An SUV from Mitsubishi that’s a safe and practical bet for transporting your family in – and effortless to drive.
“What’s a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross?” Other than knowing it was a Japanese motor, I wasn’t overly well informed when someone asked me. Maybe I should have been more clued up. But I wasn’t at the vehicle’s launch, and I hadn’t googled it. I have a thing called a ‘life’ – and much of that involves being the best dad I can be. So, unlike the automotive anorak brigade, I tend to prioritise other things. I like cars, but I love my family more. That’s the right way around, isn’t it? Yeah, I knew you dads would agree.
So what was I to do? Well, asking Mitsubishi for a loan seemed like a good idea. I did, and they provided the said vehicle. I’ve got to say, I was a tad underwhelmed when the Eclipse arrived, though. It’s unusual looking but in an awkward angular way. The rear of it is also like a Honda Civic from over a decade ago. But it turned a few of the other dads’ heads on the school run.
One loved it and asked for a nose about inside. He reckoned it was a bit basic – but less “plasticky” than his old Mitsubishi ASX. I agreed. The other was a bit sniffy about it – saying he’d have a Kia over a Mitsubishi any day. Mind you, that’s only because he’d seen the Kia Optima I’d had on test the week before.
The opinions of these parents intrigued me. These were real guys with unsanitised views. But as the reviewer, I’m meant to have my own. Here it goes then.
The Eclipse Cross is yet another sport utility vehicle (SUV). And that sends me to sleep. Why? Because SUVs are everywhere, and they seem to have minimal character. That said, the Eclipse is a genuinely effortless vehicle to drive. Its continuously variable auto transmission (CVT) does the work, so your left foot doesn’t suffer, and the light steering makes manoeuvring around town a breeze.
The 1.5 petrol engine is a speedy little unit. Alas, you’ll be lucky to get mid-30s mpg on average out of the Eclipse I had on test – the Exceed Auto with four-wheel drive (4WD). Yes, it’s grippy and yes, that makes it safer. But, man, does it suck up fuel quickly. It reminded me of my firstborn who couldn’t get enough milk down her. I used to wonder how something so small could ingest so much, so rapidly. It’s kind of the same for the Mitsubishi, except that it isn’t that small.
The SUV will seat five-up, and the boot is large enough at 448-litres. It’s also a strong machine, with loads of safety kit and a top five-star crash test rating. It’s a safe and practical bet for transporting your family in, then. What’s more, the ride is comfortable, and a ‘Rockford Fosgate’ premium speaker system will drown out the sound of anything – including the rug-rats. Only jesting. Or am I?
The on-demand 4WD with Auto, Snow and Gravel modes is excellent – especially if you do need to go off tarmac on occasion – and it’s a winner when it’s snowing. Indeed, much of the Eclipse Cross ticks all the right boxes. However, as I’ve said, the fuel consumption is relatively woeful – and drops like a stone around town. On the school run, I was only getting 28mpg. Worse still, the 4WD version emits 175g/km of CO2. That’s not great if you’re looking at this as a possible company car.
Still, don’t let my view put you off – it’s just one opinion, after all.
Fast Facts (Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Exceed Petrol Auto 4WD – as tested):
- Max speed: 124mph
- 0-62 mph: 9.8 seconds
- Combined mpg: 36.7
- Engine: 1499cc 4-cylinder turbo petrol
- Max. power (ps): 163
- CO2: 175g/km
- Price: £29,520