Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Review
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is an eye-catching family SUV with plenty of standard kit and some fairly spacious back seats but alternatives do feel much posher inside
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The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is an eye-catching SUV that’s worth a look if you’re after a spacious and well-equipped family car.
All models get a seven-inch touchscreen as standard, as well as Bluetooth, DAB digital radio and smartphone mirroring for Apple and Android phones. The fact you can stream your phone’s satellite navigation app to the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross’ screen helps make up for the fact you can’t get built-in satellite navigation at all.
Thankfully, you do get lots of soft-touch plastics, glossy inserts and some upmarket metal-effect trims on the dashboard and doors. There’s plenty of adjustment for the driver’s seat and steering wheel too, so you’ll have no trouble getting comfortable.
Unfortunately, you can’t get adjustable lumbar support to reduce backache on long drives and its boot is quite a bit smaller than in a SEAT Ateca or Peugeot 3008. There’s room for a baby buggy but you’ll have a bit more difficulty squeezing in some bulky suitcases. Fold the back seats down and there’s enough space for a bike, but there’s a large step in the floor that makes loading heavy items difficult.
Fortunately, what it lacks in boot space the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross makes up for in rear-seat leg room. Slide the movable seat bench backwards and there’s more than enough space for a six-foot-tall passenger to sit behind an equally tall driver. Headroom is reasonably generous too, and there’s enough shoulder space for three adults to sit side-by-side – for short journeys at least.
The Eclipse is a significant step forward for Mitsubishi but it's still not quite as well rounded as some more upmarket alternatives
Your passengers won’t have much to complain about on the move – the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross soaks up most small ruts and potholes reasonably well and doesn’t lean much in tight corners. It’s not as sporty as an Ateca or as comfy as a Qashqai but it’s reasonably quiet on the move – providing you avoid the optional CVT automatic gearbox that makes the engine rev loudly when you accelerate.
Its split rear windscreen and thick rear pillars behind the back doors mean it’s not quite as easy to park as those cars, however. Thankfully, the controls are nicely weighted so manoeuvring through tight city streets won’t feel like a workout and you get cruise control as standard to make long drives a bit more relaxing.
You can also rest easy knowing the Eclipse Cross earned an impressive five-star safety rating in the strict 2017 Euro NCAP crash tests. This makes it one of the safest family SUVs on sale and well worth a look if you’re after something a bit different that’s still easy to live with every day.
The Mitsubishi’s clever sliding rear seats mean you can choose between lots of leg room or a bigger boot. Sadly, outright boot space is still smaller than in most alternatives
The Mistubishi’s boot might not be the biggest around but it has more hidden storage than a LA mansion with a safe room
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross’ tall body means there’s plenty of space in the front seats for tall drivers to get comfortable. Even with the panoramic glass roof fitted to high-spec models you can raise the driver’s seat up without worrying about bumping your head, and all models have plenty of leg room for you to stretch out.
You get a height-adjustable driver’s seat as standard but you can’t get adjustable lumbar support to help cut the risk of back ache. High-spec 4 and First Edition cars do get electric seat adjustment, however.
Space in the back isn’t far off what you get in the front – especially if you slide the movable rear bench seats as far back as they’ll go – and there’s enough room under the front seats for your passengers’ feet. Move the seats forward to increase boot space however, and adults might struggle to get comfortable on long journeys.
Thankfully, the rear seats are wide enough to carry three adults side-by-side and the floor’s fairly flat so there’s room for your middle passenger’s feet. The central seat isn’t quite as soft as the outer two but you shouldn’t hear too many complaints on short journeys and three kids will have plenty of room to stretch out.
The Mitsubishi’s rear doors open nice and wide and its tall roofline means you can lean in to fit a child seat without stooping down. Unfortunately, the Isofix anchor points are hidden behind the seat padding so it’s more difficult to lock the seat in place than in a Nissan Qashqai or SEAT Ateca.
