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First Drive

First Drive: Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

The story:
Mitsubishi has a new model coming into the crossover heartland, with the Eclipse Cross filling a gap between the smaller ASX and the full off-roader Shogun.
Category:Crossover
Key rival:Nissan Qashqai
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 4 manual
Price:£24,240
MPG:42.8mpg
Emissions:151g/km
On sale:Now

The crossover sector pioneered by the Nissan Qashqai gets ever-more crowded, and Mitsubishi is the latest to dive in looking for its piece of the action. This new Eclipse Cross drops into the firm’s range above the ASX.

The range is a simple one, consisting of just the 1.5-litre 163hp petrol engine, coming in three trim levels and either manual or automatic transmission. The auto gets a four-wheel-drive system where the manual is front-driven only.Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross - image 5Such petrol-only positioning is a tricky one for fleets, with this size of car being about the point where the balance of running costs and logic tips towards diesel – anything smaller and the general rule is that petrol will work fine, but larger cars that are likely to be covering higher mileages can be better bets as diesel, even in the current climate. Especially when you look at the emissions figures of 151g/km for the two-wheel-drive manual, or 154 for the auto and 159g/km for the 4×4 auto. By comparison, a petrol Qashqai of the same power emits 134g/km and a Peugeot 3008 129g/km. The 174hp Kia Sportage is up at 169g/km, and the rivals all also offer more efficient petrol and diesel versions that Mitsubishi has no equal to.

Mitsubishi puts the Eclipse Cross’s key strengths as its inspiring design, driving dynamics and advanced technology.

Looks are a very subjective quality, but from the rear the car looks like it slopes up too much, emphasised by the oversized angled crease line running along the side. The rear has a split window, with a beam running between the two, affecting visibility – especially because only the top half gets cleared by the rear wiper.

The boot is 448 litres, which is bigger than the Qashqai’s but behind other key rivals, and its usability is not helped by the fairly narrow opening.

The interior quality is good, and feels a step above what Mitsubishi has traditionally offered, while equipment levels are very impressive for the money. This ‘4’ trim costs over £2,500 less than the equivalent Qashqai or 3008 and all trims include a very impressive list of toys for the price level.Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross - image 2

That’s the Eclipse Cross’s biggest selling point, it’s a lot of car for the money. The styling is subjective, it drives pretty nicely and returns around the mid-30s for economy, but it’s what you get for the money that will attract potential buyers.

 

Paul Barker

The verdict

The styling is divisive, but there’s no denying the value for money position, especially when backed up by good residual values. Shame the CO2 is high.