• Mitsubishi South Africa introduced a 1.5T model in February 2020
• It's one of three models offered in the Eclipse Cross' local line-up
• The 1.5T produces 110kW and 250Nm
Mitsubishi's mid-size crossover the Eclipse Cross received a new engine in February this year, prior to the nationwide lockdown. Wheels24 recently sampled the latest 1.5T derivative and were deeply impressed.
At R459 995 the turbocharged Eclipse Cross is the priciest model in the range and joins the 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated derivatives in the line-up. The 1.5T makes use of a CVT 'gearbox' and drives through the front-wheels only.
A 'Turbo' badge on the rear lets you know you're in the priciest Eclipse Cross.
At 1499cc the newly-developed MIVEC engine produces 110kW at 5500r/min and 250Nm from 2000r/min up to 3500r/min. It's smooth motor that offers plenty of good urge when called upon. It proved to be fuel efficient too, average around 7.9-litre/100km. Not far off the claimed figure of 7.7-litre/100km.
0-100km/h is dispatched in less than nine seconds and Mitsubishi says all-aluminium engine offers direct fuel injection and a single-scroll turbo charger. I was impressed by the smooth power delivery and refinement of the motor, it purred in the background with no fuss and offers ample power.
Built at Mitsubishi's Mizushima Plant in Japan the Eclipse Cross is a good looking vehicle, sporting the right dimensions that a typical coupe crossover has. It has strong front-end with an aggressive grille design and looks good two years after being launched.
It offers quality finished with ample space for most items a young family would have. The boot capacity of 378-litre is a little tight but it can be increased to 485-litres depending on the position of the sliding rear seats, to allow more space for the second-row passengers or luggage volume.
A comprehensive specification on the 1.5T includes: multi-function leather steering wheel incorporating audio and cruise control, Bluetooth with hands-free voice control, paddle shifts, electric-operated windows all round, climate control with rear passenger vents, electrically-adjustable leather seats (heated for front passenger and driver), slide and tilt-adjustable rear seats with 60/40 split and USB ports and charging sockets.
There's even a heads-up display that shows the speed to the drive projected onto the windscreen.
Overall, I was impressed by the new forced induction engine. It doesn't feel asthmatic and gives the Eclipse Cross a bit of oomph to match its strong looks.
The ride is plush, with good damping and adequate handling. There's some slight body roll but that's understandable in a lofty vehicle with ground clearance of 18cm. It rides on 18-inch wheels.
With most buyers in this segment opting for models with front-wheel drive, the combination of the new motor, styling and lots of toys makes the 1.5T a serious consideration.