The Limited Edition does not get all the bells and whistles of the GT trim.
Mitsubishi has fallen into the limelight in recent years, especially since their decision to cease production of the Lancer Evolution. It was a key vehicle that kept Mitsubishi in competition amongst to major manufacturers. In a line up with no sedan offering there is now a glaring gap in their lineup. The gap between the RVR and the Outlander is quite sizeable and is more evident with the discontinuation of the Lancer. This is the 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Limited Edition.
To draw attention and hopefully benefit from nostalgia, Mitsubishi has decided to use the Eclipse name for their new crossover. The design philosophy is to release a CUV that has more of a sporty nature which lives up to the Eclipse’s sports car heritage. After a few years on the market, let’s take a look to see if this 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross lives up to the design philosophy of a sporty CUV.
The Eclipse Cross has gone bold in its design to ensure the Eclipse moniker makes a comeback. The front is designed with Mitsubishi’s corporate grill which they refer to as the Dynamic Shield. The central black grill is a shield embraced by the angular chrome highlights. The chrome lines resemble Samurai face paint resulting in a super aggressive front fascia. The silhouette is unique with a high shoulder line and a very short rear fender. Bold doesn’t necessarily translate to attractive however, and the Eclipse Cross does closely resemble the Pontiac Aztek.
According to Mitsubishi designers, the inspiration for the short and hunched profile comes from a sprinter at the starting line in the ready position. The rear end of the Eclipse Cross makes a statement to by drawing inspiration from the last Eclipse coupe by adding a light bar across the rear windshield. Our Limited Edition tester is equipped with black wheels and mirror caps for a bolder look. The result is a CUV with a unique design that stands out in a highly contested segment.
The interior of the Eclipse Cross is a pleasant surprise with improved material quality compared to past vehicles. Mitsubishi has placed emphasis in providing higher quality and refinement when designing this interior. The efforts can be felting with hard plastic use kept away from key touch points, instead using injection molded materials. The column mounted paddles are usually reserved for supercar applications, however have made their way into the Eclipse Cross. Despite these improvements, the Eclipse Cross still has an interior that is effectively bottom of its segment.
Pseudo carbon fiber trim and brushed aluminum break up the black interior. Key functions are ergonomically arranged for easy access with the exception of the lack of a volume knob. Not only is the knob missing, but the volume adjustment is placed far away from the driver on the right side of the infotainment display. Rear leg room and headroom is excellent as well, fitting adults easily. In a utility vehicle, utility is usually a high priority, but the Eclipse Cross places style over utility. The trunk space is mediocre with a high load floor, and the raked roof line also cuts into usable space.
The Limited Edition does not get all the bells and whistles of the GT trim, making do with cloth seating and manual adjustment. Luckily the infotainment is the same as the top trim with a seven-inch display. Controlling the infotainment can either be done through the touchscreen or a touchpad that feels like an AliExpress version of Lexus’ pad. The display is high definition but the design reminded me of the 1990s, especially the center LCD info display in the gauge cluster. The overall interface is simple but has a learning curve to be efficient. Mitsubishi offers both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to keep more tech savvy customers happy.
Considering the Cross’ ride height and size, but the car’s name gave us hope Mitsubishi may have given it a more aggressive tuning. The on-center feel is great; however immediately disappears becoming vague with a sensation that the front end lightens up as you approach a bend. It results in a weary driving experience at speed. In the city the light steering is great and suited for quick maneuvers in tight quarters. In daily driving conditions, the Eclipse Cross remains poised and composed.
Powering the 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Limited Edition is a 1.5-litre direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It produces 152 horsepower at 5,500RPM and 184 lb-ft. torque at 3,500RPM. The powerplant is unfortunately held back by the CVT transmission. The saving grace is the large column mounted paddles for simulated “gears”. In regular driving, the CVT keeps the engine running at the ideal RPM to maximize torque while maintaining good fuel efficiency.
This drivetrain comes together to achieve fuel consumption ratings of 9.6L/100km in the city and 8.9L/100km highway for a combined 9.3L/100km. During our week of mixed driving I was spot on with the advertised rating of 9.3L/100km in combined consumption. It’s pretty decent economy for the segment, and a pleasant touch is that unlike the Outlander V6, the Eclipse Cross does not require premium fuel.
The highlight of the Eclipse Cross’ is the Super All-Wheel-Control system, Mitsu-talk for all-wheel-drive. The system improves straight line stability and cornering balance by controlling the torque split to each wheel. The system integrates Active Stability Control (ASC), Active Yaw Control (AYC) and the ABS system to achieve this. The driver can choose between Auto, Snow and Gravel modes to enhance abilities by changing the performance logic. It’s worth mentioning that despite the name, this system is not related to the one from the famed Lancer Evolution, and is effectively still just a simple slip and grip all-wheel-drive system.
This Limited Edition trim unfortunately does not have all of the safety features available for the Eclipse Cross. It includes blind spot spot warning and rear cross traffic alert. Features like Collision Mitigation, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control are features only available as a $20,00 option package on the lower trims or standard on the GT trim. It’s worth mentioning that rivals like the Subaru Forester (reviewed here) include this tech across all trims.
The Eclipse Cross starts at a bargain price of $27,798. Our Limited Edition came in at $31,748 with a $450 premium for the Red Diamond paint. The Mitsubishi takes aim at vehicles such as the Hyundai Tucson starting at $26,099. A slightly more expensive mid-trim Tucson is priced at $28,299, but the small premium gives you comfort features such as heated steering wheel, power driver seats and lane departure warning.
The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Limited Edition is a bold statement. The looks are radical and do not blend into the masses, whether you love it or hate it. It has its flaws but also makes up for those flaws by being a unique offering in the market. This will appeal to individuals who value standing out from the crowd. This car fills a gap in the Mitsubishi lineup and may give shoppers another reason to return to the brand.