Mitsubishi have produced something that manufacturers normally shy away from as to not unsettle their premium 4×4 SUV offerings, They have produced a rather good, affordable compact SUV off-roader. Well, we didn’t quite take it off-roading but one could imagine tackling substantially more than just dusty roads with this Mitsubishi offering.

In Automotive Refinisher’s last issue we covered another affordable 4×4, and now we welcome Mitsubishi’s all-new Eclipse Cross. Aimed at disrupting the compact SUV segment it is largely aimed at the Toyota Rav 4 and Kia Sportage. With this market already flooded, the exciting thing about the Eclipse is that it has the same intelligent offering as its competitors but also the option of a new AWD system which is perfect for some competent offroading if need be to visit an area ‘a little off the beaten track’. Boasting Mitsubishi’s unique Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC), the all-new Eclipse Cross offers a defiant new-genre coupé approach, fusing stylish design and functionality for trendy individuals who are looking beyond hum-drum offerings from other manufacturers.

The all-new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross will be offered in two derivatives for the South African market – a front-wheel drive version and the all-wheel drive model. The normally aspirated 2.0-litre motor uses Mitsubishi’s patented MIVEC engine technology which produces an output of 110 kW @ 6 000 rpm and 198 Nm of torque at 4 200 rpm.

Driving power to the wheels is a 6 speed CVT gearbox with Sports Mode. The driver can also control gear changes via the Paddle Shifts behind the steering wheel. Keeping the engine at optimum performance at all times, the CVT enhances fuel efficiency. In the AWD version, the driver can choose the AUTO, SNOW or GRAVEL drive modes, depending on road conditions to enhance manoeuvrability over slippery surfaces. Unfortunately we didn’t get to put it through it’s paces offroad, but the Eclipse seemed very accomplished on-road or on dirt tracks –so handling is certainly stable and solid. Claimed fuel consumption figures are 7.9 ℓ/100 km for the 4×2 and 8.1 ℓ/100km for the AWD derivative.

The introduction of Eclipse Cross as part of Mitsubishi Motors’ compact SUV range in South Africa has created the opportunity for the company to realign the ASX range with the introduction of two new derivatives – the ASX ES M/T and an ES 6-speed CVT derivative – with ticket prices set at R359 995 and R379 995 respectively. The Mitsubishi has some outrageous design elements, the shape of rear tail light clusters really mimics something similar to interstellar travel. Sweeping front chrome-plated lines dominate up front while enhancing the presence of design-winning grille. Unusual looking and most certainly eye catching, a few of the local journalists likened the Eclipse Cross to design cues found on Honda’s HRV.

On the inside, just about everything has been taken into consideration with a large touchscreen dominating the dash as your smart command centre. There are charging ports and smartphone stowage space found in the centre console too. As an optional extra, connecting your mobile device to a 7” touchscreen Infotainment system (with built-in GPS) via Bluetooth allows the driver through voice control to access the phone’s compatible apps and stored information to get directions, make calls, send and receive messages and enjoy music from the phone or any Apple Car Play and Android compatible device.

The all-new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross enters its segment as a massive value-for-money offering:

  • Eclipse Cross 2.0L CVT 4×2 R399 995
  • Eclipse Cross 2.0L CVT AWD R449 995
  • Both models are covered by Mitsubishi’s Manufacturer’s Warranty of 3 years or 100 000km, a 5-year / 90 000 km Service Plan and a
  • 5-year / unlimited mileage Roadside Assistance.
  • Service intervals are every 15 000 km.