As much as GLBT car buyers love the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, there is now an opportunity for an upgrade.
We love brands who love us. Mitsubishi has been one of those brands. We helped the Outlander Sport become of the best-selling vehicles in its class in the Twin Cities. Even our community throughout our readership area have taken to the small SUV.
What happens when we outgrow our favorite little SUV? We can only go bigger from there. Perhaps, even sportier than the Outlander Sport?
This is where the newest addition to the Mitsubishi lineup comes into view. The new Eclipse Cross SUV signifies its presence in a hot segment by being completely different in design, engineering, and overall product approach.
To find out more, we talked to Nancy Miller, a sales consultant at White Bear Mitsubishi in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. We asked Miller the main reasons why we would consider the Eclipse Cross. Miller said that “[i]t’s very sleek looking. It has a 1.5-liter turbo engine in it, so it’s super fun to drive. It hugs the roads really well with that super all wheel control that’s in that vehicle. It’s just a lot of a lot of fun.”
Miller also explains, “There’s quite a few of my customers that have gone from an Outlander Sport into an Eclipse Cross mainly because of the look and that turbo engine that’s in there, and you know, it’s family-friendly, still, it’s a five-passenger SUV. A lot of us have kids and things like that, you know families, and you know with blended families like mine, it fits very, very well.”
While the Outlander Sport is very accommodating the Eclipse Cross also has an accommodating and versatile cabin with expansive cargo space—up to 48.9 cubic feet with the rear seats down. “The back row moves forwards and backwards so if you do need more room in the back for stuff,” explains Miller, “you can actually fit all of that which is really nice.”
One of the big selling points on the Eclipse Cross is Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control system—an upgrade from the system on your Outlander Sport. Miller explains that “regular four-wheel drive while it is fantastic, Super All-Wheel Control…will communicate front to back and side to side, so if you have one tire that’s slipping, you have the three that can compensate for that. It makes it a lot easier on our Minnesota roads to not worry about the icy spots as much as you would.”
After a few days in the Eclipse Cross, we came away with the impression that this is not just an upgrade for your Outlander Sport. It is truly one of the best Mitsubishi products out there—equally as good as the Outlander PHEV.
We love its sharp looks, in particular the coupe-like profile. Up front is a handsome interpretation of Mitsubishi’s front-end design, while it lends to a compact size with plenty of rear visibility from its split-glass on the liftgate. Our SEL Touring example offered plenty of chrome finishes to bring out the best parts of this design, along with handsome 17-inch alloy wheels.
Step inside to what will be the best interior on any Mitsubishi in decades. The quality is up, and the switchgear and readouts have improved. The trackpad on the console is much more intuitive with more functionality and finger control recognition overall. The trackpad controls a tablet-like infotainment screen, which can also be controlled as a touchscreen and from steering-wheel-mounted controls. The content on the screen alone tops plenty of the Eclipse Cross’ competitors. Rockford Fosgate provides a cleaner sound than other Mitsubishi models equipped with similar audio options.
The 158-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides nominal lag from the turbo and ample power across the rev band. It also helps to have a superb low end—rated at 184 pound-feet of torque. The continuously variable transmission works superbly with this engine and, as noted above, Super All-Wheel Control adds better traction in every condition and surface. In terms of fuel economy, we averaged 24.5 MPG in our care.
Where the Eclipse Cross will win you over is in the suspension. The ride is fine, but the cornering ability will excite you. It handles superbly by providing aggressive feedback through the turns and keeping an even keel in evasive maneuvers. The brakes are good with a solid pedal feel and stopping power. The steering is also sharper than the rest of the Mitsubishi family. In all, the Eclipse Cross offers a better driving experience in its class.
Pricing for the Eclipse Cross starts at $23,595 for a front-drive ES model. Our SEL Touring tester came with a sticker price of $32,015. The Eclipse Cross comes in five different trim levels.
The Eclipse Cross is indeed the next step up from your Outlander Sport. You will love the performance from the turbo engine and the new technology features it has to offer. Its new overall look may be challenging to some, we believe that it will stand out in a crowd—especially when the crowd is full of our Outlander Sports.
Perhaps your next upgrade is another Mitsubishi. The Eclipse Cross is that upgrade—one that will satisfy you as long—if not, longer—than your current Outlander Sport.