2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

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2019
The Car Connection
2019
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
September 2, 2019

Buying tip

Start shopping here with the Eclipse Cross SE, as it now includes standard active safety features that you’ll definitely want.

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has adventurous style, but its running gear’s strictly ordinary.

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is a familiar name on a new crossover SUV. “New” and “improved” are not necessarily synonymous. The 2020 Eclipse Cross earns 4.6 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

For 2020, the Eclipse Cross gets a new SP trim that adds carbon-effect accents and slots between the base LE and mid-tier SE trims. A panoramic sunroof and roof rails have also been added as an option to the SE trim, and active safety features have been made standard on the SE and up.

With sharp looks, the Eclipse Cross is immediately appealing from a distance, but closer inspection tells a different tale. It’s undoubtedly handsome, but some of the details and trim pieces that adorn the exterior are not up to snuff. The interior is a similar story, with questionable plastics and cheap-feeling cloth on base trims. A standard touchscreen infotainment system is nice but can be a pain to use.

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Despite its sporty looks and former sports-car name, the Eclipse Cross is not particularly athletic, with a 1.5-liter turbo-4 as standard with just 152 horsepower and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) as the only gearbox. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional, but the Eclipse Cross is not in a hurry to go anywhere fast, nor is it very quiet inside or a deft handler. At around 26 mpg combined on average, the Eclipse Cross isn’t notably efficient either.

Starting at nearly $24,000, the Eclipse Cross is decently equipped, with Bluetooth, automatic climate control, touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a good 5-year/60,000-mile warranty, but better (and more satisfying) deals exist if you know where to look.

Thankfully, active safety features like automatic emergency braking and automatic high beam headlights are now available on the SE trim and up, but still absent on the base LE. Those safety scores that do exist are promising, though, as the Eclipse Cross earned a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS in 2019.

4

2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Styling

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross makes a visual statement, but doesn’t follow through with a coherent look.

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is a sharp-looking SUV, but suffers at the detail level. We give it 4 out of 10 for its overall design. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Mitsubishi has adopted a signature front end that’s unique, like Lexus or Nissan, it’s starting to grow on us. The Eclipse Cross wears its sheet metal well, but it’s in the details that things get questionable. The chrome trim adorning the front and rear is passable at best, and while the face is attractive, the tail is a bit of a mess with its split rear window and full width taillight design.

It seems most of the design budget was spent outside, because the interior looks like it’s from a much older SUV. No design element is particularly inspired or original, and the more basic materials are not well-hidden or in short supply.

A panoramic sunroof does brighten up the otherwise dark experience but eats into already limited headroom for taller passengers.

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2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Performance

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross sports a decent platform but an unimpressive powertrain.

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross offers a popular powertrain setup that lacks the execution of rivals. We give it 4 out of 10 for its anemic engine and transmission. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The only powertrain available in the Eclipse Cross is a 1.5-liter turbo-4 that makes 152 horsepower and is mated to a CVT and front- or optional all-wheel drive. That’s par for the course for small crossovers, but the lack of power and indecisive CVT make the Eclipse Cross slower than competitors by a decent margin.  A lack of power generally comes with a gain in fuel economy these days, but that’s not the case here either.

The lone bright spot of the Eclipse Cross’s driving experience is the steering feel and confident ride, but excessive road noise and that trademark CVT droning were present at highway speeds, and braking sensitivity was on the high side of comfortable.

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4

2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Comfort & Quality

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross isn’t as spacious or comfortable as even some smaller crossovers.

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has plenty of exterior style, but cuts corners on comfort and quality. We give it 4 out of 10 here. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Wedges are great for leverage (or style), but not so much for comfort. The Eclipse Cross is testament to this, with a sharp exterior that’s not so impressive inside. Front seats are supportive enough but not well-bolstered for lateral support, and both buckets are manually adjustable, with power only available on the top trim and only for the driver’s seat.

The rear seat is best for two adults – or even better, kids – and while it has the ability to slide forward and aft and recline, headroom is limited, and legroom is average. Behind the rear bench, there’s 22 cubic feet of cargo room, but the load floor is 4 inches higher than the passenger seat floor, creating an odd space when the seats are pushed forward. With the rear bench flat, cargo space improves to 48 cubic feet, but some smaller crossovers like the Honda HR-V offer more space inside.

Material quality is another gripe of ours, for while competitors use soft-touch materials and other finer trim to hide cost-cutting, Mitsubishi seems to wear cheap plastics and cloth as a badge of pride. Leather and other trim on hi

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2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Safety

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross includes standard safety gear on an additional trim this year but lacks complete safety scores.

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross lacks complete safety data, so we’re unable to give it a score in this category. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

However, what safety data does exist is encouraging, and active technologies have been added to more trims for 2020.

This year, the Eclipse Cross gets automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warnings, and automatic high beam headlights as standard on the SE trim as well as the top-tier SEL. That still leaves two trims without it, but it’s better than premium-only.

While no 2020 data is available – and the NHTSA has never crash-tested the Eclipse Cross—the 2019 model did earn a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS, so we imagine the expanded active technology won’t hurt ratings. Headlights were rated only “Acceptable” and “Poor” for both the standard and upgraded versions.

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2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Features

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross isn’t well-equipped or cheap enough to stand out over competitors.

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has a strong warranty and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, but lacks much more in the way of content. We give it 6 out of 10 for features. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

At around $23,000 to start, the Eclipse Cross ES is a value-oriented model, with few creature comforts beyond a 7.0-inch touchscreen, one USB port, and Bluetooth.

The LE model adds 18-inch wheels as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, heated front seats, voice recognition, and multiple front USB ports as well as some black trim pieces inside and out.

A new SP – or Special Edition – trim joins the lineup and adds sporty styling cues like carbon-style grille and mirror accents, a bigger spoiler, and unique badging.

The mid-tier SE now includes the aforementioned active safety features, and the option for a panoramic sunroof, as well as leather seats and steering wheel, chrome styling, automatic climate control, keyless entry, and keyless ignition.

Top-tier SEL models add paddle shifters, LED headlights, power adjustability for the driver’s seat, and a head-up display and multi-view camera system.

Front-wheel drive is standard across the range, while all-wheel drive can be had on any model. The Eclipse Cross ranges from as low as $23,000 to over $30,000, but with more space, power, features, and better quality, many rivals make more sense for the money.

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2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Fuel Economy

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is only average in terms of efficiency despite its small engine and lack of power.

Though down on power, the 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross isn’t efficient enough to make up for the difference. We give it 5 out of 10 here. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

For 2020, the EPA rates the base front-wheel-drive Eclipse Cross at 26 mpg city, 29 highway, 27 combined. Compared to rivals that offer more power and better fuel economy from similar powertrains, that’s just average in our eyes.

All-wheel drive drops those numbers each by one to 25/28/26 mpg, and while it does have turbo power, only regular gasoline is required.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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4.3
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 4
Performance 4
Comfort & Quality 4
Safety N/A
Features N/A
Fuel Economy 5
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