The base price for the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is $28,598 in Canada, $23,395 in the US.
The Eclipse Cross was introduced for the 2018 model year. 2022 marks its mid-cycle refresh.
The Eclipse Cross sits between established small SUV sizes which seems to confuse buyers.
The 2010s was a transformative decade for Mitsubishi. In this period, the Japanese automaker partnered with Nissan which then turned into the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. It was also in this decade that cars were all but completely illiminated from Mitsubishi’s product portfolio. But all was good as they had a plan and part of it was the Eclipse Cross.
Once known for its sporty cars, Mitsubishi became a brand focused on SUVs, which is why reviving the Eclipse name after a few years made sense. Unfortunately, the Eclipse Cross has not managed to rekindle or recapture the enthusiasts Mitsubishi left behind in the 2010s. What’s more, its stablemates, the RVR (Outlander Sport in the US), and Outlander have managed to cast a huge shadow on the Eclipse for their affordability or capabilities and advanced powertrain technologies.
Retuned chassis, same powertrain
This was my first encounter with the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (ever, kind of embarrassing for me…) and initial impressions were quite good. I am speaking, of course of the driving experience. The new for 2022 retuned suspension provided better than decent surefootedness as well as comfort – A tough trick to pull.
Despite its “stiffness”, the Eclipse Cross’ new retuned dampers and springs deliver a smooth ride. Mitsubishi has wisely avoided the temptation to increase wheel sizes in upper trims safeguarding comfort. There’s also a weight to the drive that gives the impression that the small SUV is solid. Furthermore, the electric power steering responds positively to all inputs and the level of assistance is spot on. Braking power is equally good.
In the powertrain department, the turbocharged 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine returns unchanged. It produces 152 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 184 lb.-ft. of torque between 2,000 and 3,500 rpm. The only reason why engine speeds are noted is to visually illustrate that the powerband is spliced with a noticeable drop in power in the 4,000s.
Off the line, and despite the presence of the standard Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the Eclipse Cross is quick on its toes, partially aided by the clever S-AWC AWD system. It is under passing manoeuvres that the engine’s power lull becomes apparent and the CVT’s eight programmed “gears” unfortunately do not help. Included are S-AWC drive modes, namely Normal, Snow, and Gravel. The latter mode feels like a leftover function from past Ralliart models. A Sport mode would be more appropriate. Perhaps the Eclipse Cross Ralliart will feature one…
Styling, space, and interior upgrades
The Eclipse Cross finds itself between two stools in the sense that Mitsubishi promotes the SUV’s “dynamic sophistication” while it’s not quite sporty, but I will admit that it’s more refined than expected.
Visually though, the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is anything but subtle. For 2022, Mitsubishi’s taken its dynamic shield design language to the next level with the new twin-oval-shaped headlamps which are now housed where the fog lamps previously were. To say this setup is bold is nearly an understatement. Let’s use Mitsubishi’s own words when it comes to this new face: “Beautifully unconventional.” The rear-end updates are far more tasteful with the new contoured taillights and larger window.
Another important change for 2022 involves the fact the Eclipse Cross is now 140 mm longer than previous, especially in the rear. This is where 105 mm were added to increase interior space. And on that subject, the SUV is surprisingly spacious for passengers. There is one caveat however and that’s that average-height adult will need to duck when entering the second row – the rear “C” pilar cutline and rearward sloping roof treacherously combine to narrow the door’s opening.
The increased dimensions position the Eclipse Cross between the Honda HR-V and the CR-V. Overall, the Mitsubishi is longer than the HR-V and marginally shorter than the CR-V. The Eclipse Cross’ wheelbase is 10 mm longer than the CR-V’s which explains the generous amount of passenger room. As far as boot space is concerned, it’s on par with the HR-V at about 660 litres, which is an 18% increase over the 2020 model. This once more puts the Eclipse Cross between the stools.
For 2022, the cabin also gets a number of upgrades. In Canada, the previously standard 7-inch touchscreen display is replaced by an 8-inch unit with included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A new head-up display joins the SEL and GT trims. It is useful to show traveling speed as it cannot be digitally displayed in the instrument panel. The center console is now wider for a more robust and premium look. Seats are revised as well, offering more support and comfort, and they do.
One of the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross’s main advantages is the built-in value. At $28598, the ES S-AWC lacks nothing important. The volume-leading SE S-AWC, at $31,218, is the smartest version. The tested GT S-AWC is still a relative bargain at $36,998 given its generous level of content including navigation, leather, power panoramic sunroof, and more.
Within Mitsubishi, the Eclipse Cross trails the Outlander and RVR (Outlander Sport) by a considerable margin– this resembles the tale of the two Hondas where the small SUV’s in-between standing hurts its potential.
Because potential the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has however it’s not worth the detour especially when parked alongside the only marginally pricier all-new 2022 Outlander.