Keeping the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross’ cabin looking spick and span won’t be difficult thanks to its numerous handy storage bins. The glovebox and the front door bins can each hold a 1.5-litre bottle and there’s space for a slightly smaller one-litre bottle under the front armrest and in both front cupholders. There’s also room to tuck your phone neatly away in a storage tray under the dashboard.
The rear door bins aren’t quite as generous as those in the front but they’ll still hold a one-litre bottle with room to spare. Unfortunately, entry-level 2 models don’t come with a folding rear armrest.
With the back seats in their rearmost position, there’s enough space in the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross boot to carry a couple of large suitcases and some smaller soft bags. Its 341-litre capacity lags someway behind similar-size SUVs, in fact even a VW Golf’s 380-litre boot is bigger.
If you’re not carrying any passengers in the back seats you can slide the rear bench forward to bump boot space up to 448 litres. That’s 18 litres more than you get in a Qashqai but still 62 litres less than in the SEAT Ateca. Thankfully, the Mitsubishi’s boot lip isn’t particularly tall so you can load heavy items without too much trouble.
There aren’t any handy shopping hooks to stop your groceries rolling around but you do get plenty of space under the floor to hide a few valuables or some soft bags. Need to carry some very long luggage? You can flip the back seats down in a two-way (60:40) split as standard using levers beside the headrests.
Unfortunately, even with the seats out of the way it’s still not quite as roomy as most alternatives. There’s enough space to carry a bike with its wheels attached but there’s a slight step in the boot floor which makes sliding heavy boxes up behind the front seats more difficult.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross’ petrol engine is fairly perky and cruises quietly on the motorway but alternatives are faster, more frugal and more fun
Choosing which engine you want in your Eclipse Cross is pretty easy – there’s only one, but you can get four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox
You can only get one engine in the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross – a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol with 163hp. It’s reasonably perky around town and cruises quietly on the motorway but it doesn’t accelerate as quickly as some more powerful alternatives.
It’s fast enough to keep up with fast-moving traffic but it isn’t quite as economical as smaller petrol engines in many alternatives. Mitsubishi claims it’ll return 42.8mpg but you’ll have to drive very carefully to even hit the 35mpg mark.
You can replace the standard car’s six-speed manual gearbox with a CVT automatic to give your left leg a break in stop-start traffic. The auto gearbox can cause the engine to rev loudly when you accelerate hard but it’s smoother at low speeds than the twin-clutch auto you can get in the Ateca. The Mitsubishi Eclipses Cross automatic will return almost identical claimed fuel economy to the manual, too.
All models come with front-wheel drive as standard but you can get four-wheel drive in all but entry-level 2 models. Unfortunately, it’s only available in cars fitted with the CVT automatic gearbox but does come with dedicated drive modes for snow and gravel. That’s handy if you live somewhere prone to hard winters weather or ever worry about getting stuck in your own driveway.
You get a good view out of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross thanks to its raised ride height and its relatively thin pillars beside the windscreen make it easy to spot traffic approaching at junctions.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. The Mitsubishi’s thick rear pillars and split rear windscreen design mean rear visibility isn’t quite as good as in some other mid-size SUVs. It’s still relatively easy to park, however – especially if you go for a mid-range 3 model with front and rear parking sensors.
The steering’s fairly light at low speeds so manoeuvring into a tight parking space won’t feel like a workout and at motorway speeds the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross’ suspension does a good job of softening bumps and ruts in the road.
Around town it’s not quite as comfortable as some alternatives, however. Fail to spot a large pothole and it’ll send an unpleasant jolt through the cabin. You’ll find the Mitsubishi leans slightly more than a SEAT Ateca on a winding country road too, but not enough to make your passengers feel unwell on long journeys.
You can also rest assured knowing the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross comes with all the latest high-tech safety kit as standard. Even entry-level 2 cars get lane departure and automatic emergency braking to help prevent avoidable accidents and all models earned a reassuring five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in the organisation’s tough 2017 crash tests.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross interior feels strong enough to stand up to the rigours of family life but alternatives look posher and come with better infotainment systems