Mitsubishi's sleek new crossover: 10 quick things to know about the Eclipse Cross

<i>Image: Wheels24 / Janine Van der Post</i>
<i>Image: Wheels24 / Janine Van der Post</i>

Mitsubishi has launched the first of its new generation vehicles in South Africa this week with the debut of the its compact crossover - the Eclipse Cross.

Car sales might be down by 7% year-on-year since 2018 in SA yet SUV and compact crossover segments have increased significantly.

Mitsubishi Motors SA has decided to ride the wave and bring in a smaller SUV vehicle to meet the current trend. 

With it's strongest traits being vibrant and dynamic, the new compact crossover could attract more interest in the brand.

Here are 10 quick things to know about the striking new vehicle.
1. First impressions

The launch of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross could help reignite interest in brand in South Africa. It has a distinctive, eye-catching design that will most definitely attract a somewhat younger crowd to the brand. Something that looks particularly good and has a higher ground clearance for more adventurous activities and driving, but still has coupe-esque styling. It ticks all the right boxes even at first glance, and it comes loaded with standard features and equipment.

Mitsubishi says that while the SUV and the compact crossover segments continue to grow, the Eclipse Cross will target those looking to upgrade from the ASX and/or customers looking for "trendy products" in SA.

Inside, the equipment and panels are of soft-touch and high-grade material. The cabin is driver friendly and it's a roomy vehicle for all passengers. There's dual-aircon, reverse parking camera, parking sensors, power fold-away mirrors, and loads more.

The Eclipse Cross is most certainly built to impress inside, and out, and that's not just the automaker's claim, it genuinely is a good looking car on all fronts. 

I tend to cringe when I see or hear that a vehicle that's fitted with a CVT gearbox but the Eclipse Cross has a a finely-tuned 6-speed CVT with 6-step Sports Mode. The drive is quite enjoyable and that sports gear helps the transmission feel more akin to a conventional auto gearbox. It's all fine and dandy until you have to exert the car, such as attempting to make it back in time to Cape Town's CBD whilst tackling the city's horrific peak-hour traffic.

The car is made for cruising through traffic and gliding along he highway while high-speed driving is not its forte. With that said though, behind the wheel of the 4X4 model and off the beaten path it's SUV takes to off-road terrain like a duck in water. During the off-road stint Mitsubishi assured the vehicle could handle higher speeds comfortably. Impressed is an understatement. The compact crossover truly comes into its own and gravel-driving is second nature to its 4x4 system as the Super-All Wheel Control shows just why it's so good.

2. There are two models in the local line-up at launch: 2WD and Super-AWD, both driven by a 2.0-litre MIVEC petrol engine delivering 110kW and 198Nm. 

3. Fuel consumption

The CVT with 6-step Sports Mode contributes to the 2.0 litre Mivec engine's fuel consumption of 7.9 litres /100km (combined cycle) for the 4x2 and 8.1-litres /100km for the AWD derivative. The 4x2 derivative has a fuel tank of 63 litres while that of the AWD comes to 60 litres.

4. Pricing

The 2WD model is priced quite competitively at R399 995 while the AWD model is R449 995.

5. Rivals

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross will compete against the following vehicles in its segment:

Toyota RAV4
Nissan X-Trail
Kia Sportage
Hyundai Tucson
Mazda CX-5

6. Driving modes

The AWD model is obviously the model of choice as you can choose between three driving modes: AUTO, SNOW or GRAVEL, depending on road conditions to enhance accuracy, straight-line stability and manoeuvrability on slippery surfaces, says the automaker.

7. What on earth is S-AWC?

Super-All Wheel Control (read: AWD) is the integration of the vehicle dynamics control system with the controls of each component around the all-wheel-drive system, offering the driver additional safety and comfortable driving. In other words, you get the best 4WD performance on various conditions or surfaces, more stability on slippery surfaces and higher traction when you're stuck in a tricky situation.

mitsubishi eclipsecross

8. Front features

In line with Mitsubishi's vibrant and defiant design, the front end is quite chunky and the rest of its styling is rather edgy.

mitsubishi eclipsecross

9. And the rear?

Styling is ever more enthusiastic in the rear and contributes vastly to the vehicle's coup-like styling which is certainly appealing to the younger market who don't necessarily want a rugged SUV, but would 

mitsubishi eclipsecross

10. What's inside?

There are loads of creature comforts inside the Eclipse Cross, with high equipment levels and standard features as standard. 

mitsubishi eclipsecross

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