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Eclipse tackles SUV sector

Created on 13/06/2018 @ 10:36

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

Mitsubishi has been a major player in the four-wheel-drive sector since the early days of motoring back in the 1930s so it is no surprise to see the new Eclipse Cross competing in the SUV sector.

In fact Mitsubishi could probably claim to have kick started the whole 4X4 industry - so it was a surprise to find that new Eclipse is also available in two-wheel-drive format.

Initially available with just a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine the Eclipse Cross 4 we tested came in two-wheel-drive mode with Mitsubishi bosses planning to win sales from Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 3008 and Seat Ateca showrooms. Some Mitsubishi drivers may chose to downsize though.

The new mid-sized SUV is available in three trim levels Eclipse Cross 2, 3 and 4 – with the 4 on test producing 163hp and 250Nm of torque through a six-speed manual transmission.

The Eclipse Cross is extremely well specified, with even the entry-level 2 version offering features such as a touch-pad controller, Smartphone Display Audio that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear view camera, DAB radio with six speakers, cruise control, climate control air conditioning, LED Daytime Running Lights, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calls, 16-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass and heated door mirrors.

The Eclipse Cross 3 adds18-inch alloy wheels, a head-up display, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and keyless start, electrically folding door mirrors, silver side sills and an electronic handbrake on automatic versions.

Pricing starts from £22,575 for the front-wheel drive Eclipse Cross 3 manual and £23,850 for the front-wheel drive automatic. The Eclipse Cross 3 4WD automatic is priced from £25,350.

Completing the line-up, the flagship Eclipse Cross 4 version gets leather trim, electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, electric opening panoramic roof and a Rockford Fosgate Premium sound system with nine speakers.

There’s also a suite of advanced driver assistance systems including LED headlamps, 360˚parking camera, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control on the automatic.

The model on test would set you back a tenner under £25,000, which is more than some of the competition, but still good value when you consider how much of the equipment would be considered costly extras on rival brands.

The new Eclipse is a joy to drive, particularly on country roads where crisply weighted steering is evident, while inside the cockpit Mitsubishi has upped the game. There’s a complete new look, thanks to piano-black trim, improved plastic, metal effect inserts and no sign at all off the previous clutter of unsightly controls.

The driver sits high with plenty of steering wheel and seat adjustment available, but I’m not a fan of the split-level rear window which really does make vision difficult – thankfully that’s where the rear-view camera comes into its own.

While the space up-front is impressive it’s a bit tighter in the back where three passengers found things a little on the cosy side. And boot space isn’t what you would expect either only just passing the golf clubs test.

The model on test had a top speed of 127mph and got to 62mph in 10.3 seconds while averaging just under 40mpg over a week’s driving. CO2 levels are 151g/km.

The Eclipse is a good looking and impressive option in the SUV sector. 

Mitsubishi is renowned for knowing the market and they look to be spot on this time. Expect sales to grow. quickly.

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