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Introduction

The 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross borrows the first half of its name from the popular sport coupe that debuted three decades earlier. It’s a crossover SUV that seats five, and wears a daringly designed body.

Changes for the 2019 model year are trivial. All versions can have new accessory roof rails, while LE models gain gloss black window switch panels.

Mitsubishi offers a few Eclipse Cross versions: ES, LE, SE, and SEL, plus an SP Special Edition. All models use the same engine: a 1.5-liter turbo-4 that makes 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, mated with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CVT has eight virtual “speeds,” along with a Sport mode.

Front-wheel drive is standard on the base (ES) model. Other trim levels come only with all-wheel drive. The AWD system helps with traction, and adds weight that the modestly powered engine must overcome.

Crash-test results have been impressive thus far. The IIHS gave the Eclipse Cross “Good” ratings for each of its crash-tests, and called it a Top Safety Pick. The NHTSA has not yet crash-tested an Eclipse Cross. Active-safety features are available, but optional on top trim levels.

Model Lineup

Prices do not include $1,095 destination charge.

The Eclipse Cross ES ($23,595 with front-drive, $24,195 with S-AWC all-wheel drive) comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, five-passenger seating, automatic climate control, heated power mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity, USB port, a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, and LED taillights.

LE S-AWC ($25,195) comes only with all-wheel drive and includes 18-inch wheels, 7.0-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, dual USB ports, and steering-wheel voice controls.

SP S-AWC ($26,190), a Special Edition, adds front, side and rear body trim, plus a large rear spoiler.

SE S-AWC ($26,695) includes heated front seats, keyless ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, and rain-sensing wipers. Safety features include blind-spot monitors.

SEL S-AWC ($28,195) gets 18-inch wheels, eight-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, leather seat upholstery, LED headlights, a head-up display, a multi-view camera system, and paddle shifters. All-wheel drive is standard. Options include adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warnings.

SEL S-AWC with Touring Package ($30,695) includes a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, heated rear seats and steering wheel, 710-watt Rockford Fosgate audio, land-departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.

Walkaround

Mitsubishi’s Eclipse Cross is refreshing from some angles, but has some unusual elements too. The racy roofline deserves praise, as does its big shield-like grille.

Interior

The Eclipse Cross cabin is small for its class, and interior trim is just average. The available dual-pane sunroof draws welcome light into the cabin, but cuts deeply into available head clearance. Despite three seatbelts in back, the Eclipse Cross is best used as a four-seater when carrying adults.

Front seats are accommodating enough. A power driver’s seat is standard only in the top trim level, and power operation for the front passenger doesn’t exist. That seat doesn’t raise or lower, either. Long-legged drivers might have trouble with limitations of the telescopic steering column, but those with average body types probably won’t notice.

The back seat can slide fore/aft by up to 8 inches, and the seatbacks recline for better long-distance comfort.

Behind the rear seats, pushed all the way back, cargo space totals 22 cubic feet, expanding to 48 cubic feet with rear seatbacks folded. The cargo floor is raised by four inches.

Driving Impressions

Performance is leisurely in the 2019 Eclipse Cross. Acceleration to 60 mph can take close to 10 seconds.

The Eclipse Cross rides confidently and feels firmly planted, taking corners without much body lean. Even with tall 18-inch wheels, it copes effectively over uneven pavement. Steering is a high pointΓÇöit builds weight properly, and feedback from the road is better than most.

Outward vision is limited. Blind-spot monitors, standard on SE and SEL versions, come in handy.

Fuel economy is about average. With all-wheel drive, the Eclipse Cross is EPA-rated at 25/26 mpg City/Highway, 25 Combined. Front-wheel drive raises the estimate slightly, to 25/28/26 mpg. The ES trim level, lighter in weight, is slightly thriftier.

Summary

Considered against its comparably-priced rivals, the 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross does best when it’s considered against less expensive rivals. It has good handling and good crash-test scores, and base models are well-equipped, but active-safety features cost extra even on top trim levels.

 

Driving impressions by The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.

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