Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross fails to cast shadow

The compact crossover segment seems to grow by the day with all of the major automotive brands fielding a competitor in one of the most popular vehicle segments on the planet at the moment.

A couple of months back, Mitsubishi introduced the Eclipse Cross, and no, there’s nothing sporty about it, despite it wearing the famous Eclipse badge. Aside from the misleading badge, I found the Eclipse to be an agreeable product, but certainly not segment-leading. The range consists of two derivatives, a two-wheel drive version which I had on test and that retails for R399 995, and a four-wheel-drive which costs R449 995. This makes the Eclipse Cross very well priced within it segment and coupled with the brand’s reputation for reliability, should make it a pleasing ownership proposition. The styling likely contributed to the Eclipse now being the brand’s best-selling vehicle locally.

While certainly opinion splitting, I’m certain that nobody would accuse it of being bland. Its interior is far more restrained and resembles that of the ASX with which it shares many of its components, including an engine. Material quality and overall design is very much middle-of-the-road. Powering both Eclipse models is the familiar 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine with 110 kW and 198 N.m of torque. There is apparently a 1.5-litre turbo petrol available which will be introduced at a later stage, however, for now, the engine in combination with the CVT gearbox is simply not good enough when its competition is considered.

It’s in the equipment department where the Eclipse comes good, with standard items such as 18-inch wheels, roof rails, automatic wipers/windscreen/mirrors, a head-up display, leather seats, a multi-function steering wheel, cruise control and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple Car Play to name but a few. Overall, the Eclipse Cross isn’t rewriting the crossover rule book, but that might not be a bad thing. For those looking for a value-filled proposition that is likely to last as long as you need it to, the Eclipse Cross is respectable option.

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