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NOUGHT WRONG WITH CROSSES? (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Introductionword count: 84
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross was easily the most class-competitive SUV that Mitsubishi made towards the end of its time in the UK market. This mid-sized 'C'-segment SUV features stand-out styling, a willing 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine and plush equipment levels. Plus there's the option of a clever All-Wheel Drive system that's ideally optimised for tarmac use. Might it all be enough to make broad-minded buyers look beyond the usual suspects in the 'Qashqai class' for compact family crossovers in the 2017-2021 period? Quite possibly.
Modelsword count: 4
5dr SUV (1.5 petrol)
Historyword count: 371
Once upon a time not too long ago, just having an SUV was enough to be distinctive. Not any more. In fact these days, the segment for family hatch-based models of this kind offers a seemingly endless range of choices. Few of them though, are as interestingly styled and potentially capable as this one, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, sold here between 2017 and 2021. Mitsubishi models are known to be sophisticated and resilient - as is the company itself. It's an engineering-led brand that prides itself on new technology and pioneering new market niches - like those for Japanese micro cars and Lancer Evo-style rally replicas for instance. That's also helped it to legendary motorsport successes - five World Rally Championships and a whole string of Paris-Dakar Rally wins come to mind. But with the ups have also come plenty of downs. Throughout its hundred year history, Japan's oldest car maker has been continually written off, with various sales slumps requiring a whole string of partnerships with and partial ownership by brands as diverse as Chrysler, Volvo, the PSA Peugeot Citroen Group, Volkswagen, Daimler, Pininfarina and Hyundai. The most recent twist in this tale came in 2015 when the Nissan Renault Alliance stepped in to rescue the company as it was reeling from a particularly nasty emissions scandal. That Franco-Japanese conglomerate will jointly develop all future Mitsubishi models but didn't have a hand in this one, which was the last car bearing the three-diamond bonnet badge produced without outside assistance. Or, to put it another way, this Eclipse Cross was the last properly 'Mitsubishi' Mitsubishi. From launch, this model slotted into the brand's SUV line-up between the compact ASX and the larger Outlander and featured a freshly developed 1.5-litre petrol powerplant, along with advanced tarmac-tamed 4WD technology that most rivals of the period couldn't match. The Eclipse name referenced a sports coupe the company used to sell in other markets and the styling too had the kind of coupe-style orientation that crossover buyers of the period seemed to like. There was also plenty of equipment, lots of safety technology and a long warranty. The Eclipse Cross sold steadily until Mitsubishi pulled out of the UK market at the end of 2021.
What You Getword count: 266
Concept cars are notoriously watered down in style and form for series production build. As you might guess from a glance at this Eclipse Cross, refreshingly, that wasn't the case here. So the dynamic contours and wedge-shaped beltline of the Mitsubishi XR PHEV II Concept car first shown at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show were faithfully carried through to stylist Tsunehiro Kunimoto's finished product. It's an eye-catching thing. At the wheel, you'll find yourself in a cabin of much higher quality than you might expect. We'd worried that the split-level rear screen would severely impinge on rearward visibility but in the event, it's not too bad, though the rising body line does limit your over-the-shoulder vision a bit. The dash is split into two sections, the upper part dealing with what Mitsubishi calls 'Information' features and the lower section concerned with 'Operation' items. The infotainment system features in both areas, a 7-inch 'Smartphone Link Display' monitor dominating the top of the dash and controlled by a lower touchpad by the handbrake. In the back, there's about the level of room you'd expect from an affordable mid-sized SUV in this segment. The backrest can ease rearwards over a 16 to 32-degree range for greater comfort on longer journeys. Plus the base can slide back and forth over a range of 200mm and in its rearmost position, legroom should be very satisfactory, even if you're quite tall. As for cargo space, well with the rear seat moved right back, the luggage bay will give you 341-litres of space. Pushing forward the 60:40-split backrest frees up 1,122-litres of capacity.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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