The Eclipse Cross’ cabin feels strong enough to stand up to the rigours of family life but alternatives look posher and come with better infotainment systems
The Eclipse Cross’ cabin comes with plenty of squidgy plastics and glossy trims on the dashboard and doors but you’ll quickly find lots more hard, brittle surfaces down by the door bins. The glossy plastics beside the gear lever are quite easy to scratch and the fake carbon fibre trim around the infotainment system looks pretty tacky.
Thankfully, you get some neat metal-effect plastics running across the dashboard and down beside the centre console that look much more modern than the trims in the ageing Nissan Qashqai. That said, a Peugeot 3008’s interior makes the Mitsubishi’s cabin seem about as appealing as an overnight stay at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
So there’s not a whole lot to get excited about inside the Mitsubishi, but at least most of the Eclipse Cross’ controls are sensibly laid out and easy to use. The heating controls are tucked away under the protruding dashboard but all its other knobs and buttons are within easy reach.
All Eclipse Cross models come with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone mirroring, while mid-range 3 models get heated seats and a head-up display. Splash out for a high-spec 4 model and you’ll get a panoramic glass roof to make the cabin feel even more airy, some upgraded speakers and leather seats with electrical adjustment.
The infotainment system’s fiddly touchpad is as intuitive as cycling backwards – it makes you wonder why Mitsubishi bothered to fit it at all when there’s a perfectly good touchscreen already installed…
The screen itself is reasonably bright but its various menus aren’t particularly clear and some smaller icons can be tricky to read on the move. You don’t get any physical shortcut buttons to help you switch between key features like in many other SUVs and the touch-sensitive volume controls beside the screen are less intuitive than a conventional rotary dial.
More frustrating to use is the laptop-style touchpad on the centre console. It lets you swipe through menu screens without reaching forward to touch the screen itself but it’s unresponsive at times, pretty fiddly to use and, well – just a little bit pointless.
What’s even odder is that you don’t get satellite navigation – even in top-spec models – but all cars come with smartphone mirroring for Apple and Android devices. This lets you mirror your favourite navigation and music-streaming apps through the car’s built-in screen instead.
Speaking of music, high-spec ‘4’ models come with an upgraded Rockford Fosgate nine-speaker stereo. It’s certainly a marked improvement over the standard car’s rather weedy unit.