Price: from £21,275

It’s a sign of the times that Mitsubishi has launched its newest crossover with a petrol engine. Just 18 months ago this would have been commercial suicide. But such has been the dramatic fall from grace of diesel technology, Mitsubishi feels confident enough to launch with a petrol-only variant and follow up with diesel at some point in the future.

The Eclipse Cross hits the road with Mitsubishi’s latest petrol engine – a 1.5-litre four cylinder lean burn unit which promises the best of all worlds: Diesel levels of economy combined with a petrol engines inherent smoothness and extra refinement.

Volkswagen has already gone down this road with its new range of small capacity turbocharged petrols which go a long way to matching the makers’ claims. If the new Mitsubishi crossover can reach the same levels of performance and economy it should be a hit with UK buyers seeking a genuine alternative to a diesel.

So does the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross deserve its place in the Sun?


The Eclipse Cross is interesting in another way, too. It’s the last all-Mitsubishi design before the company is absorbed into the Nissan–Renault alliance. This is all Mitsubishi’s own work.

Of course, Mitsubishi has form in the 4x4 sector. The Shogun has been showing competition the way on the Paris-Dakar rally for the best part of four decades, and more recently the Outlander plug-in hybrid was, for a time, the most popular hybrid vehicle on sale in the UK.

So Mitsubishi knows how to engineer a decent off-road vehicle.

It also knows how to make a vehicle that steers and handles very well – just look at the Mitsubishi Evo and its groaning trophy cabinet of WRC wins.

But this crossover is a different kind of vehicle. it’s not a rugged off-roader and it’s not a rally special. It’s a competitor for the myriad of other pseudo 4x4s currently on sale in the UK market. That means it has to be equally adept at the school run, trips to the supermarket, taking a holiday and the very occasional trip across a muddy field.

When you’ve driven a diesel for a long time it usually takes a few days to get used to a petrol engine. Petrols need more revs to pull away and are easier to stall.

I’ve never had a problem but.getting the amount of revs vs clutch slip right in the Eclipse Cross is a real juggling act. Too little and the car bogs down, or even stalls; too much, and you exit a junction sounding like an F1 racer.

The problem seems to be a dip in the torque curve just off idle which requires a bit of clutch slip to drive around.

This behaviour isn’t helped by a ponderous gear change with a tendency to baulk from first to second if you try to hurry it.

On occasions the engine also felt as though it was surging on a constant throttle opening.

Granted, this could have been a problem specific to the test car. Decades of testing experience tells me that Mitsubishi powertrains are usually as smooth as butter but other reviews mention the same thing.

When you’re on the move, though, the Eclipse Cross is fine: far quieter and much more refined than a diesel.

Although the springs are not as firm as the Seat Ateca, the Eclipse Cross still struggles with deep potholes which send shudders through the cabin. The upside to this comes on a twisty road when the Eclipse Cross acquits itself well.

ON THE INSIDE: The Eclipse Cross is based on the Outlander platform so there’s plenty of room in the smart cabin.

And it is smart. Mitsubishis used to major on practicality at the expense of trim quality but not here. The dashboard looks clear and contemporary and the colour LCD screen that sprouts up out of it benefits from crisp high-resolution graphics..

Compared to the ASX, Mitsubishi’s other midi-sized crossover in this sector, the Eclipse Cross has taken a big step forward in materials quality. In fact, there is a distinct whiff of Lexus about this interior and that’s a comparison Mitsubishi will be very happy to own.


The infotainment set-up promises full smartphone integration but my iPhone crashed the system every drive. Usually it rebooted and carried on where it left off without the need to re-pair the handset, but the glitching was irritating nonetheless.

Dolby Atmos surround sound is a useful - and unusual - addition to the system’s digital signal processing armoury. Music sounds terrific with clear highs and a deep bass line.

The head-up display is handy, particularly in town, and cruise control is useful as a way of relieving your right foot on monotonous motorways.


Yes those impressive looking curves do have an impact on the Mitsubishi’s overall practicality, but I suspect most owners will consider that a compromise they are prepared to make.

Everyone enjoys elevated seats and an excellent view out, the controls are very well-placed and the driving position is comfortable. The seats have good back support and excellent cushioning.

The rears can slide backwards and forwards depending on your requirements. However, if the seats are configured for maximum rear passenger legroom, the boot capacity is limited to just 341-litres. This can be boosted to 448-litres with the seats slid fully forwards. That’s good but some way short of the class-leading Peugeot 3008 which manages to accommodate 520-litres of luggage in its boot.


The Eclipse Cross returned an average of 42 mpg on mostly long journeys. Around town the fuel consumption was 34 mpg. Ten years ago those would have been figures to be proud of but the small turbocharged engines fielded by Peugeot, VW and Ford have moved the game on and now the Mitsubishi is merely adequate. High miles drivers should wait for the 2.2 diesel or hope a plug-in hybrid is on the cards.


The Eclipse Cross is something of a curate’s egg. It looks good, has a nice interior and comfortable seats, and you can buy one with four-wheel drive. But its low-speed histrionics take some getting used to in stop-start traffic.. In a class packed with alternatives Mitsubishi’s latest is the left field choice.


Engine: 1.5-litre petrol

Power: 163 bhp

Torque: 250 Nm

Top speed:127 mph

0-62mph:10.3 seconds

Fuel cons: 42 mpg on test