Tue | Oct 20, 2020

Vehicle review: 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross taking experiment to another level

Published:Sunday | May 3, 2020 | 12:00 AMKareem LaTouche - Automotives Coordinator

When persons see the name ‘Eclipse’ beside the Mitsubishi badge, some may think about the sports car that was manufactured from 1989 to 2011. It was a two-door eye candy that competed with cars like the Toyota Celica and Honda Prelude.

Fast-forward several years, and Mitsubishi has decided to use the name on a different model vehicle. Now, the Eclipse Cross is a crossover SUV that started production in 2017.

The front of the sporty blue model has the same design theme as other Mitsubishis, with the ‘reverse-c’ chrome grille, which runs from the halogen headlight to the bumper. However, around the back is where the company decided to be experimental. There is a protruding LED strip that divides the rear window and reminds me of how the first-generation Toyota Prius were designed.

To be frank, this design is a hit or miss as most persons are either going to love it or hate it. I remember years ago, Honda had a similar concept with the ‘c panel’ of the CR-V, which, at the time, looked weird to many people. However, as the years went by, it became a favourite among buyers.

From a visibility standpoint, the strip can be a bit distracting at first, especially when using the rear mirror. Luckily, there is a reverse camera and sensors to assist. At one point, I was in Bath, St Thomas, buying breadfruits, when a goat walked next to the rear bumper, and the sensors immediately indicated that something was to the left side of the vehicle.

A gentle cruise

Once I was inside the vehicle, it was evident that it had a high ground clearance of about seven inches that helped with all round visibility. The side mirrors, which are attached to the panels of the door, were huge enough to see vehicles beside and behind me.

What stood out the most was how comfortable the ride was, the Macpherson strut, coil springs and stabiliser bar, at the front, absorbed potholes well and gave the vehicle a cloudy feel. The trade-off was that there was some body roll when I was going around a corner at a fast speed.

While driving along Michael Manley Highway, the CVT transmission felt smooth and not overly engaging. It can also mimic an eight-speed selection by engaging the paddle shifters. I only used this when I was overtaking or going down a steep hill. On a consistent basis, the 16-valve engine was kept in an optimum spot for fuel efficiency, which is one of the factors that makes it a good choice for a domestic SUV.

To aid in the ride comfort are manually adjusted fabric seats that are heavily padded and a steering wheel that can be adjusted for tilt and zoom. The rear seats are non-reclinable, which is something I wish was available. Where the Eclipse Cross stands out is the fact that the seats are comfortable and there is ample space for a six-footer, with almost three feet of legroom for rear passengers.

Something from the future

Mitsubishi’s unique design theme continues in the interior, which is peppered with chrome and piano black accents. It has sharp lines and angles that outline the dashboard and centre console that resemble something from the future. The infotainment system is housed in a clamshell-type arrangement, making it protrude from the dashboard.

The audio system is controlled by a 6.1 inch QVGA touch-panel display,which can also show images from the rear-view camera. Unlike previous Mitsubishi models, pairing my phone via bluetooth was fairly easy with the designated phone tile on the screen.

Mitsubishi has designed a vehicle that is definitely going to turn heads, and they did it in a bold way, which makes consumers know that they are not afraid to be different.

Performance-wise, it is more on the domestic end, which is ideal if you are a family-oriented person who is not into the euphoria of speed and rage. This fits someone who wants the versatility of packing the trunk with toys and heading to the beach with the kids then on Monday morning, replacing the toys with bags and textbooks before driving to school and work.

 

Price of tested model: $6,050,000.00

4WD version: $6,600,000.00

Engine: 1998cc DOHC 16-valve MIVEC

Horsepower: 150/ 6,000

Torque: 150 ft lb/ 4,200

Transmission: FWD, CVT with 6-speed Sport Mode & Paddle Shifters

Curb weight; 1,450kg

Fuel tank: 63 litres

Competition: Nissan X Trail, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester

Cargo space: 594 mm (with all seats up)

 

Available at Stewart’s Auto Sales Ltd, 49-53 South Camp Road. Tel: (876) 928 - 5041-7, email: contact@mitsubishijamaica.com.

For views and comments email, yl.jamaica@gmail.com.

Specifications:

Keyless Operation System with push button start

Touch Screen Radio with Reverse Camera

Cruise Control

Parking Sensors (front & rear)

Active Stability Control, Hill Start Assist & Brake assist system

Projector halogen headlights with manual leveling