ECLIPSE OF THE HEART? (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
If you're looking for a Qashqai-class family SUV but want something a little different, Mitsubishi's Eclipse Cross offers an interesting alternative. Jonathan Crouch reports.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 50
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is easily the most class-competitive SUV that Mitsubishi makes. Stand-out styling, an efficient 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine and plush equipment levels are all strong points. Enough to make you look beyond the Qashqai and SEAT Ateca models that rule the mid-size volume-branded Crossover class? Quite possibly.
Backgroundword count: 122
Many of the volume makers are pretty committed to SUVs these days, but Mitsubishi is a brand even more focused on this genre than most. Apart from the rare Mirage Juro citycar, every model in its line-up is an SUV, with none of them more important than the contender we're going to look at here, the Eclipse Cross. This was the last design that Mitsubishi engineered before it was enveloped by the Renault Nissan Alliance, which means that very probably, it will be remembered as the last car the Japanese brand developed entirely on its own. It's certainly an important model, pitched directly into the Qashqai class of family hatchback-based SUVs that have been primarily responsible for driving sales of this genre.
Driving Experienceword count: 214
For the time being, there's just a single engine option, an all-new 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol unit developing 163hp and 250Nm of torque which will be available with a six-speed manual gearbox or CVT automatic transmission with a Sport mode, manual override and paddle shifters. CVT boxes end to be a bit jerky, but Mitsubishi says it's worked hard in this case to combine the running cost benefits of belt-driven CVT technology with the smoothness and responsiveness of a traditional torque converter automatic. Four-wheel drive is an option further up the range, the AWD set-up incorporating the latest generation of Mitsubishi's Super All-wheel Control (S-AWC) system that offers a choice of three drive modes - Auto, Snow and Gravel. In standard auto mode, torque is split 80:20 front-to-rear, though up to 45% of drive can be sent backwards if a lack of traction demands it. Individual wheels can also be braked if slip is detected. This drivetrain will be standard on the 2.2-litre diesel-engined variant that Mitsubishi plans to launch late in 2018. As for performance, well the manual 2WD model makes 62mph from rest in 10.3s en route to 127mph flat out. The acceleration figure improves to 9.3s on the auto model, while for the 4WD auto variant, the readings are 9.8s and 124mph.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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