Mitsubishi vehicles can get lost in the shuffle because the brand just isn’t top of mind when it comes to purchasing a car. However, the company’s compact crossover, the Eclipse Cross, is probably its best vehicle with its affordable price, handsome looks, decent fuel economy, nice interior, technology and practicality.
The Eclipse Cross was introduced for the 2018 model year and gets a few tweaks for 2020 including the availability of more driver assistance technologies, the addition of standard front-wheel-drive across the line-up, and a new Special Edition (SP) trim. The Eclipse Cross has room for five passengers in two rows of seating.
There are five trims: ES, LE, SP, SE and SEL. Starting prices range from $22,995 to $28,745. Mitsubishi’s all-wheel-drive system S-AWC (Super All-Wheel Control) system is available on all trims for $1,600.
All models are powered by a 1.5-liter engine that makes 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission. This is less power than most competitors. The Eclipse Cross has enough zip for driving around town and its light steering makes it easy to maneuver in busy city traffic and tight parking lots. However, you’ll wish for more oomph at higher speeds. The engine hums when pressed and there’s noticeable body lean when cornering. Road and engine noise can get loud at times. Visibility is limited to the sides and rear due to the large roof pillars, sloping design and prominent rear headrests. If you are doing a lot of highway driving, and/or travel a lot of curvy roads, this is not the best vehicle for you.
Fuel efficiency is pretty good for the class. EPA ratings for my tester are 25 mpg city and 26 mpg highway with a combined rating of 25. I got 26 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. Front-wheel-drive models get slightly better mileage.
The cabin is pleasant. Yes, there are some cheap materials as you’d expect at this price point but the fit and finish are more than acceptable. Legroom is about average for the class, headroom is good in both rows of seating. The second row can slide and recline.
Standard features include remote keyless entry, rearview camera, automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, color multi-information display screen, seven-inch touch screen, four-speaker audio system, HD Radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, steering wheel audio and phone controls, rear spoiler, and heated power side view mirrors,
Available features include proximity keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated steering wheel, heated front seats, heated rear seats, touchpad controller, six-speaker audio system, premium Rockford Fosgate audio system, satellite radio, an additional USB port, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, head-up display, and panoramic sunroof.
Several driver assistance technologies are available including blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane change assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors and automatic high beams.
Unfortunately, the touchpad controller for the infotainment system is not user-friendly and can be distracting. It’s similar to a mouse on a laptop computer and is located between the two front seats. You have to use the touchpad, small buttons or the controls on the steering wheel for all settings. There aren’t even knobs for common functions such as volume and tuning which is very annoying. On top of that, the touchpad can be difficult to reach. There are no knobs for climate controls either; you also have to press buttons several times for temp and fan settings.
Cargo space is a little less than average for the class. There are 22.1 cubic feet with both rows of seating in place and 48.8 cubes with the second row folded. Trims without the optional sunroof have slightly more space. The sloping roofline can make it tough to accommodate bulky items. However, as mentioned above, the rear seats slide and recline so you can get the most out of the space.
Mitsubishi offers one of the best warranties around: a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty; and 7-year/100,000-mile anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty.
Low starting price for the class
Decent fuel efficiency
Best suited for city driving
Less power than most rivals
Can feel strained in highway driving
Noticeable body lean when cornering
Clumsy touchpad controller for infotainment system
My tester starts at $28,595. The Touring Package is $2,100 and adds a power panoramic sunroof, Rockford Fosgate premium sound system, Forward Collision Mitigation with High-Speed Braking capability with Pedestrian Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, and roof rails. Accy Tonneau cover is $190. Accy carpeted floor mats and portfolio are $145. Destination fee is $1,095 bringing the grand total to $32,125.
Sure, there are plenty of excellent choices when it comes to buying a compact crossover or SUV, and most buyers aren’t going to even consider the 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. However, it can be worth a test drive for its affordability, good looks, pleasant interior and good warranty, especially if much of your driving is around town.