2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SEL 1.5T S-AWC Review by David Colman
Beguiling outside but uninspiring inside
By David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
The SEL version we tested tops the range. It included standard all-wheel-drive, which Mitsubishi labels S-AWC (Super All-Wheel-Control). The base trim level ES 1.5T powers only the front wheels and retails for $23,595. Our test SEL carried a base price of $28,595. With $3,030 in add-ons (including a $2,100 Touring Package), the bottom line for the fully optioned SEL came to $32,720. For that kind of money, you could buy a Mazda CX-3, Toyota RAV4 or Subaru Forester. So what distinguishes the Eclipse Cross from these established competitors?
Topping the list is its appearance, which is rather intriguing. The pronounced forward rake benefits from deftly sculpted side panels that accentuate the optional $595 Red Diamond paint on our test vehicle. The Eclipse Cross stands tall but looks narrow. With its two plane rear window, it reminds one of the unlamented Pontiac Aztec. A kinder evaluation puts the see-through tailgate in the same class as VW's second generation Scirocco, or Toyota's earlier generation Prius. At any rate, the Eclipse's double pane glass distinguishes it visually from all other small SUVs. And from a practical standpoint, the bi-plane glass improves rear vision to the point where the provided back-up camera is unneeded.
Because the Eclipse stands 67 inches high, cornering is not its forte. When you change direction quickly on a curving road, the Bridgestone Ecopia HL 422 radials (225/55R18), mounted on 7 x 18 inch "two-tone" alloy rims, have a tough time overcoming the tendency of the tall cabin to keep traveling in a straight line. So in essence you're asking the chassis to make lateral halfback moves when the best it can do is offer straight fullback plunges. On the freeway, this lack of nimbleness matters little. Especially if you opt for the Touring Package which equips the Eclipse with Adaptive Cruise Control. ACC simplifies freeway driving by allowing you to pace traffic automatically. The Touring group also adds heat to the steering wheel and rear seats as well as a knockout Rockford Fosgate sound system. Additionally, this group brings you forward collision mitigation with high speed braking. Since Mitsubishi already provides standard forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection it would make sense to add the high speed braking capability to the basic safety package.
Eclipse Cross scores well in EPA fuel consumption tests with an overall MPG rating of 25. It also boasts one of the longest warranty packages currently available in this class, with 10 years or 100,000 miles on the powertrain, and 5 years/ 60,000 miles for the new vehicle limited warranty. They also provide roadside assistance for 5 years/ unlimited mileage. So factor those positives into your consideration here.
2020 MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS SEL 1.5T S-AWC
- ENGINE: 1.5 liter inline 4, turbocharged DOHC, direct injection
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 25MPG City/26MPG Highway
PRICE AS TESTED: $32,720
HYPES: Beguiling Appearance, Strong Warranty
GRIPES: Underpowered, Uninspiring Interior
STAR RATING: 7.5 Stars out of 10