Review: 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Limited Edition S-AWC
Sports stylings takes nothing away from Eclipse Cross’s practicality and value.
When Mitsubishi launched the Eclipse Cross it was positioned as a fusion between coupe-like looks and an SUV, bringing the best of both worlds together at an affordable price-point for Canadians.
What impressed me when I was first shown the Eclipse Cross was how much was packed into the vehicle, from its simple but elegantly laid out interior that never felt cramped to its infotainment system with touchpad control and a nice array of driver assistance features. Simply, you got a lot of vehicle for reasonable price.
When I spoke with folks at Mitsubishi recently, the team said the Eclipse Cross has been selling well with Canadians and reported that sales increased some 42 per cent year-over-year in 2019.
So I was eager to see what the Eclipse Cross Limited Edition (LE) would bring to the table.
Now, I will admit, I am always wary of vehicle makers bringing out ‘sporty’ versions of popular vehicles. They often come across as ostentatious, adding features and stylings that add nothing to the vehicle; and in some cases take away from what made the vehicle appealing in the first place.
I can say that Mitsubishi avoided this trap as the Limited Edition does not deviate wildly from its other Eclipse Cross siblings, the ES S-AWC and SE S-AWC. And at a suggested MSRP of $31,298 you are with others in the Eclipse Cross family getting a lot of vehicle the price.
Let’s start with the enhancements. They are subtle. For example, with the Limited Edition instead of the chrome grill, you get a Piano Black grill that compliments the 18-inch black painted alloy wheels, black side-view mirrors and body colour door handles, black roof rails and gloss back side door garnish. The Limited Edition also comes with LED headlamps. Again, nothing ostentatious about these additions, but they make this Limited Edition stand out. As with its Eclipse Cross siblings, the Limited Edition comes with 640 litres of truck capacity. Not huge by most standards, and probably fine for a small family.
The Limited edition also comes in Pearl White, Titanium Grey and Tarmac Black. I got to drive the Red Diamond edition which my son thought was ‘really cool’.
The subtlety of the exterior sports stylings is carried inside as well, with the fabric seats having silver/grey highlighting, simulated carbon-fibre accents along the door controls for both the passenger and driver sides and aluminum pedals and black headliner and roof pillars. Yes, there is still a lot of plastic in the interior, but that hardly bothered me. This is a practical everyday vehicle for work and play, not a high-end luxury car. I found the interior has good legroom front and back, although I will say that if you are over six-feet and long-of-limb you might feel a bit cramped.
The Limited Edition comes with a dual-zone auto climate control, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel and the rear seats offering 60/40 split that can also recline – which my son adored along with the 12V accessory outlet for powering his smartphone. Two USB connections are available for the driver and passenger. The infotainment system comes with a 7-inch screen with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Sirus Satellite radio and FM radio, all of which can be accessed with the standard touch-pad controller.
I know that some are not taken with the touch-pad, and I have heard plenty grousing about it. Maybe I’m just odd, but I found that after a short time I got quite used to using it and it soon became intuitive. So keep that in mind.
Under the hood, the Limited Edition comes with a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder engine with direct injection, a turbocharger, and a CVT transmission. It puts out some 152 hp at 5,500 r.pm., and 184 lb-ft of torque. While not street-racing specs for sure, the acceleration, because of the CVT, was smooth which made for a pleasant drive, and I never felt I was lacking in power if I had to pass someone on the highway.
Steering was smart and responsive and I especially like how well the Limited Edition handled itself in urban traffic, and the cornering was tight – something I welcomed as I had to navigate through some narrow streets in downtown Toronto and around some poorly parked cars.
The front MacPherson Strut suspension provided a good deal of stability and even at high speeds and tightly cornering I always felt fully in control of the vehicle and that it was firmly planted to the ground. The S-AWC all-wheel drive system was one I really wish I could have put it through its paces more – I only got to really try it when going up a range of steep back gravel roads in Niagara’s wine country where it proved nice to have; but I suspect it will come in especially handy in the winter months.
Safety features include dual front airbags, side-impact airbags, driver’s knee airbags, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert. While the Limited Edition lacked Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning and Mitigation systems, I don’t consider that a negative mark against the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Limited Edition. While nice, they are not in my book must haves. Overall, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Limited Edition follows Mitsubishi’s playbook of offering a lot of value for the money – and in this case, with a little sport flair added to the mix.
2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Limited Edition S-AWC
BODY STYLE: SUV
DRIVE METHOD: Super All-Wheel (S-AWC) with drive mode selector for auto/snow/gravel.
ENGINE: 1.5-litre, 4-cylider turbocharged engine with CTV transmission (152 hp @ 5,500 r.p.m.) / 184lb-ft tourque
FUEL ECONOMY: 9.6/8.9/9.3 L/100 km city/highway/combined
CARGO VOLUME: 640 L or 22.6 cu-ft
TOW RATING: 680 kg (1,499 lb) with five occupants / 907 kg (2,000 lb) with two occupants
WEBSITE: Eclipse Cross