2023 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross – Wonderful Crossover SUV. For those looking for a return of Mitsubishi’s Eclipse sports coupe, this isn’t it. The 2023 Eclipse Cross does its best to channel its namesake, with bold styling and a rakish rear end, but underneath it’s nothing more than a run-of-the-mill compact SUV. A turbocharged 1.5-liter makes 152 horsepower and is the only engine choice. All-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) are standard, and acceleration is rather poky. Handling isn’t particularly athletic, either, but the Eclipse Cross does offer a composed ride and the cabin remains quiet when cruising. The Eclipse Cross’s interior has most of the expected modern amenities as well as a spacious cargo hold, but it falls short of rivals such as the Mazda CX-5, the Hyundai Tucson, and the Volkswagen Tiguanin terms of overall refinement.
Starting this year, the Eclipse Cross comes standard with all-wheel drive across the entire lineup. Mitsubishi also added a new 18-inch wheel design and standard LED head- and foglights. The top SEL trim now sports body-colored lower trim while SE models get silver-colored embellishments on the front bumper.
The SE model represents the best balance of value and features. It adds many additional features over the LE model that justify its slightly higher price tag, including keyless remote entry with pushbutton start, driver-assistance features, and dual-zone automatic climate control.
The Eclipse Cross’s turbocharged four-cylinder isn’t going to set anyone’s heart aflame. The last one we tested jogged to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds at our test track. Paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), the engine delivers power smoothly. Aggressive throttle applications evoke less engine noise than expected, and highway cruising is quiet and unremarkable—just what we want from crossovers in this class. The Eclipse Cross’s suspension is clearly tuned for comfort; taking corners at speed results in moderate body roll. That softness pays off in its ride quality, with the chassis remaining composed while driving over broken pavement and railroad crossings. However, small cracks in the road transmit vibrations up through the steering wheel and seats, something rival crossovers such as the Ford Escape and the Kia Sportage smooth out more thoroughly. Steering is accurate and light—good for parking-lot maneuverability but discouraging for back-road antics.
Fuel-economy results are entirely unremarkable. The EPA says the Eclipse Cross is supposed to do better in the city than many of its rivals, so consider your driving habits when making comparisons. The base ES model is the thriftiest with EPA ratings of 25 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined. Our all-wheel drive Eclipse Cross SEL test vehicle delivered 26 mpg in our 75-mph highway fuel economy test. For more information about the Eclipse Cross’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
The interior of the Eclipse Cross about what you’d expect at its attractive price point. There aren’t any egregiously cheap materials, but some rivals such as the Mazda CX-5 offer plusher cabins if you’re willing to pay a little more. The seats are wrapped in a stylish, durable fabric, and while cushioning was more than adequate, the lack of a lumbar adjustment left our backs wishing for more support after a few hours behind the helm. The Eclipse Cross has enough cargo space for a small family, but cubby storage becomes scarce with more than three occupants on board. We fit six carry-on suitcases behind the rear seats and 17 in total with the seats folded. The rear seats fold easily, although people with shorter torsos may have trouble reaching the release levers from the cargo area. A stroller fits easily in the cargo area with all the seats up.
All Eclipse Cross models come standard with a touchscreen infotainment system. Base ES models offer a 7.0-inch display, and LE, SE, and SEL models have a larger 8.0-inch screen. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and in-dash navigation are available only with the 8.0-inch display.
Basic driver-assistance technologies are standard, such as automated emergency braking and lane-departure warning, but more advanced features require checking the box for an upper trim level. For more information about the Eclipse Cross’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety equipment includes:
Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
Standard lane-departure warning
Available adaptive cruise control
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