By Patrick James on 2018-06-10 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Cross 4 1.5
MITSUBISHI is rightly renowned for its rugged off roaders like the Shogun and the L200 pick-up series.
In recent years the Japanese firm has joined just about every other manufacturer on the SUV/Crossover bandwagon.
There is the excellent Outlander and its plug-in hybrid variant which has proved a runaway success, and the smaller ASX.
Last year, the visually imposing Eclipse Cross, the first of a new generation of Mitsubishis says the firm, has joined the stable, sitting between the other two.
The mid-sized SUV sector is a crowded market with plenty of excellent competition out there, so it needs to be good.
It comes in both two and four wheel drive and four levels of trim, all well specified and with a feisty 1.5 litre petrol engine on this model
The firm says its new range are capable and desirable thanks to their sharp designs, engaging driving characteristics, advanced technologies, enhanced safety features and more inviting interiors.
It's hard to argue with any of these assertions, the sharp, swooping lines give it the look of a coupe, a higher off the ground then usual coupe admittedly, but making it more aerodynamic. Add to this distinctive LED lighting to front and rear, integrated roof rails and distinctive alloys, it certainly catches the eye.
The only drawback for me is the full width spoiler, which splits the rear screen and houses the rear lights clusters. The LED lights do look good, but at the cost of an impaired the rear view.
This however, is partially mitigated by the excellent 360-degree parking camera with overhead view and parking sensors.
The interior is not quite as eyecatching, but still a pleasant environment with a mixtures of soft touch and harder plastics and robust equipment.
The centrepiece is the touchscreen infotainment system which features Smartphone-Link Display Audio connectivity for Apple and Android and other major functions.
Even the entry level model boasts high levels of equipment, including the camera, smartphone link, the touchpad controller on the central console and automatic high beam.
This model adds a whole host of bells and whistles, including heads-up display, rain sensing wipers, heated leather seats, double electric sunroof and premium sound system.
Bewilderingly, on a car this lavishly equipped, there is no satellite navigation option.
Its roomy enough for the front passengers, with the coupe styling making headroom a little less comfortable at the back.
Apart from the spoiler all round visions is good.
For practicality, the rear seats can slide, be reclined and folded. The boot space of 448 litres expanded dramatically with the seats down.
The 1.5 litre engine has plenty of zip, hitting 60mph in around 10 seconds, but still delivering decent economy of a claimed 42.8mpg.
It is also a refined unit, mated in this case to a slick six-speed box. Wind and engine noise is muted with road noise intrusive on only the worst surfaces. It cruises effortlessly on the motorway.
For the style of car it is pretty stable, with little evidence of roll on corners and good grip on corners..
The Eclipse has an impressive array of safety kit, with advanced stability system, full set of airbags, collision warning system, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot warning.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 4 1.5
Mechanical: 163bhp, 1,499cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 127mph
0-62mph: 10.3 seconds
Combined MPG: 42.8
Insurance Group: 13
C02 emissions: 151g/km
Bik rating: 31%
Warranty: 5yrs/62,500 miles
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