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Auto review: Eclipsed by its superior
competitors, this 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse
Cross proves substandard
By Larry Printz
Tribune news service

If you remember big hair, Duran Duran
and Members Only jackets, odds are you
remember Japanese sports coupes. With
eye-catching styling, decent athleticism,
sprightly performance, good fuel economy,
and front-wheel drive, the Celica, Prelude,
Pulsar, and Impulse supplanted such hallowed
Detroit names as Monte Carlo, Grand Prix,
Thunderbird, and Cougar in young car buyers’
hearts.
And one the longest lasting names was the
Mitsubishi Eclipse, sold stateside from 1989
through 2011, and always fairly popular,
something that couldn’t be said of most
Mitsubishis. The company, best known for
its room air conditioners, has struggled for
visibility in the U.S. market for decades. If
you need to get a sense of the company’s
desperation in being of any consequence,
consider the name of its newest compact
crossover SUV: the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
But don’t let the Eclipse name fool you;
this five-door crossover is far from sporty,
desirable or even good looking. While you
might find its samurai sword chrome grille
accents oddly appealing, its weirdly creased
rear hatch impedes rear visibility and reminds
many observers of the late, unlamented
Pontiac Aztek. In an effort to stand apart, it
tries too hard _ like Simon LeBon trying to look
or sound vaguely youthful.
Hey, at least the Eclipse Cross is easy to find
in a parking lot.

But maybe you like the looks, and
you’re impressed that its price starts at
a reasonable $23,595 and comes with a
five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, a
10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty,
and standard all-wheel drive on all trim levels
except for that inexpensive base model.
But don’t let the bargain price fool you. The
disenchantment starts the minute you climb
inside. You’d be hard-pressed to find a worse
new car odor than the stomach-churning
aroma that greets you in a new Mitsubishi.
Consider it a pungent caveat of what’s to
come, and it starts with its technology.
For a company that manufactures a
vehicle meant to attract younger buyers, it’s
astounding that the Eclipse Cross has one of
the worst infotainment systems offered in a
new car. Unintuitive, slow and poorly designed,
its interface is operated via touchscreen and/
or a touchpad on the center console. There
are no knobs or shortcut buttons. There’s
no navigation system. And it infuriating fails
to automatically connect with your smart
phone every time you start the car. You can
mitigate this somewhat by opting for the more
expensive SE or SEL trims, since they offer
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Connectivity.
And while there are USB ports, wireless
charging is not offered.
More importantly, you won’t find the Eclipse
Cross particularly satisfying to drive. It’s not
awful, just remarkably unremarkably inept.
Power comes courtesy of a turbocharged

1.5-liter four-cylinder mated to a continuously
variable automatic transmission that’s tuned
more for fuel economy than performance.
Even so, this driveline proved inadequate for
both. Power and acceleration are adequate
around town, but severely lacking for highway
merging or at higher speeds. What power
is available is strangled by a parsimonious
transmission that hesitates before offering up
more juice.

features _ automatic emergency braking,
forward collision mitigation, lane departure
warning, and adaptive cruise control _ are only
available in the $2,500 Touring Package on the
$30,695 model. Even if you were to consider
popping more than 30 big ones, why would
you spend so much money on this rig?
Given its many competitors, all of whom
outclass it, there’s little to recommend the
2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, ensuring
the company’s continued anonymity in the
The mediocre power only exacerbates this
American market.
vehicle’s lousy suspension tuning. Neither
comfortable nor sporty, the Eclipse Cross easily Stats
loses its composure, with cornering that brings Base prices: $23,595-$30,695
out more lean than your local congressman.
Engine: Turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder
Leaning dramatically in corners, it easily loses
Horsepower: 152
grip over bumps, which retards performance
Torque: 184 pound-feet
as the driveline nannies kick in. Engine noise
is minimal, although road noise is excessive
EPA fuel economy (city/highway): 25/26
crossing anything except pristine blacktop.
Wheelbase: 105.1 inches
Your safety shouldn’t come at a price _ but
Length: 173.4 inches
it does with the Eclipse Cross. For example,
Cargo capacity: 22.6-48.9 cubic feet
blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic
Towing capacity: 1,500 pounds
alert are available only on the top two trim
levels while the most advanced safety
Curb weight: 3,483 pounds

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