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A fresh engine breathes new life into Mitsubishi’s quirky midsize crossover...

When we last tested a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, we praised the crossover’s unique styling, solidly built cabin and generally pleasant and refined road manners. However, we criticised Mitsubishi’s decision to offer a touchscreen infotainment system only as an option and decried the naturally aspirated 2,0-litre engine’s torque deficiency in a class consisting mainly of turbocharged rivals. 


Fast-forward a year or so and Mitsubishi’s righted at least one of those wrongs blighting the original model. At the top of the range sits a new 1,5-litre turbopetrol engine. It’s coupled with an eight-step continuously variable transmission (CVT; two steps more than on the 2,0-litre) and is available in identical, feature-rich GLS specification.

The turbopetrol equipped with MIVEC (variable valve timing) – which is the sole forced-induction petrol powerplant in Mitsubishi’s local range of SUVs and bakkies – offers an impressive 110 kW at 5 500 r/min and 250 N.m on tap from 2 000 to 3 500 r/min. Mitsubishi claims it’s lighter than the 2,0-litre option (although our scales show the Turbo model to be a nominal 7 kg heavier), more efficient and quite a bit quicker in terms of acceleration, citing a 0-100 km/h time of 9,0 seconds.

Well, we had absolutely no issues matching that claim, recording a best three-figure sprint time of 8,96 seconds, placing it nearly three seconds ahead of the 2,0 GLS. To accelerate from 80-120 km/h, the 1,5 Turbo needs 7,13 seconds versus the NA engine’s 8,75. Be in no doubt, the new powerplant is brawnier and that’s most obvious at city speeds, where the turbo spools quickly, making the Eclipse Cross feel impressively sprightly in comparison with the lower-powered rivals at its price point.

This is another impressive CVT. We’ve long been critical of these transmissions but the newest versions – especially when they’re hooked up to torquey turbocharged engines – are much more appealing. In the Mitsubishi, thanks to the surfeit of twist at low revs, the CVT generally maintains engine speeds below 3 000 r/min. Swift overtaking or steep uphills will see the revs spike and the engine sounds strained. The 1,2-litre in the equivalent Toyota C-HR is a quieter companion. Still, this is a notable improvement on the 2,0-litre in terms of response, engine-transmission pairing and refinement. It’s worth mentioning it also consumed 0,2 L/100 km less on our combined-cycle fuel route.

Elsewhere, our compliments and criticisms remain. Styling-wise, the Eclipse Cross is a bold interpretation of the sub-niche of coupé-like crossovers with sloping rooflines and shallow glasshouses. Thankfully, in the case of the Mitsubishi, this does not come at the expense of interior passenger room. Headroom all-round is abundant and the rear bench slides by 200 mm to enable the owner to easily tailor occupant/luggage space. Only the split rear window affects visibility slightly.

Perceived quality is generally high, although the plastics that aren’t padded lower down on the facia and doors are a mite too shiny to really impress. Unfortunately – and unlike all of its natural rivals – the upgraded touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and sat-nav remains an option at R14 375. The system is not the most user-friendly and, as such, we’d consider sticking to the standard touchscreen item if you don’t require screen-mirroring or native sat-nav. Bluetooth audio streaming will allow you to broadcast smartphone-app navigation instructions through the vehicle’s impressively punchy standard sound system.

It’s an odd omission if you consider the rest of the GLS grade’s strong specification. Items such as leather trim, LED lighting, head-up display, heating for the front seats, PDC front and rear coupled with an aft-facing camera and keyless entry and start are all standard. The Eclipse Cross also boasts a suite of active and passive safety features. 


The Eclipse Cross is Japanese importer Mitsubishi’s first foray into the boutique midsize-crossover class. How will it fare in this oversubscribed segment?

The indomitable rise of the SUV and crossover has filtered into almost every single segment of the automotive industry. Midsize competitors can now be found from the entry-level end of the market, up to pricey but luxurious options such as the recently tested Lexus UX.

There’s a subset present, too: that of raked crossovers. BMW was the first company to offer what could be labelled as an SUV crossed with a coupé back in 2008 when it launched the first-generation X6 and, these days, many brands play in this niche, including Mitsubishi with its new Eclipse Cross.

Although the Japanese manufacturer is better known for its conservatively classy designs, it’s been more experimental of late. The Eclipse Cross is the most overtly stylised example yet, boasting unique, sharply rendered front-end styling featuring those same large, C-shaped chrome highlights as the Pajero Sport. The rear-end echoes this, tapering down to the lights at sharp angles. And the rear window is divided into two: a smaller section sited below the taillamps, capped by a larger one that takes care of rearward visibility (somewhat like the Toyota C-HR, which can be viewed as a rival).

