The Eclipse Cross’ petrol engine is fairly perky and cruises quietly on the motorway but alternatives are faster, more frugal and more fun
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.
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 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 Eclipses’ auto 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 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 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 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.