2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross review with video

Starting price: $27,798 + tax
As tested price: $35,998 + tax
Average fuel economy over a week: 9.3 L/100 kms
Competition: Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, etc.

Here’s an observation that would surprise no one, SUVs and crossovers are everywhere these days! Even within a specific brand, there is a veritable buffet of choices. And not to be left out the party, Mitsubishi is shoehorning in the Eclipse Cross. It’s brand new for 2018 and is meant to be the middle-of-the-road player between the Outlander and the RVR. Now, let me cut to the chase… despite REALLY wanting to like the Eclipse Cross, we found it just doesn’t stack up compared to the others in the compact segment like the competition listed above. To understand why, check-out our video above and then scroll through our report card below!

– Much like the Outlander, the Eclipse Cross is doing something clever. It’s sized as a bit of a bridge between classes. So while it’s officially considered a compact, alongside the likes of the Forester or the CR-V or the Escape or the CX-5, it’s a bit smaller, skewing toward the sub-compact segment. That makes it stand out for people who are torn between classes
– One thing that does separate the Eclipse Cross from pretty well all of its peers, with the exception of the Subaru Forester, is that all wheel drive comes standard. And Mitsubishi has a very well respected system called Super All Wheel Control. It constantly monitors how the car is sitting in a corner through Yaw Control – kind of like the gyros in your phone that sense whether you’re looking at it horizontally or vertically. Meanwhile, the Eclipse Cross also automatically integrates the braking system between left and right wheels to give you the very best control during tough driving scenarios
– And even though this is a more city-minded car, its still has some impressive ground clearance at 215 mm. That’s more than enough for those days when a blizzard blows through or if you want to trek down an old logging road

– The Eclipse Cross is targeted at urban millenials so it’s meant to be kind of edgy in its design. And I like the way it looks from the front – but go to the back end and that split window isn’t doing it for me – a little Pontiac Aztecish… which is not good. It also makes rearward visibility a bit tricky
– You’ve got four trims to consider in the Eclipse Cross. And the starting price comes in at $27,798 Canadian with standard equipment including 18 inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, automatic climate control and a 7 inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Now, Mitsubishi said to me that one of the real selling features in this car is its standard features. But I’m not really seeing that here. The GT that I tested is the third level up, the best seller in Canada, and just a couple bucks shy of 36-grand. It piles on plenty more: adaptive cruise, forward collision mitigation braking, blind spot monitoring, leather seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, LED headlights, a split panel dual sunroof and a heads up display. But some of that stuff is coming on base trims on the competition these days
– A power lift tail gate, ventilated seats and a proper panorama sun roof (rather than the split situation that Mitsubishi is offering) aren’t even available on top trims
– And $36,000 for a smallish crossover with lack lustre fuel economy and lagging features doesn’t really cut it
– Unfortunately, that extra ground clearance also makes the Eclipse Cross prone to body roll. Any quick movements in the wheel, particularly at higher speeds, reveal some swaying that I wasn’t expecting
– Meanwhile, all Eclipse Cross trims share the same powertrain – a turbocharged 1.5 litre 4-cylinder putting out 152 hp through a continuously variable transmission. And honestly, it just isn’t enough for this car. It struggles when passing on the highway, its transmission surges and motorboats along like CVTs from two generations ago in its competition and its fuel economy is not that impressive to boot. So what you’re left with is a crossover that’s smaller than others in its segment, is behind on standard equipment compared to many others in this class despite a starting price on the higher end and it’s thirstier. That’s a poor combination for a brand new offering
– Now, let me break down what this smaller size means for you inside. Front row comfort is fairly good with plenty of headroom for a taller driver, Roger has moderate legroom in the second row in his front facing car seat, but adults will struggle with the legroom if taller people are sitting up front. And at 6’2, I was squished for headroom back there. The low roof line also made it irritating for loading Roger into his car seat as I’d always bump my head while I was buckling him in
– The trunk is also pretty darn small – especially in the top trims because of a big subwoofer back there as part of the Rockford Fosgate sound system. That means that, as tested here, we’re having a hard time fitting our standardized trunk test. The stroller wouldn’t fit lengthwise so it had to get flipped width-wise – gobbling up a big portion of the space. It also wouldn’t be a very kind space for a larger dog to spend any time. And if you want more space, the second row seats don’t fold completely flat. There’s also no centre pass through for longer items like skis
– The interior fit and finish is also lagging behind – a lot of cheaper plastics and switchwear with some parts that look like they were pulled from a car in the late 90s. The heads up display on the higher trims is old tech (projected onto a piece of plastic rather than the windshield itself). Meanwhile, the infotainment system interface is controlled through a tricky to use trackpad – the trackpad, by the way, doesn’t work when Android Auto is activated. The good news is the infotainment system is also a touch screen. The bad news, there’s no volume knob, but rather a touch screen interface that’s quite a reach from the driver’s position

Family Wheels report card:
Family Wheels driver comfort score: 3/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 2.5/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 2.5/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 3.5/5 (67 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 2.5/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 3/5
Family Wheels trunk score: 2.5/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 3/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 3/5
Family Wheels value score: 2.5/5

Family Wheels overall score: 28/50= 56%

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