The Eclipse Cross comes across as a relatively large SUV in pictures but, in reality, is midsized even though it is based on the modified platform underpinning the larger Outlander SUV. Two models are currently on offer: a 4x2 and a 4x4. Both are equipped with a 2,0-litre, naturally aspirated petrol engine sending torque to the wheels via a CVT transmission offering six steps.

The cockpit plays it more conservatively in terms of design and layout. The highlight is an optional seven-inch screen practically positioned above the air vents. The system – which should really be standard at this price point – features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth with voice control.

Although boot capacity is limited (there’s just 216 litres with all the seats in place), it does offer a full-size spare. When the seats are folded flat, the utility space of 1 024 litres is on par with the segment’s standard. Safety features include seven airbags and stability control and, apart from parking sensors front and rear, there is also a rear-view camera. There is a head-up display unit, which can be set according to the driver’s height or seating position, plus heated front seats for those cold winter mornings. The seats are comfortable, while the multi-function steering wheel makes provision for phone, audio and cruise-control interaction.

Although you would probably consider a full-size SUV if loading space and rear-seat capacity are high on your list of requirements, the Cross offers good foot- and legroom in the rear and even ample headroom, which is surprising considering the sloped roof. Three adults should be able to sit in relative comfort in the back.

It doesn’t take long to get acquainted with the nimble Eclipse Cross when driving it. If you are used to larger, heavier SUVs, there is a welcome lightness to the Mitsubishi, especially in an urban environment. However, don’t expect a dynamic driving experience; it is better suited to daily comfort, where the pliant suspension and generous tyre sidewalls ensure a generally absorbent ride.

On the highway, you reap the benefits of the CVT, as the engine revs hover at a relaxed 2 120 r/min at a true 120 km/h. When overtaking, however, they can rise to more than 5 000 r/min as the engine attempts to overcome a naturally aspirated torque deficit. And that dents otherwise impressive refinement levels.

The average braking time on our test strip was 3,08 seconds, which scores it a good rating on our system. The response of the drivetrain after our braking test was disconcerting, though. The moment we initiated an emergency stop, the revs would dip – which is normal – but, once the car came to a full stop, it felt as if the CVT hadn’t yet contracted. The engine would rev to around 2 400 r/min without the vehicle moving forward. It takes a couple of seconds for the system to realise you want to then accelerate. This could potentially be a problem in an actual emergency.

On our fuel run, the Eclipse returned 7,7 L/100 km, impressive if you consider our CAR fuel index based on the carmaker’s official figures puts it at 9,48 L/100 km.
CAPE TOWN – What was once an exciting midsize sportscar which even featured in the 2001 hit movie The Fast and the Furious has now bloated into crossover aimed at a more conservative consumer. Of course, their likeness is in name only, but it’s interesting that Mitsubishi has applied this name to a vehicle so far removed from the original. Thankfully the suffix “Cross” clarifies things.

The new Eclipse Cross ticks all the de rigueur Japanese crossover boxes and both 4x2 and 4x4 models offer a raised ride height, a naturally aspirated 2,0-litre four-cylinder and a continuously variable transmission. To those elements, it adds stellar standard specification plus seven airbags, active yaw control, a brake-assist system and electronic stability and traction control.

In order to stand out in this segment, the Eclipse Cross bears the brand’s mildly outlandish “Dynamic Shield” design philosophy up front, where the sharp angles and slim headlamp design will certainly get the vehicle noticed. The rear is more conservative and the squared-off hatchback and triangular taillamp don’t quite possess the drama of the front-end.

Inside, there are sober trim finishes – with a few too many hard plastics – but, as I mentioned, the equipment tally is generous. As standard, the Eclipse Cross ships with heated front seats, a feature-rich infotainment system, head-up display and dual-zone climate control.

Packaging is a hit-and-miss affair. Compared with some of its rivals, the cabin feels rather cramped in the back and the boot is sufficient rather than generous (it does, however, house a full-size alloy spare wheel).

Driving the Eclipse Cross unearths few surprises, with an easy-going nature thanks to light, responsive electrically assisted steering. The engine lacks low-down torque, leading to sluggish off-the-line acceleration, but once up to speed the Eclipse Cross is an accomplished cruiser. The soft ride, however, does result in pronounced body lean through faster bends.

This 2,0-litre Eclipse Cross is well suited to urban commutes but can struggle once the driver’s expectations of the engine’s performance are raised. If you require more power, wait for the turbocharged 1,5-litre petrol engine Mitsubishi plans add to the range in the third quarter of 2019.

