Fours years after Mitsubishi’s new compact SUV first arrived, the Eclipse Cross is getting a significant overhaul — both inside and out.
Fresh new look
On the design front, the eccentric backend design is now more toned down with a redesigned rear window and hatch, all while offering much better visibility — something missing with the original model.
From our 2018 Eclipse Cross review, our impressions of this peculiar backend: “While the raked rear window and vertical glass create a compelling side profile, in function it’s not entirely successful. The wiper only covers the sloping part of the rear glass, and while it does a great job of cleaning and tucks up nicely under the rear spoiler, the lower glass gets soiled with no assistance from any cleaning aid.”
Sure, consumers can appreciate distinct designs, but it brings with it polarizing views. With that, lower sales — and no company wants that.
Thus, the much-need redesign results in is a more conventional looking Eclipse Cross sporting a more upscale feel that should appeal to a broader market.
As the Japanese automaker puts it, “From the day we started to rethink the new Eclipse Cross, we wanted to address an attitude of boosted road performance and eco-friendliness, all with a stand-out style that will take this SUV to the next level.”
In addition, fronted also gets a hefty tweak to include a new front bumper guard and refreshed light layout.
New interior layout with more upscale feel
Inside, Mitsubishi worked on ramping up the all-wheel drive SUV’s premium feel going with a new all-black cabin against silver accents and leather seats in a dark grey.
The centre stack layout has also changed, where the new 8-inch standard touchscreen moves closer to the driver and front-seat passenger for easier access, coupled with volume and tuning knobs for fast reference.
Gone is the touchpad used for multiple functions, opening up space and gaining more storage at the centre console.
Power: is a plug-in hybrid variant coming to North America?
Mitsubishis are know for their reliable powertrains, hence, the all-aluminum 1.5L MIVEC direct injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine remains intact, offering 152-hp and 184 lb.-ft of torque, mated to the same 8-speed sports mode CVT transmission.
And while select markets will get an Eclipse Cross PHEV version, the company hasn’t confirmed anything for US and Canada. Our best guess? A sustainable model offering better fuel economy is coming, soon.
Improved handling for 2022
Mitsubishi is promising “improved driving confidence and comfort” with the 2022 Eclipse Cross, though we won’t know until getting behind the wheel ourselves. But here’s what we thought of the current generation model’s driving dynamics:
“The handling wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t awful. There’s a bit too much understeer built into the suspension, but it handles being upset — as during an emergency lane-change manoeuvre — very well. In the hands of experienced racer Tony Morris Jr., the vehicle similarly showed no signs of squirrelly handling. Most drivers likely won’t even notice the understeer.”
However, the new model does gain enlarged rear suspension absorbers while the springs in the front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link suspension have been finely tuned. These are all steps in the right direction. And of course, consumers can expect Mitsubishi’s dependable all-wheel drive as standard, dubbed S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control).
2022 Eclipse Cross release date
Expect the redesigned compact SUV to hit North American Mitsubishi dealerships sometime early 2021, following its initial release in the Australia and New Zealand markets.
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