Mitsubishi’s latest offering, the Eclipse Cross, is pitched as the model that bridges the gap between the Mitsubishi ASX and Outlander. And while this may be the case in terms of pricing, it has a lot in common with the ASX when it comes to size and practicality.
The ASX is Australia’s most popular small SUV mainly due to its sharp pricing, which starts from $25,500 for the LS manual. Add a CVT auto and the price jumps to $27,000, which is still $3500 less than the entry-level Eclipse Cross LS that comes with CVT as standard.
So what does paying extra for Eclipse Cross LS get you over the ASX LS, considering both cars have the same 1810mm width and 2670mm wheelbase?
The Eclipse Cross is powered by a new 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that produces the same power as the ASX’s naturally aspirated 2.0-litre engine, but considerably more torque. Similar to the ASX, the cheapest version is front-wheel drive, and fuel use is about the same between the two – 7.3L/100km compared with the ASX’s 7.4L/100km.
Its 341-litre boot space can be extended to 448 litres via rear seats that can recline and slide forward, while the ASX holds 393 litres. And if you need a trailer to carry more, the Eclipse Cross will tow up to 1600kg, compared with the ASX’s 1300kg – each has a maximum unbraked towing capacity of 750kg.
Looking inside, the Eclipse Cross has attractive new-generation styling that should give it an edge over the ageing ASX in the showroom.
Each model features a 7.0-inch infotainment screen, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, digital radio and reversing camera, with the newer car gaining satellite navigation and a touchpad controller on the centre console.
Other standard features unique to the Eclipse Cross LS include:
- Paddle shifters
- Electric park brake
- Keyless entry and start
- Forward collision mitigation
- Lane departure warning
- Automatic highbeam
- Dusk-sensing headlights
- Front parking sensors
- Rain-sensing windscreen wipers
- Six-speaker sound system (ASX LS has four speakers)
It will be interesting to see how the Eclipse Cross affects ASX sales. While it doesn’t offer that much more in terms of practicality it promises superior performance and more features in an all-new package. And if that isn’t enough to sway budget-conscience ASX buyers, then maybe a cheaper Eclipse Cross ES variant, due later in 2018, will.