Manufacturer Specifications

Standard - standard Optional - optional
  • Leather upholstery: Standard
  • Seats quantity: 5
  • Split rear seat: Standard
  • Folding rear seat: Standard
  • Air conditioning: Standard
  • Climate control automatic air conditioning: Standard
  • Cup bottle holders: front + rear
  • Front armrests: Standard
  • Heated ventilated seats: front heated
  • Antilock braking system (ABS): Standard
  • Electronic brake distribution (EBD): Standard
  • Brake assist (BAS/EBA): Standard
  • Traction control: Standard
  • Stability control: Standard
  • Driver airbag: Standard
  • Front passenger airbag: Standard
  • Driver knee airbag: Standard
  • Front side airbags: Standard
  • Curtain airbags: Standard
  • Airbag quantity: 7
  • Automatic drive away locking: Standard
  • ISOFIX child seat mountings: outer rear
  • Start stop button: Standard
  • Hillstart assist hillholder: Standard
  • Alloy wheelsrims: Standard
  • Power steering: Standard
  • Multifunction steering wheel controls: Standard
  • Head up display: Standard
  • On board computer multi information display: Standard
  • Cruise control: Standard
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Standard
  • Voice control: Standard
  • USB port: Standard
  • Powersocket 12V: front + rear
  • Central locking: keyless
  • Remote central locking: Standard
  • Key less access start hands free key: Standard
  • Electric windows: front + rear
  • Rain sensor auto wipers: Standard
  • Electric adjust mirrors: Standard
  • Electric seat adjustment: driver
  • Daytime driving running lights: LED
  • Light sensor auto on off lights: Standard
  • Xenon headlights: LED
  • Frontfog lamps lights: Standard
  • Highlevel 3rd brakelight: Standard
  • Rear fog lamps lights: Standard
  • Park distance control PDC: front + rear + rear camera
  • Camera for park distance control: rear
  • Rear spoiler: Standard
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Fuel range average: 798 km
  • Driven wheels: front
  • Driven wheels quantity: 2
  • Gearratios quantity: V
  • Gearshift: automatic
  • Transmission type: CVT
  • Transmission name: INVECS-III
  • Gear shift paddles: Standard
  • Electromechanical parking brake: Standard
  • Front tyres: 225/55 R18
  • Reartyres: 225/55 R18
  • Spare wheel size full: Standard
  • Length: 4405 mm
  • Width excl mirrors incl mirrors: 1805-2166 mm
  • Height: 1685 mm
  • Wheel base: 2670 mm
  • Ground clearance minimum maximum: 180 mm
  • Turning circle wheels body: 10.6 m
  • Load volume / capacity: 378-1159 L
  • Load volume / capacity: 1159 L
  • Unladen/tare/kerb weight: 1480 kg
  • Gross weight (GVM): 2050 kg
  • Fuel tank capacity (incl reserve): 63l
  • Fuel consumption average: 7.9 l/100km
  • CO2 emissions average: 184g/km
  • Power maximum: 110 kW
  • Power maximum total: 110 kW
  • Power peak revs: 6000 r/min
  • Power to weight ratio: 74.3 kW/ton
  • Torque maximum: 198 Nm
  • Torque peak revs: 4200 r/min
  • Torque maximum total: 198 Nm
  • Torque to weight ratio: 134 Nm/ton
  • Acceleration 0-100 kmh: 12.1s
  • Maximum top speed: 188 km/h
  • Engine position/ location: front
  • Engine capacity: 1998 cc
  • Engine size: 2.0l
  • enginedetailshort: 2.0
  • Engine + detail: 2.0
  • Cylinder layout: inline
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder layout + quantity: i4
  • Cam: dohc
  • Valves per cylinder: 4
  • Valves quantity: 16
  • Warranty time (years): 3
  • Warranty distance (km): 100000 km
  • Service plan: Standard
  • Service plan time (years): 5
  • Service plan time (distance): 90000 km
  • Service interval (distance): 15000 km
  • Brand: Mitsubishi
  • Status: c
  • Segment: passenger car
  • MMcode: 45035200
  • MMVariant: ECLIPSE CROSS 2.0 GLS CVT
  • MMintrodat: 2019-01-31
  • Introdate: 2019-02-25
  • DuoportarecordID: MitsEclC1h1

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Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 2.0 GLS CVT for sale in Roodepoort from one of Carmag.co.za's apporoved car dealerships
Used Eclipse Cross 2.0 GLS CVT availbale from the following auto dealer:
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