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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Facelift Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross drives out of the shadows

Heavily panned Pontiac Atzek inspired rear facia has been toned down and now mirrors that of the Xpander.

Having released the first and now only teaser image last month, Mitsubishi has taken the wraps off of the radically updated Eclipse Cross key markets will be receiving from next month.

Going on sale in Australia and New Zealand first with others following next year, the Cross now adopts Mitsubishi’s latest Dynamic Shield front facia, which has been completely redesigned to include not only a new grille and bumper, but also a dual headlight design with new slim LEDs being offset by the main bulbs located underneath in a new pod.

Just as big is the rear that does away with the often Pontiac Aztek compared look in favour of an appearance derived from the Xpander. This includes new vertical L-shaped light clusters, a new tailgate Mitsubishi claims draws inspiration from the spare tyre mounted setup used on the Pajero and a more slanted window.

Inside, a black interior with silver detailing as well as grey leather seats are standard, in addition to a new freestanding eight-inch infotainment system now controlled by knobs and/or the screen itself as opposed to the much criticised, now dropped, touchpad controller.

Aside from the makeover, the Eclipse Cross introduces the previously promised plug-in hybrid drivetrain taken out of the smash-hit Outlander PHEV. Although final specification was not divulged, the setup comprises a 2.4-litre petrol engine teamed with two electric motors as well as a single-speed transmission.

Serving as the replacement powerunit for the 2.2 DI-D turbodiesel engine, the PHEV joins the existing 110kW/250Nm turbocharged 1.5-litre and 110kW/197Nm normally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol offerings, with additional changes underneath the skin being new front springs, enlarged rear shock absorbers and a retuned multi-link rear suspension.

As indicated, the Eclipse Cross is scheduled to arrive, outside of Australasia, next year but for the local market, expect it to be an all petrol engine affair once again as the PHEV is unlikely to be offered.

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