The site visitors on California’s Pacific Coast Freeway was surprisingly gentle for a Tuesday morning when my drive companion and I headed out within the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. With a pleasant lengthy stretch of open highway in entrance of us, she floored the compact SUV’s accelerator pedal. To be sincere, I anticipated this finances crossover to fall on its face. To my shock, the Eclipse Cross took off, if not fairly like a rocket, then actually like a jack rabbit.

The Eclipse Cross is a brand-new mannequin, slotting between the Outlander Sport and Outlander in Mitsubishi’s steady. Its title riffs on the favored Eclipse coupe that was produced from 1990 to 2012, and since this new mannequin is an SUV and never a sports activities coupe, a number of traditionalists’ feathers have been ruffled.

The brand new Eclipse Cross suffers from poor driving dynamics, however sports activities a superb drivetrain.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Mitsubishi makes the Eclipse Cross in a base ES trim, in addition to LE, SE and SEL. Whereas front-wheel drive is normal on the bottom mannequin, all-wheel drive comes normal on each different trim. No matter your trim alternative, a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mated to a repeatedly variable transmission (CVT) is the one and solely drivetrain.

Very like The Little Engine That May, so, too, can the Eclipse Cross. On our Mitsubishi-sponsored press drive within the twisty again nation of Malibu, California, I discovered the 154-horsepower engine to really feel exceptionally sturdy. Minimal turbo lag and fast throttle response spotlight its 184 pound-feet of torque, exhibiting there’s alternative for displacement. Many compact crossovers just like the Jeep Compass and Nissan Rogue Sport are irritating of their lack of hustle, however the Mitsu’s spry little powerplant was a blast.

The CVT, whereas not my favourite kind of transmission, is a good technique to get the facility to the pavement. Paddle shifters cycle by eight digital gears, however it is a bit sloppy, particularly placing the hammer down off the road. Nevertheless, it did simply high-quality by itself, with out an excessive amount of of that buzzy, stretched-rubber-band feeling that may plague CVTs. EPA gasoline scores haven’t been introduced, however on my heavy-footed, winding-road check drive, I averaged 23.eight miles per gallon.

The engine has the makings of a significantly fun-to-drive crossover, however the Eclipse Cross’ suspension and steering are an enormous letdown. There may be sufficient physique roll on this factor to make even the steeliest of stomachs go flippity-flop whereas driving proper seat. Mixed with obscure steering and minimal suggestions, the potential for a handy guide a rough drive goes proper out the window. It is a pity, because the sturdy engine and transmission may put the Eclipse Cross in Mazda CX-5 territory by way of driving enjoyment.

The Eclipse Cross will get all of the superior driver’s aids, however not on each trim. Blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert are normal on SE and above, however it’s a must to transfer as much as the highest SEL trim and shell out for the Touring bundle to get ahead collision warning, adaptive cruise management and lane-departure warning. Toyota makes ahead collision warning normal on its RAV4.

In high-speed and heavy site visitors on Pacific Coast Freeway, the adaptive cruise management introduced the Eclipse Cross to a clean cease behind the lead automotive, and a easy faucet on the fuel obtained it going once more. Lane-departure warning is simply that: a warning. If I wandered exterior the lane, there was no steering enter to information me again. 

A heads-up show is normal on the SEL, but it surely’s not projected straight onto the windshield. As an alternative a big, clear display pops up with details about velocity, cruise management setting and any security warnings mirrored as much as it.  I did not discover the massive display distracting when simply toddling alongside in site visitors, however as quickly as I hit the again roads, that pet went again in its hiding place.

A 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is normal on the LE and up, as such there isn’t any native navigation system. There’s a little bit of a delay when choosing menu buttons from the touchscreen, however the system  will also be managed by a touchpad within the middle console, which is way faster. The system makes you navigate fairly a number of menus and submenus, but it surely’s all pretty intuitive.

A seven-inch touchscreen is normal on LE trims and above and consists of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Mitsubishi

There are a number of quirks to the switchgear, nevertheless. There is no such thing as a bodily quantity knob, simply up/down buttons on the passenger aspect of the touchscreen and on the steering wheel for the motive force. The HVAC temperature controls are simply up/down buttons, not dials. Moreover there are a number of clean buttons all through the cabin. Mitsubishi says these are for options accessible solely in Europe, however on a high of the road car just like the one I used to be driving, it appears to be like a bit low cost.

By way of appears to be like, nicely, that is all the time subjective. These of us automotive journalists on the press drive had some heated dialogue concerning the split-window rear. Some thought it regarded like a Toyota Prius and a Pontiac Aztek had a child; others like myself thought it a high-quality alternative. Out entrance you possibly can see the inspiration of the Eclipse coupe, if not within the precise components then by way of design proportions. The aspect character line incorporates the door handles, which is a pleasant contact. Some will hate the appears to be like of the Eclipse Cross, however I’ve to provide Mitsubishi props for coming to market with a dangerous design.

The 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross begins at $23,295, not together with vacation spot, however my loaded-up SEL with Touring bundle bumps the worth to $30,395. SE and SEL trims embody a two-year trial subscription to Mitsubishi Join. This consists of an OnStar-like security program in addition to an app with distant companies. You can even entry automotive distant options by an Amazon Echo or Google Residence gadget. After two years costs are $99 per yr for safeguard companies or $228 for each the safeguard and distant companies.

The Eclipse Cross might be in sellers in March of 2018.

Roadshow accepts multi-day car loans from producers with the intention to present scored editorial opinions. All scored car opinions are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases. Nevertheless, for this characteristic, journey prices had been coated by the producer. That is widespread within the auto trade, as it’s miles extra economical to ship journalists to automobiles than to ship automobiles to journalists. The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial staff are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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