By Jeff Fortson of JeffCars.com, NNPA Newswire Contributor
Highlight: Love it or hate it, the vehicle offers a Lexus-like touchpad controller.
Test Vehicles MSRP: $32,610(Base MSRP: $24,690)
Seating Capacity: 5
Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; traction control; fog lights; heated power side mirrors; rear wiper; a rear-view camera; a hill start assist system; a tire pressure monitoring system; and a temporary spare tire
Standard Equipment (Base ES Model): 16-inch wheels; front-wheel drive; halogen headlights; front bumper center; black lower door trim; a rear privacy glass; electric power steering; roof spoiler; a single zone automatic climate control system; cloth seats; manually adjustable front seats; a sliding rear seat with a recline feature; a manually operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; and a variety of driving modes
Standard Equipment (SEL Model): 18-inch wheels; all-wheel drive; LED headlights; chrome grille; paddle shifters; an 8-way power driver’s seat; heated front seats; a rear seat center armrest with cupholders; a leather wrapped shift knob; a 7-inch infotainment screen; SiriusXM radio; Apple CarPlay and android compatibility; automatic off/on headlight feature; a 360-degree camera; a heads up display system; power folding side view mirrors; illuminated visor vanity mirrors; a dual zone automatic climate control system; an electronic parking brake; an automatic hold brake feature; center console box compartment tray; and blind spot warning with a rear cross traffic alert system and a lane changing assist system
Options: Red Diamond exterior color; a tonneau cover; a dual pane power panoramic sunroof; a premium 9-speaker audio system; a forward collision mitigation system; a lane departure warning system; a radar activated cruise control system; a forward collision mitigation system; a lane departure warning system; a radar-activated cruise control system; automatic high beam headlights; a heated steering wheel; rear heated seats; automatic dimming rear view mirrors; and roof rails
Other Trim Levels: LE, SP, SE
Standard Audio on Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM/HD audio system
Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard
Apple CarPlay/Android Compatibility: Standard
USB Connectivity: Standard
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder turbo engine/152-hp
Recommended Fuel: Regular
Standard Fuel Mileage: 26-city/29-hwy
What’s New: After joining the lineup last year, the vehicle is virtually a carryover for the 2019 model year. In 2018, the product planning team at Mitsubishi resurrected the Eclipse name, a once sporty two-door model.
Why: The stylish compact crossover is available in a variety of trims. In fact, in terms of crossovers, the vehicle slots between the compact and midsize segments. The hatchback-like design mimics that of BMW’s popular X4 and X6 models. The spacious Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is powered by a front wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration. With the exception of the base ES model, an all-wheel drive configuration is standard on all of the trims.
We spent time behind the wheel of the higher end SEL trim. The vehicle offered a premium interior and loads of amenities normally reserved for pricier vehicles. Our vehicle included everything from a touchpad controller to a power driver’s seat to a dual panoramic roof, which included two power operated sliding covers. However, the front roof is functional, while the rear seat roof is fixed. In our review vehicle, the rear occupants also had access to heated seats and a center armrest.
The Eclipse Cross, which also offers great road manners, rides more like a midsize vehicle as opposed to a compact crossover. Mitsubishi’s compact crossover also incorporates the latest safety designs. Those safety aids range from electronic blind spot mirrors to a radar-activated cruise control system to a lane keep assist system to a 360-degree camera.
Furthermore, the optional 9-speaker Rockford Fosgate, 710-watt audio system, is one of the best radios we’ve heard in a vehicle in this price point. The system delivers a crystal-clear concert hall sound. In fact, the audio system could easily rival those we’ve experienced in BMWs, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Volvos, which offers more speakers.
The nicely equipped Eclipse Cross is priced to undercut its competitors, with a starting price just shy of $25,000. While it might be slightly more than compact crossovers, this Mitsubishi definitely undercuts similarly equipped midsize crossovers. A well-equipped Eclipse Crossover tops off at around $33,000. This is well below the competition in which some cases tip into in to the $40,000 price range.
Lastly, Mitsubishi offers one of the best warranties in the industry.
But: The swanky design and the flashy color did not translate into the engine department. The turbo power vehicle is underpowered, lacking the punch that should complement the design and heritage of the Eclipse name. Mitsubishi should strongly consider adding a GT version, which could offer more horsepower to the vehicle.
Also, a front wheel drive configuration is only available on the base model. This configuration should be available on the other trims. Not every region of the country requires continuous all-wheel drive. Adding a front wheel drive version could lower the price point of the vehicle, making it a more eye-popping offer.
Moreover, the touchscreen audio system should add knobs to the screen, making it easier to locate stations and the like. Ford had a similar knobless touchscreen a few years ago and realized from a customer satisfaction standpoint it was better to reincorporate it back into their system.
Lastly, the horizontal rear bar, which connects two widows, could slightly impede the driver’s view. And, in order to improve the driver’s rear vision, the rear seat headrests should always be lowered, when not in use.
Verdict: Since joining the line-up, the Eclipse Cross has become the brand’s third best-selling vehicle. Its available in a variety of trims, at a price point that could easily undercut the competition by close to $10,000, depending upon if the vehicle is going head-to-head with the compact or midsize crossover segment.
Despite the standard turbo engine, for those not seeking a performance-oriented crossover that breaks speed records, the Eclipse Cross is worth placing on the shopping list!
Competition: Chevy Equinox; Ford Edge; Honda CR-V; Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue; and Toyota RAV-4
About Jeff Fortson and JeffCars.com: Jeff Fortson is the host of SiriusXM Channel 141 Auto Trends with JeffCars.com. The show airs on Fridays at 12 PM ET. It’s a weekly multicultural automotive show, which includes in-depth conversations with today’s influencers and pioneers. For additional air times, a new-vehicle pricing configurator, used car-buying tips and more, cruise over to JeffCars.com.