the Mitsubishi Lancer. It may not have the rally credentials, but it certainly has the tech, the style (subjective yes, but valid as no one can deny its there) and of course, Mitsubishi’s consistently customer-focused eye on sharp pricing, along with the Diamond Advantage warranty programme. A winner? Most assuredly.