For those familiar with motorsport, there’s a saying that still rings true today, “If it looks right, it probably is right.” While you probably won’t associate the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross with motor racing as such, however, that statement does apply.
In a similar way that the Porsche 917 and perhaps even the Subaru Impreza STI World Rally Car did for motor racing, the Eclipse has done for the SUV market. Too often we see the same old design following the same principles resulting in something average. But the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is far from average.
In our opinion, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross could be one of South Africa’s best-looking cars, ready to battle it out for a top spot in the crowded midsize SUV segment. This car shows that functionality and style can certainly combine to make something special.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Exterior And Performance
Since its launch overseas about a year ago, the Eclipse Cross has been on the receiving end of various design awards. At the same time, it’s racked up over 80 000 sales. The test vehicle we are referring to is what Mitsubishi calls their red diamond colour. It is created through a multi-coat process that involves layering a semi-transparent red and clear coating. This results in the most premium finish Mitsubishi has ever offered.
Considering the stunning visual appeal, does the engine and performance live up to the expectations? We believe it does as it is powered by a two-liter, 16-valve, DOHC (double overhead camshaft) four-cylinder petrol engine. It uses ECI multi-point fuel injection to produce 110kW at 6 000rpm and 198Nm of torque at 4 200rpm.
The impressive engine combines with a six-speed CVT gearbox with a sports mode that can also be controlled using paddle shift gears. Of course, this doesn’t make the Eclipse Cross a racing car but it is an SUV after all and wasn’t made for breaking the land speed record. However, it was designed to look good and partake in the activities synonymous with SUVs.
On the outside, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross offers all the bells and whistles from a rear spoiler with high-mounted brake lights, electric adjustable fold-away mirrors with indicator lights, daytime running lights, front fog lamps, and even headlamp washers.
There’s still more in the form of a silver front bumper skid plate, roof rails, halogen headlights, and rain-sensing windscreen wipers. It sits comfortably on good looking 18-inch alloy wheels and comes with a full-sized spare wheel, unlike some of the modern cars we see today.
Interior Features And Safety
Looking at the interior, there is ample room to seat five adults comfortably while the driver sits behind a tilt and telescopic leather-covered steering wheel with audio and cruise control buttons. You also get Bluetooth with hands-free voice control, a touch-screen radio, accessory sockets, and USB ports. The Eclipse Cross has electric windows all round, automatic air-conditioning and a heads-up display screen that extends or retracts when the ignition is turned on or off.
The HUD unit gives all the necessary vehicle information in full colour above the instrument cluster. It offers easy viewing without the need to take your eyes off the road. Active safety features include ABS, EBD (electronic brake-force distribution), brake assist, stability and traction control, active yaw control, hill-start assist, front and rear park distance control, and a rearview camera.
Adding even more peace of mind in terms of safety, it also features seven airbags, side-impact protection bars, and Mitsubishi’s latest reinforced impact safety evolution body construction.
Driving the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is easy and comfortable with smooth gear shifts and adequate acceleration for city use. Even better for tight spaces, the Eclipse Cross has a turning circle of just 5.3 m which is pretty impressive for a mid-size SUV. Fuel consumption is approximately 8.7l/100km which offers decent range considering the 63-liter petrol tank.
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