Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: A practically fun car for little overachievers
The Eclipse Cross may not immediately strike you as a car designed for younger demographics, given the presence of chrome accents on the front bumper. However, upon closer inspection, the Eclipse Cross reveals itself as one of the boldest vehicles in Mitsubishi’s current lineup.
After twenty years in the rearview mirror, the Eclipse badge was adorning Mitsubishi cars designed specifically for petrolheads. In fact, Eclipse gained fame through his appearance in the original Fast and Furious movie in 2001.
However, Mitsubishi took a surprising turn when in 2015 it brought down the curtains on its popular Evolution series, followed by the unexpected debut of the Eclipse Cross in 2017. This transformation from a beloved two-door coupe to a roomy crossover left fans and enthusiasts all over the world. People around the world are confused.
Times have changed and Generation Z now prefers cars with a high seating position and good ground clearance. Thus, despite the disappointment of fans of the original Eclipse, the Eclipse Cross has turned out to be one of Mitsubishi’s best-selling models globally, since its launch.
Mitsubishi executives claim that the latest Eclipse, while no longer a two-door sports car, is geared toward “young achievers” looking for a fun and practical car. The team members at Wheels weren’t so sure at first glance. To understand it better, we decided to borrow the Eclipse Cross from Mitsubishi Motors Bangladesh and take it for a spin to review for this week’s issue of Wheels.
When viewed head-on, the Eclipse Cross may not immediately strike observers as a car designed for a younger demographic, partly due to the presence of chrome accents on the front bumper. However, upon closer inspection, the Eclipse Cross reveals itself as one of the boldest vehicles in Mitsubishi’s current lineup.
Like many other Mitsubishi models, the Eclipse Cross moves daytime running lights and indicators to the spot normally reserved for headlights. At the same time, the large dual projection units are positioned low, a departure from the traditional placement of fog lamps. This design option not only gives the car a wider appearance from the front, but also ensures effective lighting without obstructing the view of oncoming drivers.
Being a crossover, the front and rear bumper comes with metal plates in the bumper, which makes the car look strong and bold. However, on the sides, the fender arches are kept to a minimum, along with 18-inch tires as standard, because it’s clearly intended to be youthful after all.
At the rear, the current Eclipse Cross ditches the long light bar of the pre-facelift model, which connected the taillights and looks great in person. However, the LED taillights on this car are positioned to flex the wide stance of the car, and they do so well while fitting in with the angular look of the car. However, the rear is slightly rounded and looks more mature, in contrast to the playful look of the rest of the car.
It was surprising how nice the driver’s seat felt and felt. Being a Japanese-made vehicle, the Eclipse Cross has a high-quality interior that looks luxurious and sporty at the same time.
All the seats are wrapped in leather, and apart from the central rear seat, all have heating facilities. The front seats have a sporty look but are very comfortable for the passengers. On the other hand, the rear seats provide ample leg and head room and can be adjusted in nine steps according to the user’s preferences. It can also be completely folded to provide more luggage space. The sunroof and separate sunroof in the middle make the interior look larger and more premium at the same time.
Interior design is a great place to be. Leather seats, panoramic sunroof and central armrest are a great combination for the rear passengers ensuring a comfortable and upscale experience.
The interior panels are a mix of black and silver trim with the regular controls mostly buttons and easy to use unlike most 2023 cars, which tend towards confusing dashboard designs in the name of simplicity.
The 8-inch infotainment system supports Bluetooth connectivity and is paired with the Mitsubishi Powered Sound System that consists of four in-door speakers and two subwoofers, resulting in good sound quality. There are two USB ports below the control buttons as well as a regular 12V socket for car charging.
The USB ports can be used to access Smart Link Audio, which allows any phone to be used on the infotainment screen for music, calls and even using maps. Otherwise, it comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
Powering the Eclipse Cross is a 1,500cc turbocharged MIVEC engine mated to a continuously variable transmission. Given the car’s dimensions, I was a bit skeptical about the power delivery after learning about the small engine it had. That is, until I got behind the wheel of the Eclipse Cross!
During our test drive, the engine was responsive and despite having a continuously variable transmission, it didn’t feel sluggish at any point.
It turns out that the Eclipse Cross produces about 148 brake horsepower and a commendable 250 Nm of torque. The power delivery is immediately noticeable the moment you shift it into the 8-speed Tiptronic mode, which allows the Eclipse Cross to reveal its split personality.
The turbo is quick to spool and both my photographer and I appreciated the torque produced by the engine. Depressing the accelerator pedal in this position stiffens the steering wheel, which helps reduce body roll.
As you’d expect from the Eclipse Cross’s looks, there’s a noticeable degree of body roll due to the high ground clearance, but the chassis maintains enough rigidity to keep this manageable. Four-wheel disc brakes inspire confidence and stand out as one of the best braking systems in Mitsubishi’s current lineup. It strikes the perfect balance between fun and practicality, making it suitable for daily commuting throughout the week and providing a fun driving experience on the open roads at weekends.
Mitsubishi has a long history of making exceptional turbocharged sports cars such as the iconic Galant, Eclipse and Lancer Evolutions. However, nowadays, the majority of Mitsubishi’s lineup is dominated by crossovers and SUVs, with the Attrage being one of the few exceptions. However, Mitsubishi has not forgotten how to infuse excitement into passenger cars, as demonstrated by the Eclipse Cross.
Team Wheels explored the Eclipse Cross to see if the sports car-turned-crossover is really for young drivers looking for a fun and practical vehicle.
Given the industry-standard luxury features, upscale interior experience and impressive sportiness it had to offer, we conclude by saying that the Eclipse Cross offers enough bells and whistles to prove the point.
engine: 1500cc turbocharged MIVEC engine
moving in: CVT transmission with 8-speed Tiptronic
power: 148 hp
Torque: 250 Nm
price: Tk53 lakh