2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Review

2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse - Mitsubishi brings back Eclipse as small sport utility vehicle

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New from Mitsubishi in 2018  for the United States market was the Eclipse Cross. It returned this year relatively unchanged. It remains  a peppy and adequate option if in the market for a compact sport utility vehicle.

Prices range roughly from $23,500 to $30,000. The five models (ES, LE, SP, SE, SEL) share a 1.5-liter, turbocharged inline 161-horsepower four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission with an eight-step sport mode. All-wheel-drive is standard across the  lineup.

Do not confuse the Cross with the Eclipse, a compact sport coupe that Mitsubishi sold from 1990-2012.

The models come with a rear view camera, Bluetooth, automatic climate control, LED daytime running lights, taillights and high-mount stop light, plus a decent array of niceties. Those include a 360-degree parking camera, a seven-inch infotainment screen and heated front seats. The  heated exterior mirrors not only operate but also fold by power. This power folding feature comes in handy when entry to a garage is tight.

The multi-view camera system, which gives views from front, rear and sides, is reflected onto the touchscreen.

Interior materials are top-notch, such as a diagonal sport motif for the front and rear cloth seats in a recently tested $26,695 SE model.

Smartphone users will appreciate the simplicity and ease of Mitsubishi's system. Music, maps or phone calls can be made by touchscreen or voice. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Navigation is provided on the automaker's system.

Emergency assistance through an SOS button in the overhead console results in an immediate response from a customer care advisor. Services can be reached through the Mitsubishi Connect app or using on-board buttons. The services include pre-warming or cooling the crossover, turning headlights on or off and locking or unlocking doors.

The seven-inch touchscreen could be larger but this is not a game changer. There were no USB ports in the rear seat of the tested SE and this could be a game changer. If shelling out almost $27,000 for a vehicle, at least one USB port in the rear seating area is expected. Another complaint is lack of tuning or volume knobs for the sound system. It makes for cumbersone use of the touchscreen when trying to reach a particular radio station on one of the three bands (AM, FM, satellite).

The SE included 18-inch alloy wheels and tires (temporary spare), roof spoiler, rain-sensing windshield wipers, side-view mirrors with turn indicators, rear window intermittent wiper/washer with defroster, rear privacy glass, extendable sun visors and lighted mirrors, power door locks and windows and  cargo-map-rear dome lights.

The disc brakes are uncommonly large for this type and size of vehicle. They are in excess of 11 inches and should get this relatively light vehicle to a stop from 60 miles per hour in a distance of 120 feet.

The rear seats not only slide but also recline. Nice. The cargo area expands from 22.6 to 48.9 cubic feet when the rear split seats are folded. They do not fold absolutely flat but incline at a 15-degree angle. The cargo area, which comes with a cover, is lighted and carpeted.

Standard safety features are antilock brakes, traction and stability controls, airbags front and on the sides (one, too, for driver's knee) and overhead for two rows. Other safety items are hill-start assist, blind spot warning, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, child restraint system and door locks and a tire pressure monitor. A forward collision mitigation system is optional on the Cross.

The Cross offers a nice ride although it could use more insulation to keep out exterior road noise.

The powertrain warranty is 10 years or 100,000 miles which the manufacturer claims is best in the automotive industry. Other manufacturers will dispute this. Warranties come in different guises and some, especially in the luxury class of vehicle, include free maintenance for several years and thousands of miles of travel.
FAST FACTS

Vehicle: all-wheel-drive SE model of 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Type: compact five-passenger, four-door sport utility vehicle

Price: $26,695

Delivery: $995

Engine: 1.5-liter, 161-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder

Transmission: continuously variable with eight-step sport mode

Fuel: regular unleaded

Fuel tank: 15.8 gallons

Weight: 3,516 pounds

Wheelbase, length, width, height, ground clearance in inches: 105.1, 173.4, 71.1, 60.6, 8.5

Leg room: 40.9 inches front, 35.3 inches rear

Cargo: 22.6 cubic feet behind upright rear seat, 48.9 cubic feet rear seat flat

Tires (P225), aluminum alloy wheels: 18-inch

Brakes: 11.6-inch ventilated discs front, 11.9-inch solid discs rear

Suspension: struts front, multi-link rear, stabilizer bars

Turning curb-to-curb: 34.8 feet

Assembly: Japan

Warranty: five years or 60,000 miles with roadside assistance, 10 years or 100,000 miles powertrain

Information: www.mitsubishicars.com



Jerry Kuyper

Born on a southwestern Minnesota farm, Jerrold E. Kuyper quickly became familiar with tractors, pickup trucks and related agricultural equipment. He left that behind to graduate from Augsburg College in Minneapolis and attend graduate schools in Evanston and Chicago. He was hired as a reporter for the Kenosha News, a daily newspaper in Kenosha, WI. After a stint of a dozen years at the Kenosha News, he became a columnist, layout, page and sections editor at the Northwest Herald, a daily newspaper based in Crystal Lake, IL serving northwest Chicago suburban communities.

While with the Northwest Herald he helped create, write reviews and opinion columns as well as edit the newspaper's Wheels section, a 16- to 40-page broadsheet that appeared weekly in the newspaper's Friday edition. Wheels was devoted to reviews of new vehicles, looks at automotive history, current trends in the automobile world and columns by automotive enthusiasts. Midwest Automotive Media Association members who contributed to reviews and columns included Mitch Frumkin, Phil Arendt, Matt Joseph and James Flammang as well as photo journalist Doug Begley and dragster specialist Fred Blumenthal.

Kuyper, who lives in Salem Lakes, WI, is a founding member of MAMA, is married, has three children and six grandchildren.