2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Exceed Review
Isaac Bober’s 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Exceed Review with Price, Specs, Interior, Performance, Ride and Handling, Ownership, Safety, Verdict and Score.
In a nutshell: The Eclipse Cross offers quirky looks, is well equipped with features and active safety, gets all-wheel drive and a decent engine.
2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Exceed Specifications
Price From $38,990+ORC Warranty 5 years or 100,000km Service Intervals 12 months or 15,000km Safety five-star ANCAP Engine 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol Power 110kW at 5500rpm Torque 250Nm from 2000-3500rpm Transmission CVT Drive all-wheel drive Dimensions 4405mm long, 1805mm wide, 1685mm high, 2670mm wheelbase Ground Clearance 175mm claimed Turning Circle 10.6m Seats five Boot Space 374-1136L Weight 1555kg Towing 1600kg Spare Space saver Fuel Tank 60L Thirst 7.7L/100km claimed combined; 9.4L/100km tested
Mitsubishi still makes passenger cars but it doesn’t seem to be a whole lot interested in them anymore. Instead, it wants to be thought of as a maker of and specialist in SUVs, crossovers, and electrified vehicles.
Sure, it might not be the first name to leap to mind when it comes to rough-roaders but the 1936 prototype Mitsubishi PX33 was the first passenger vehicle to offer four-wheel drive. Indeed, desperate to highlight its fourby heritage, Mitsubishi chose to showcase one of the only four PX33 concepts ever built on the same Paris Motor Show stand as the then latest-generation Pajero in 2006. Moving on.
The Eclipse Cross slots in-between the compact ASX and the larger Outlander and takes on the likes of, indeed, the ASX (it’s only 4cm longer), Subaru XV, Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-3 and even bigger vehicles like the Peugeot 3008, Mazda CX-5 and so on.
But, while the look might be the very latest in Mitsubishi design language (Dynamic Shield grille, and all that) the platform it rides on dates right back to the early 2000s. No-one ever accused Mitsubishi of not being able to get the most bang for their buck out of anything it’s ever built. The GS Platform, as it’s known, was a joint development between Mitsubishi and Daimler and it’s sat under everything from the Outlander, to the Delica, Lancer Evolution and now the Eclipse Cross.
What’s the price and what do you get? The Eclipse Cross is available in either two-wheel or all-wheel drive with prices more or less starting off where the ASX finishes ($30,990+ORC). The entry Eclipse Cross ES 2WD lists from $29,990+ORC stretching to the Exceed variant we’re testing which is priced at $38,990+ORC.
For the around-about $40k drive-away price you get leather faced and heated front seats, powered adjustment for the driver’s seat and manual adjust on the passenger seat. The back seats have an armrest and can slide forwards and backwards for more legroom or more bootspace, and a rear airvent. The door mirrors fold electrically, and you get LED headlights, privacy glass, rain-sensing wipers, and universal up and down on all windows. The Eclipse Cross Exceed also offers push button start and a 7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple and Android connectivity.
In terms of safety, the Exceed offers everything that Mitsubishi has got, including autonomous emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, automatic high beam and more. We’ll get into more detail in the safety features section.
In terms of pricing, the Eclipse Cross Exceed is on the money against key competitors like Hyundai Kona AWD Highlander $39,000+ORC, Mazda CX-3 AWD Akari LE $38,000+ORC, Nissan Qashqai 2WD Ti $37,990+ORC, Subaru XV 2.0i-S $35,980+ORC and so on.
What’s the cabin like? While it’s interiors have always been well screwed together, no-one has ever accused Mitsubishi of producing plush cabins. But the Eclipse Cross takes this up half a notch with plastics that looks a feel nicer and with more tactile switches. And there are some squishy plastic on the dashboard and scattered around the cabin too, as well as some contrasting trims to lift the feel of the otherwise very black interior. And one bug bear is the location of the climate controls which are just about out of easy reach and almost hidden by the top deck of the dashboard which juts out at you.
The Eclipse Cross’s interior is on-par with its key rivals but it can’t match the likes of the Peugeot 3008 (which is more expensive but still considered a competitor – $37,490 – $44,990+ORC) for imagination or tactility.
What are the front seats like? The Exceed offers powered adjustment for the driver’s seat and manual adjustment for the passenger and there’s good adjustment on both seats. That said, the seats do feel a little flat but they’re not uncomfortable although the seat base is quite short which could pose a comfort issue for those with long legs on longer drives. Thanks to decent adjustment on the steering wheel it’s quite easy for drivers of all shapes and sizes to find the right position.
Forwards and side vision is good but the split rear windscreen is a pain to see out of and you never really get fully used to it. And the vehicle’s wedge shape and that rising rear shoulder-line means the rear three-quarters is slab-like and so you’ll be making use of the blind-spot monitoring as well as shoulder checks when changing lanes.
What are the back seats like? Depending on your age you’ll likely respond to the back seats of the Eclipse Cross in different ways. For both of my children the seats were fine; they had plenty of leg and headroom. That said, the seats themselves are quite narrow meaning a child or booster seat will likely cover the seatbelt receiver. But, for an adult, while there’s good head and legroom (they slide up to 200mm) the seats feel quite thin and unless the seat back is reclined can be a little uncomfortable. While you’ll fit three children across the back, you’ll only manage two adults in the back. There are directional rear air vents and the back rest of the centre seat position folds down as an armrest. And our Exceed offers twin sunroofs with the sunroof over the back seat a fixed glass pane (the front sunroof tilts and slides).
