You may have heard of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross but seeing one in the metal is a different tale. It's a cross-over with SUV proportions and enters the boxing ring against opponents like the Kia Seltos, Honda HR-V and Nissan Qashqai. Here's what you can expect from the Japanese cross-over.
This is one of those vehicles that looks a certain way in still images but surprises you when you witness it in full metal. The Eclipse Cross design is different, especially at the rear where it tapers off sharply to create an angular rump. Its taillights are mounted vertically along the C-pillars, a very unique way of designing a vehicle but it works. The result is an attractive crossover front to rear. To our surprise, the new Eclipse Cross turned out to be larger than expected, and that’s a good thing because it translates to a roomier car.
As expected, the sizable exterior lends itself to more space on the inside of the car. The cabin was a lot roomier than we anticipated and perfect for hauling a family around. Being the apt family wagon that it is, the range-topping GLS Exceed we tested comes with a full leather interior, seat heating in both electrically adjustable front seats, two USB ports and a panoramic glass sunroof. The roof shade is separated into a front and rear portion, giving front and rear passengers individual control over how much light enters the cabin through the roof. Of course, you also get smartphone integration for Apple and Android users, as well as a head-up display which can be deployed on demand.
Instead of the usual road test around town, we took the Eclipse Cross for an extended test to the warm and ever-green pastures of Kwa-Zulu Natal. With a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine in the GLS Exceed, we had concerns about a possible lack of oomph on the open road, but the Mitsubishi quickly proved itself as one that can hold its own at cruising speeds. It pushes out 110kW and 250Nm, which is enough for most applications but does tend to run short of breath in the top end.
The drive to KZN was pleasant with adequate ride comfort and was made easier by the standard cruise control, which was always dialled in according to the speed limit to combat the hidden bush agents with speed traps. A full-size spare tyre in the boot was reassuring in case things went south and we caught a puncture in the middle of the N3. The trade-off to this is reduced boot space to accommodate the full wheel and its alloy mag. We arrived in Durban with slightly less than half a tank of 95-octane fuel and 270km of range to spare. Our fuel consumption for the entire trip averaged out at 7.9l/100km, which was close to the 7.7l/100km claimed by Mitsubishi. With a CVT gearbox in the mix, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross didn’t skip a beat throughout the 1300km trip. CVTs are known to be dreaded transmissions, however, the unit fitted to the Eclipse Cross is one of the finer examples of this transmission type.
How much is the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross?
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 2.0 GLS – R489 990
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 1.5T GLS – R529 990
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 1.5T GLS Exceed – R570 000
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