The 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is an all-new model from Mitsubishi Motors North America and is the latest entry in the fast-growing compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV) segment. The Eclipse Cross is the third CUV in the Mitsubishi Motors lineup, where it joins the Outlander Sport and Outlander.
Recently, I had an opportunity to test the 2018 Eclipse Cross SEL 1.5T S-AWC model. In addition to this model, the Eclipse Cross is also offered in three other models: the base ES, LE, and SE. All four Eclipse models share the same 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
My key takeaways from the Eclipse Cross test drive were its attractive curb appeal, its responsive 1.5L turbocharged engine mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), its all-wheel-drive system, and its overall suitability and drivability in typical urban fleet applications.
Curb Appeal: The Eclipse Cross has great curb appeal with an attractive wedge-shaped silhouette profile and its well-portioned exterior dimensions. While four-passenger seating is the optimal configuration, it is capable of carrying five passengers when needed.
Powertrain: The Eclipse Cross is nimble to drive in a congested urban setting due to its responsive 1.5L direct injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine generating 152-hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), making the Eclipse Cross capable of quick, robust bursts of low-speed acceleration when maneuvering on congested streets or merging into freeway traffic.
S-AWC System: All-wheel drive is standard on all models, except the base ES trim, which is front-wheel drive. Known as Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC), the all-wheel-drive system gives the Eclipse Cross a sure-footed confidence while driving in varying terrains. The S-AWC system is a plus for nationally dispersed fleets operating in varying geographic regions and inclement operating conditions.
Drivability & Ergonomics: The Eclipse Cross suspension offers a smooth ride, which is important when a driver’s territory requires traveling on weather-beaten asphalt streets or in rural settings. In addition, the electric power steering makes navigating city streets, maneuvering in traffic, and parallel parking in tight spaces less fatiguing.
The layout of the interior cockpit is ergonomically friendly and the instrumentation is intuitively positioned for first-time drivers.
Fleet Applicability: In a sales or service fleet application, the Eclipse Cross offers an adequate rear cargo area with sufficient space to haul samples and point-of-sale merchandise. While the rear seat offers seating for three, the optimal configuration for transporting business clients is for two passengers in the back row. Fuel economy is not best in segment, but will nevertheless yield a respectable total cost of ownership (TCO) number.
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