What’s the boot space like? The boot space is just about okay for the size of the vehicle offering 374 litres of storage space which is about the same as a hatchback. It’s worth noting that Mitsubishi measures its seat-up cargo space to the top of the rear seat back while some competitors measure to the roof. Drop the back seats (60:40 split fold) down and there’s 1136 litres of storage measured to the roof. There’s a space saver spare beneath the floor.
What’s the infotainment like? Like other Mitsubishi models, the Eclipse Cross gets a 7.0-inch infotainment screen. It can be controlled in two different ways, either via the touchscreen or the trackpad down between the seats. The trackpad is easier to use than you might think but for me, on the move, it was easier to stab at the screen. There’s not a lot of depth to the infotainment system and there’s no native sat-nav, a Mitsubishi trend but there is Apple and Android connectivity so you can always use your phone for mapping. One neat feature is the fact, when using, say, Apple CarPlay, the icon you’ve selected is ringed blue. Beyond this, though, there’s not much to say about the infotainment systems as it’s quite basic.
What’s the performance like? There’s only engine and transmission available for the Eclipse Cross and that is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine making 110kW at 5500rpm and 250Nm of torque at 2000-3500rpm. This is mated to a CVT. Fuel consumption is a claimed 7.7L/100km (combined) but on-test the Eclipse Cross proved thirsty drinking down around 9.4L/100km in our week of testing; that it’s happy on 91RON fuel is some consolation.
In around town situations the engine and CVT are a good match with plenty of easy access to the torque which means the transmission doesn’t have to work too hard. Progress is easy and relaxed. But, get a little heavier with the throttle and the character changes completely and not for the better.
Floor the throttle and the revs rise rapidly while the engine drones and almost feels like it’s trying to get away from peak torque as quickly as possible with the result that performance is dulled. You don’t get the same sense of controlled urgency you do when driving around town.
It’s a little better if you select manual mode, giving you access to ‘eight simulated gears’ but the ‘shifts’ are quite heavy and so, at speed, the Eclipse Cross never feels as refined or easy to drive as it does at lower speeds.
So, it does its best work at low speeds or at a steady cruise where it’s quiet and comfortable. And it’s worth praising the stop-start system which is quick to act.
What’s the ride and handling like? Like its performance, the Eclipse Cross is a tale of two acts. On the one hand, you have its around town and steady speed ride which is good enough. The set-up is soft which means minor imperfections are smothered.
But, on the other hand, as speed builds the ride deteriorates with ripples in the road, patches in the tarmac or expansion joins jolting into the cabin. And, across broken surfaces where the suspension is having to work harder it becomes noisy and the ride choppy.
We can only imagine the 18-inch alloys have a role to play here and on smaller wheels wrapped in tyres with more sidewall there’d be a little less chop and some of the jolting would be reduced.
And then there’s the way the Eclipse Cross tucks into corners. The steering isn’t amazing with slackness in the straight-ahead and a near absence of weight once off centre. The brakes are soft grabbing only in the last bit of travel, so, modulating them can be tricky until you get used to the way they work. But, back to cornering… The sloppy suspension sees the Eclipse Cross roll more than just about everything else in the segment and it feels heavier than rivals in transition when changing direction.
Our Eclipse Cross Exceed comes standard with all-wheel drive and across bitumen and the well-graded dirt road we drove across grip was never an issue. And it’s only when you get too heavy handed with it in corners (not that you ever will) that the rear wheels are brought into play with a real poise; you’ll likely never notice.
The all-wheel drive is a bonus in wet conditions but this isn’t in the same league as something like a Subaru XV. So, expect to tackle well-graded dirt roads and wet roads with more confidence.
Can you tow with it? Theoretically you can tow a braked trailer weighing 1600kg with no more than 160kg towball download. But the Eclipse Cross has a small engine and with a family and luggage on board you’ll be looking at a light box trailer at best. But we’ll do some maths anyway.
The Eclipse Cross has a kerb weight of 1555kg a GVM of 2100kg (meaning that’s the heaviest your vehicle can weigh which gives you a payload of 545kg. The good news is that that’s even when towing a full 1600kg. Sort of. If you take away the 160kg towball download from the payload then you’re left with 385kg of payload. But, as we said, it’s unlikely anyone buying an Eclipse Cross is going to be considering it as a tow vehicle.
What about ownership? Mitsubishi offers a five-year, 100,000km warranty (2019 Triton offers seven-years and 150,000km) which while the length in years is on-par with most now, many competitors offer unlimited kilometres. There’s also 12 months of roadside assist as standard which extends an extra 12 months for every capped price service which last up to three years. For the Eclipse Cross Exceed you’re looking at services every 15,000km or 12 months with costs ranging from $300 to $400 per service.
What about safety features? EuroNCAP tested the Eclipse Cross back in 2017 with ANCAP agreeing with European findings and awarding the line-up a five-star rating. There are seven airbags as standard, as well as all-wheel drive and traction and stability controls. In terms of active safety, there’s forward collision warning and mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning but not lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, as well as front and rear parking sensors and a surround view camera.