The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross competes in one of the most hotly contested car segments in Canada. Or does it compete?
The question is harsh but it is fair. Fewer than 3,600 Canadians brought a new 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross home last year. By contrast, just under 9,500 units were purchased in the US in the same period of time. Allow us to shine extra light on this.
In Canada, in 2018, 6,819 pointless Toyota CH-R were sold, 4,362 lovely Nissan Kicks were delivered and for fun, 10,954 of the niche Subaru Outback left dealer lots. No matter which way you slice it, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is under performing.
What’s the deal? Why is this? Let’s look into it a little deeper.
Things the 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross does well
It gets noticed, most of the time. This aspect can just as easily (it does) find its way in the latter section of this story so let’s not jump to conclusions.
All versions of the Eclipse Cross are equipped with Mitsubishi’s S-AWC (Super-All Wheel Control) all-wheel drive system. Moreover, it’s actually a more than decent reactive-type system that sends power to the rear when required.
The turbocharged 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine produces a generous dollop of torque, 182 lb.-ft. to be exact, as of 2,000 rpm.
Mitsubishi Canada continues to offer one of the longest most comprehensive warranties in the country with its basic 5 years or 100,000 km and 10-years or 160,000 km powertrain coverage.
At $28,448, the base Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross ES S-AWC includes AWD, 18-inch wheels, fog lights, and up to 2,000 lbs of towing capacity.
Things the 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross doesn’t do so well
We could go on and on about the name. The fact of the matter is that the few that actually bought an Eclipse Cross more than likely have no idea there was such a thing as an Eclipse 2-door sports car only a few years ago. Those that remember probably avoid Mitsubishi altogether anyhow.
This Eclipse Cross is ridiculously expensive. We get why Mitsubishi would want to give it this name – it was supposed to give the CUV some street-cred in order to justify the price. At $28,448, the base ES S-AWC is nearly $6,000 more expensive than the Toyota CH-R, over $3,500 more than an AWD Ford EcoSport, and only $850 less expensive than the Subaru Outback. If we were to start pricing out the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, the Mitsubishi would look even worse.
On the topic of styling, we know consumers seek out uniqueness and products that stand out. That’s why 55,000 bought a Honda CR-V and another 55,000 bought a Toyota RAV4 last year… Perhaps the idea of design for the sake of making the “boldest of statements” is not the right approach.
With the 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine, real-world fuel economy numbers are average to above average for the segment. If it makes you feel any better, they are on par with the brand’s touted Outlander PHEV.
What we tell our friends
Let’s explain why we say the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is under performing. Mitsubishi said a while back that this new SUV would successfully replace the compact Lancer sedan. With non-stop growth in all SUV segments, it seemed plausible enough.
The reality in Canada is this: 6,008 Lancers were sold in 2015, 6,575 in 2016 and 5,754 in 2017. At the very end of the Lancer’s life, 2,012 left dealer lots in 2018. In the same year, 3,596 Eclipse Cross were sold.
Now, we’re not saying the Eclipse Cross is a bad product. In fact, when driven, it truly feels ok – you’d actually find yourself wondering why all the snubbing? After crossing the street and test-driving a $30,690 2019 Toyota RAV4 LE AWD, the lights will go on.
With so many interesting options that meet and exceed the Eclipse Cross between $25,000 and less than $35,000, it’s no small wonder why they are not moving off dealer lots like Mitsubishi expected that it would.
It doesn’t really compete.