Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi has today commenced the shipment of its latest compact SUV, the Eclipse Cross, from the ports of Japan to our shores. Australia is one of some 80 markets globally that will come to offer the smart-looking SUV, with some 50,000 units planned to be shipped worldwide before the end of march.
The Eclipse Cross is described as the first of a “new generation of vehicles” from Mitsubishi Motors, and will lead the way in refreshing the rather ageing lineup. All of the cars that MMC has on sale in our market, like the ASX, Outlander, and Triton have all been around for some time now. And if the Eclipse Cross is any indicator, we should expect to see more exciting, engaging products for the future.
The Eclipse Cross made its global debut last March in Geneva, and “blends sharp coupe looks” with the all-wheel drive know-how that Mitsubishi is famous for. Tested just this month, EuroNCAP awarded the Eclipse Cross with a full five stars for safety, making it one of the safest SUVs in its class.
In Australia, the Eclipse Cross will be offered with a sole 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, mated to a CVT automatic, though trim levels have not yet been detailed for our market. When it made its debut, we were impressed by the marked improvement in interior quality and finish, though overall aesthetics remain rather uninspiring (but very ergonomic, so it’s a matter of priorities).
It appears that the Eclipse Cross will have its work cut out for it when it arrives on our shores, as it’ll have to do battle with sales juggernauts like the Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR, as well as more colourful choices like the Citroen C4 Cactus and the Nissan Juke. What has to be said of the Eclipse Cross is that it appears to balance itself between the dependability of the earlier party and the (exterior) visual flair of the latter pair, so perhaps it might be a winning formula. Time will tell.