Like the celestial phenomenon for which it’s named, the Mitsubishi Eclipse has appeared and disappeared over time. It emerged as a sport coupe in 1989 but left in 2012. Last year, however, it re-emerged to join the growing crossover utility vehicle (CUV) segment as the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Latino Traffic Report recently test drove the 2019 Eclipse Cross SEL S-AWC and while some may miss the sport coupe, others will appreciate the added convenience and versatility of the new CUV.
While Mitsubishi would like the Cross to be known as a “Coupe SUV,” it really leans more toward a CUV in its design. It has a hint of sportiness on the outside with a sculpted form, wedge-shaped profile, and strong beltline. The front fascia reflects the Mitsubishi modern DNA, specifically on the grille, but it stands out at the back with a forward-raked rear window and angular rear gate that some might say looks akin to the Pontiac Aztek’s but much improved and without the polarizing effect. The test model also included the latest trend for two-tone exteriors with a black roof and Pearl White body at an added cost of $295.
A 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbo engine with direct injection, 152 horsepower, and 184 lb.–ft. of torque powers all Eclipse Crosses, It’s matched to an eight-speed continuously variable automatic transmission with a Sport mode. All but the base model also come with Mitsubishi’s all-wheel-drive technology or Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC).
The EPA estimated fuel economy for the test model was 25 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. It averaged 19.1 mpg on the test drive.
With six trim levels to choose from, the test SEL model also included the Touring Package, making it a top-of-the-line model. As such, it came equipped with higher-end features and technology, like a blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert (also standard on the SE trim), adaptive cruise control, heated front seats, forward collision mitigation, and lane departure warning.
All Crosses come with a fold-flat rear seat that exposes 48.9 cubic feet of cargo room, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, a seven-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, and an Eco indicator in the LCD color multi-information display within the gauge cluster.
Standard features on the top-of-the-line test model included paddle shifters, leather seats with orange accent stitching, a multiview backup camera, and a head-up display that reflected driving information on a plastic flap above the dash. The Touring package ($2,500) added a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel and rear seats, and the Rockford Fosgate premium audio sound system. Interaction with the infotainment system included a touch pad on the center console that appeared to be inspired by Lexus, but setting presets for FM and XM satellite radio (standard at this level) was a little clunky.
Still, the Cross was fun to drive and efficient at its purposes of scooting around town, with passengers and/or cargo, and along curves if necessary.
Pricing for the 2019 Mitsubishi Cross starts at $24,690. The as-tested price came to $33,305.
Sí: The new styling is modern and on trend, plus the added convenience with a CUV is always appreciated
No: Fuel economy, especially with a turbo engine and on the highway, is subpar. Also, not the best “new car” smell.