Total Eclipse of the

ordinary crossover

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 4, front
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 4, front
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 4, side
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 4, rear
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 4, rear
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 4, interior

CROSSOVESRS are so common these days they qualify for their own collective noun.

A pestilence of crossovers would fit with council departments attached to the rat man service which will rid you of an infestation in your locality at £40 a pop.

The problem is that so many are simply style over substance - a mill town Doris out for Saturday night, all fur coat and no sturdy fundamentals.

Others from the likes of JLR and Subaru will do a first rate job in the woods and wetlands.

Bringing us to the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.

Anyone smitten with a Mitsubishi off-roader - and I've run one for almost ten years - knows that this is not a make familiar with a gentle handshake greeting but more likely to sling you into the nearest ditch. No snowflake cars these.

The other end of the stick has long been a purely functional interior, a wipe clean granite worktop for trim and finish.

But they are unbreakable, albeit older models with the thirst of a sailor on Singapore shore leave.

So the Eclipse Cross comes as a pleasing improvement.

Mitsubishi changed beyond recognition when the Outlander SUV arrived on the scene, something which brought with it such success that Nissan chose to make the company its third partner in its manufacturing alliance with Renault.

The Eclipse Cross comes in both two and four wheel drive and this is the model designated four, it is second to top of the range but if you want 4x4 you will need to order the automatic. This 1.5 six-sped petrol manual comes with only two-wheel-drive (2WD) at a cost of £24,990 which is a handy price for a quality and stylish item.

It is not fast, 10.3 seconds will pass before you hit 62mph but has plenty to recommend it against the slightly shorter Qashqai and SEAT Ateca, not least consumption of over 40mpg and an excellent ride and handling.

What is unusual is Mitsubishi's expectation that most sales will come from the four-wheel-drive (4WD) version whereas the norm in crossovers is to take on the looks of a small off-roader without actually buying into the ability on rough stuff.

If that is your thing than 400mm of wading depth and 183mm of ground clearance are linked to an intelligent all-wheel drive system which, given the marques reputation in the field, should be a capable beast.

Right, climb aboard and forget what you have seen in the recent past.

The Eclipse4 spec comes with a leathered interior which is not exactly inspiring but mature and comfortable. This is a much more polished cabin than those that have gone before in the Mitsubishi range.

There is a seven-inch touchscreen system mounted on the dash and a control pad aft of the gearstick. This houses the electricals including sat nav, audio and phone links.

Generally speaking equipment levels match the price both where safety and running gear are concerned as well as toys like Andriod and Apple CarPlay.

Boot space is fine but while the front two have loads of room head space in the rear is a bit restricted for tallsters. That boot has 448-litres of capacity, the floor sits quite high but there is a useful cubby beneath it.

As mentioned earlier there will be no drag racing with this car but the turbocharged engine has plenty of pull and never seems out of breath. Towing should be no problem.

Ride is cultured and the Eclipse is smooth over long distances.

Should it be on your shopping list? Yes if you want an on-trend crossover with more substance than the average offering, not least because depreciation is likely to be better than average. It is far from a common or garden crossover.

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