Road Test: 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

With a reputation of being fun to drive and a great value, the Eclipse sports car was one of Mitsubishi’s best-selling and most iconic vehicles ever, right next to the Lancer Evo. Now, the Eclipse name is back in the modern interpretation of a crossover, known as Eclipse Cross. The Eclipse Cross is a fusion of sharp coupe looks and dynamic SUV mobility with signature Mitsubishi styling, technology and driving confidence.

Mitsubishi says the inspiration for the exterior styling of the Eclipse Cross is that of a runner in the “Get Set” position. They are crouched down in their lane and on their mark, muscles are defined, energy evident and movement is dynamic. 

Similarly, the Eclipse Cross’ coupe form is distinguished by its wedge profile with distinctive beltline and strong character line, a forward raked rear window, the angular rear gate and short overhang, and beefy fenders projecting the image of a powerful athlete.

The dynamic and characteristic rear design is distinguished by the almost cubist styling created around the high-mounted, stretched rear lamps and by how it horizontally divides the forward-rake rear window into two. When illuminated, the tubular LED brake lights and the central LED hi-mount stop light form a single bar of light running across the tail, giving Eclipse Cross a broad and stable appearance from the rear.

The interior of Eclipse Cross represents a new design direction for Mitsubishi. The cockpit style interior wraps around the driver for a sporty feel. 

A high-res 7″ display sits atop the dashboard. We’re happy to see Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, two pieces of software we think are ideal for safer driving. The smartphone link can be controlled through the touch screen or with the touchpad controller on the center console, which allows for tap/swipe operation. 

The system lacks a tuning knob, and the logic behind how certain things are accessed needs a second look, but the Eclipse Cross is one of very few vehicles that has menus that explain each and every feature available for customizing without having to open the owner’s manual. That was quite a surprise.

The front seats are supportive and feel sporty, but not overly aggressive. 

The rear seats offer multiple seating adjustments to accommodate for passengers and/or cargo. The rear seat back angle has nine reclining positions and can slide forward-backward up to nearly eight inches to balance passenger comfort and cargo capacity.

MITSUBISHI CONNECT is new and provides a safe, secure and more personalized driving experience. It works much like GM’s OnStar via a 4G LTE cellular modem and GPS, and is factory-installed. Two in-vehicle buttons connect the vehicle to a call center – one being the SOS Emergency Assistance button and the other an Information/Roadside Assistance button.

The Safeguard services package includes Automatic Collision Notification, SOS Emergency Assistance, Information Assistance, Roadside Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, Alarm Notification and Mileage Tracker.  The Remote services package include Remote Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Remote Horn, Remote Lights, Car Finder, Vehicle Settings, and Parental Controls (Geo Fence, Speed Alert and Curfew Alert). 

Under the hood, Eclipse Cross is powered by a 1.5-liter direct-injection turbo engine that offers a compelling combination of drivability, performance and efficiency. The turbo tech provides both strong torque and better fuel efficiency with 152 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration feels smooth from low to high speeds thanks to a CVT.

EPA fuel economy ratings come in at 25 mpg city, 26 highway, 25 combined, and we easily averaged 27 in mixed driving.

The Eclipse Cross wouldn’t be a true Mitsu crossover without their innovative S-AWC (Super All-Wheel Control) system, which enhances both straight-line stability and cornering performance by precisely controlling the torque supplied to each of the four wheels.

The S-AWC system is an integration of the vehicle dynamics control system that monitors each component around the 4WD system, including Active Stability Control (ASC), Anti-lock Brakes (ABS), and Active Yaw Control (AYC) to distribute torque to the rear wheels and between right and left wheels.

The S-AWC also uses an advanced sensor monitoring system to detect driver and vehicle behavior. Three selectable modes are available (AUTO, SNOW, GRAVEL) to enhance the S-AWC performance and logic depending on the driving conditions.

Advanced safety technology supports safer, more confident driving, and while Eclipse Cross offers all the latest tech, it’s only available on the top SEL trim. Our SE tester featured a Blind Spot Warning system with Lance Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and they worked very well. 

We highly recommend opting for the loaded Eclipse Cross SEL to get the Forward Collision Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, and fantastic Automatic High Beam feature. The headlights also get upgraded to LEDs, which are brighter and safer. 

A multi-view camera system, Rockford Fosgate audio system, and much more are part of the SEL trim, so it’s worth it.

The SE is still a fantastic crossover that gets the job done with push button start, heated seats, 18″ alloys, and more.

All Eclipse Cross vehicles come with the best warranty though, a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty; 7-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty; and 5-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance program.

Eclipse Cross remains an exceptional value like the original Eclipse.

Summary Scorecard (1-10)
Ride and Handling 8
Braking 9
Powertrain and Fuel Economy 9
Noise 8
Headlights 7
Interior Fit and Finish 8
Seating 8
Visibility 8
Gauges and Controls 8
Infotainment 7
Crash-Avoidance 8
Total Score 80

Make: Mitsubishi
Model: Eclipse Cross
Trim Level: SE 1.5T S-AWC
Engine: 1.5L Turbo
Transmission: CVT
Options: Tonneau Cover, Floormats

Base Price: $26,695
As-Tested Price: $28,015

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