Mitsubishi is in need of a major overhaul to stay relevant in the fast-changing automotive industry, and re-inventing a brand is much easier said than done. Luckily, the company is showing signs of life with a brand-new crossover named Eclipse Cross.
On paper, the soft-roader is a tribute to the Eclipse coupe built from 1989 to 2011, but the two models share nothing more than a name. The Eclipse Cross is a four-door compact crossover developed to compete in the same growing segment as the Nissan Rogue Sport. Styling cues fast-tracked from the show floor to the production line make the Cross one of Mitsubishi’s most daring designs in recent memory.
The angular lines that define the bodywork are also present in the cabin. And, at first glance, it looks like Mitsubishi has figured out that building a nicer interior is key to luring buyers back into showrooms. The Eclipse Cross offers a two-part center console framed by metal-resembling gray plastic trim, glossy black accents, and a horizontal touchscreen that runs a new infotainment system named Smartphone Link Display.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity come standard, and a head-up display is found on the list of options. The Eclipse Cross is also the first model to get the new Mitsubishi Connect subscription-based telematics service, which provides features like roadside assistance and remote vehicle monitoring. Owners can do things like remotely lock and unlock the doors, set the climate control, and find their car in a crowded parking lot. Parental controls include geofencing and alerts for when teens violate preset curfew or speed limits.
The only available engine is a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which produces 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) with standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive system features Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control, which manipulates various electronic systems to shunt power around in order to maximize cornering grip.
While it was first seen in public at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross just made its U.S. debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Eclipse Cross will start at $23,295 when it goes on sale here in March 2018.
Updated: Added U.S. specifications and pricing information