I was genuinely curious about the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. So I took one on a road trip. It’s clearly not the spiritual successor to the rad Eclipse from the 90s, but it’s a useful small SUV with quirky styling. Is it any good?
(Full disclosure: Mitsubishi wanted me to drive the Eclipse Cross so bad they apparently tracked down the only one in the Los Angeles area and dropped it off in my driveway.)
You are certainly not alone if you’re not familiar with this car. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has been out since the 2018 model year and this right here is only the second one I’ve ever seen.
If you’re an enthusiast lamenting the loss of the original Eclipse, I feel your pain. If you’re an enthusiast lamenting the glut of indistinguishable CUVs and crossovers filling up the streets, I also feel your pain. But this is the sad new reality—compact SUVs sell, and Mitsubishi’s survival in the United States depends on them.
The Eclipse Cross is unique in that it’s kind of an in-betweener—it’s bigger than a subcompact SUV like the Honda HR-V, but smaller than the compact Honda CR-V.
The word unique can also be used to describe the styling, especially the rear. The two window design is reminiscent of the Honda Crosstour or Pontiac Aztek. Yes, it’s quite awkward, but possibly a smart choice to design something a bit off-the-wall, setting it apart from all the other cookie-cutter CUVs crowding our thoroughfares.
This vehicle doesn’t lead the pack in any category—gas mileage is below average, cargo space is below average, acceleration is average. And it certainly has zero of the DNA that made the original Eclipse enjoyable. Try to avoid curvy back roads in the Eclipse Cross if at all possible.
Even though it doesn’t stand out in any one category, it has quite a few endearing qualities. In a world full of samey-same CUVs, I like that this thing is a bit weird. Mitsubishi’s “Super All Wheel Control” system is very good. The Rockford-Fosgate sound system sounds great. The front seats are quite comfortable on a long trip. The adaptive cruise control system works better than the Kias and Toyotas that I’ve recently tested.
Will the Eclipse Cross make a dent in the market? I have my doubts, but I hope it does well for them. I want Mitsubishi to succeed in the U.S. so they can start selling things like the JDM Delica van over here! Yeah, I know. Never gonna happen, but one can dream.
With each press loaner that I receive, I endeavor to use the opportunity to see how it fares on a road trip—and that’s just what I did with this crossover. If you have a few minutes to spare, check out the video below where I conduct an in-depth review of this little CUV, and then drive it to the Museum of Pinball in Banning, California. Home to over 1,100 vintage and modern pinball machines and arcade games, the museum is billed as the largest pinball arcade in the world!
What do you think about the styling of the Eclipse Cross? What do you think about the current state of Mitsubishi? Did you know there is a Ted Nugent pinball game?
And yes, if you have a chance, you must visit the Museum of Pinball. It’s only open a few days out of the year, but totally worth the trek!