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  • 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SE S-AWC

    Posted on May 10th, 2018 ninarussin

    New compact crossover focused on value

    By Nina Russin

    2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

    2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

    Mitsubishi is leveraging the name of one of its most popular passenger cars to create a buzz about its newest compact crossover, the Eclipse Cross. As the pool of CUVs widens, competition among well-known players including Honda and Toyota makes gaining market share more challenging.

    Mitsubishi has struggled as of late to regain consumer confidence. Disregarding the issue of resale value, the automaker is offering buyers some very solid vehicles with improved fit and finish. While the Eclipse Cross isn’t a perfect car, it’s hard to find anything offering as much standard content with a starting price of $23,295.

    The all-wheel drive model tested starts at $26,395 excluding the $995 destination charge. Options include special white pearl exterior paint, carpeted floor mats, and tonneau cover. Final MSRP is $27,915.

    Test drive in Southern Arizona

    2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

    2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

    Over the past week I put about 200 miles on the Eclipse cross in a combination of rush-hour and mid-day traffic in and around Phoenix. At the end of the test I felt that buyers should find the Eclipse Cross a willing and able partner- not perfect- but with a solid powertrain, comfortable interior and the infotainment features today’s buyers want.

    I’m not a fan of the split rear window despite-the-fact-that it gives the exterior an interesting aero profile. There are large blind spots around the rear pillars and the horizontal bar through the two glass panes is distracting. But the blind spot monitoring system does a good job of keeping the driver aware of vehicles in adjacent lanes and the rearview camera eliminates all blind spots to the back when the driver shifts into reverse. Both features are standard equipment.

    Mitsubishi has a reputation of producing durable, peppy engines dating back to the Monteros that dominated off-road racing in the 1990s and the legendary Lancer Evos that held the same position in the rally car world. The 1.5-liter turbocharged engine in the Eclipse Cross follows in that tradition, combining good power off the line with 25 mile-per-gallon average fuel economy. The continuously variable automatic transmission functions well too, with a sport mode that replicates the feel of a traditional step unit.

    2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

    2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

    On-center response from the electric power steering system is rather numb, but the driver should not feel disconnected from the wheels. There is plenty of assist on the low end for good maneuverability in crowded parking lots.

    A four-wheel independent suspension consists of MacPherson struts up front and multi-link setup in the rear. A stabilizer bar on the front axle keeps the chassis flat in the corners. Standard 18-inch alloy rims and R-rated all-season tires have a fat footprint for good control at higher speeds. All-wheel drive automatically sends engine power to the wheels with the best traction to maximize grip on wet roads.

    Four-wheel disc brakes stop the Eclipse Cross in firm, linear fashion.

    Engineers did a good job of minimizing road, wind and engine noise inside the car without adding a lot of extraneous weight that ultimately hurts fuel economy. Surprisingly, the all-wheel drive car is only about 150-pounds heavier than the front-wheel drive model.

    Well-equipped interior

    2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Interior

    2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Interior

    I’m not sure how Mitsubishi managed to include so much content in a car that costs $28,000 out the door, but kudos to them for doing so. Convenience features include keyless entry and start, electronic parking brake, satellite and HD radio, heated seats, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth interface, smartphone interface, USB ports, dual-zone climate control, 60/40, fold-flat rear seat, a seven-inch, easy-to-read touchscreen, 12-volt outlets and more.

    Driver and front passenger seat adjustments are manual but I found them easy to use. The driver’s seat has plenty of lower lumbar support for longer trips. The cloth upholstery is attractive and much more practical than leather in the southwest where summer temperatures can make that very uncomfortable. Designers had the common sense to avoid chrome touchpoints that can cause burns when car interiors heat up over 130-degrees Fahrenheit as they do at-this-time of year.

    LED daytime running lamps and tail lamps are also standard, making the car more visible to other drivers in low light conditions.

    With its tall cargo bay and fold-flat second-row seats, the Eclipse Cross meets our bicycle-friendly standards.

    Standard safety

    The Eclipse Cross SE AWC comes with seven airbags, antilock brakes, daytime running lamps, traction control, stability control, hill start assist, tire pressure monitoring, blind spot monitoring and a rearview camera with cross-traffic alert.

    The factory warranty includes ten-year powertrain and five-year bumper-to-bumper coverage with free roadside assistance.

    Mitsubishi build the Eclipse Cross at its Okazaki, Japan assembly plant. The Eclipse Cross is currently rolling into Mitsubishi dealerships nationwide.

    Like: A value-packed compact crossover with a high level of comfort, convenience and active safety features.

    Dislike: Split rear window creates large blind spots and the horizontal bar between the glass panels is distracting.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Mitsubishi
    Model: Eclipse Cross SE 1.5T S-AWC
    Year: 2018
    Base price: $26,395
    As tested: $27,915
    Horsepower: 152 HP @ 5500 rpm
    Torque: 184 lbs.-ft. @ 2000 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: N/A
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: Yes
    Off-road: No
    Towing: No
    Fuel economy: 25/26 mpg city/highway

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