Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross – a shot in the dark

I was particularly looking forward to the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross test. I was already intrigued by this model when I saw the XR-PHEV II concept at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2015. Its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show two years later showed that the essential design elements of the concept had been retained, which is a very positive thing.

Outside view

A first glance at the aggressively sculpted front end makes it clear: “I’m not a car for sissies”. The distinctive chrome grille flows seamlessly into the large, sharply cut front lights. The ornate gloss trim typical of the brand’s new models arcs around the turn signals and fog lights and flows sideways to the bottom of the bumper, visually widening the car. The spectacularly curved bumper rises into the space and is finished with a decorative red line at the bottom. The chrome details, despite their abundance, do not look kitsch and tastefully contribute to the “frowning” look of the front of the car.

The protruding front fenders, perfectly filled with tasteful 18″ wheels, progress to the tall side doors, which are softened by two moldings. The lower moulding flows seamlessly into the rear bumper, and the upper one rises dynamically through the door handles to the high-set taillights. The car’s tapering roof suggests the shape of a coupe. The doors and fenders are wraparound, with silver trim running along the bottom of the doors.

The back corresponds in its intricacy to the front. A massive spoiler hides the top-mounted rear window wiper. The light panel forms a sharp edge dividing the rear window in two. The lower part of the fifth door is probably the only rounded element of the car. The black plastic bumper is finished with chrome trim and imitation chassis protection.

The car makes a powerful impression, especially up close, due to its 1,685mm height. When viewed from the side, despite its 4,405 mm length, it looks compact due to its short overhangs.

The Eclipse Cross in this colour commands attention. Red is ruling the automotive industry at the moment, but Mitsubishi lands it and accentuates its edges and creases. With the new design style, Mitsibishi has managed to hit the black. Its edginess, apart from Lexus perhaps, still manages to differentiate it from the mass of other SUVs in this category and guarantees its clear brand affiliation. One can only hope that the successors to the ASX and Outlander will follow suit with this design style.

Inside

On opening the massive doors, I was pleased to find that the makers had kept the cleanliness of our trousers in mind and hadn’t forgotten about the honest overlay of the sills, which are also extremely narrow, making it easier to get into the car.

A fleeting glance into the interior evokes a sense of quality. The top of the dashboard is made up of a chunky black soft-touch plastic that juts out into the space, creating an unusual wedge under which a silver trim extends seamlessly into the centre console. The centre console is shaped similarly but, in my opinion, somewhat impractically at the bottom to hide the climate controls. Still one “floor below” is the hidden ECO MODE button, which made my driving experience quite unpleasant with its positioning and especially its function, but more on that later.

About the ECO MODE button, the ECO MODE button is hidden in the center stack.

Conveniently located in the automatic transmission lever area are the 4×4 drive mode selector switch, a touchpad for infotainment control, and a handbrake controller with Auto Hold.