2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SEL 1.5T S-AWC

Wednesday , July 18, 2018 - 3:01 PM

By Craig and Deanne Conover, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Years ago, our once teenage son JaCoby was able to convince us that he needed a new car and that a Mitsubishi Eclipse he had found would do just the trick in making his teenage life perfect again. Being quite the negotiator, he was able to convince Deanne to loan him the money and help him with the retrieval of said Eclipse.

It was a white 2005 convertible, which from the photos looked to be a great deal and a vehicle that would be wonderful for JaCoby to drive around in for the 18 months prior to his leaving on an LDS mission. We figured we could resell it after that and come out okay.

It was a great looking car, and who wouldn’t like to be seen in a convertible sports car? The only problem was that when JaCoby brought it home, we discovered the need for a new top. Apparently the current one had holes in it and if the weather turned bad, it rained inside the car. That would not have been a problem had it been a jeep, but being and Eclipse it needed to be fixed.

After searching and finding a suitable replacement, Craig and JaCoby became very well-versed on how to install a new, manually-retractable cloth roof on the Eclipse. It took most of the day but turned out quite nice, and the new navy blue color looked better than the original black.

At the end of our adventure with that older Mitsubishi Eclipse, we did come out almost even financially, but we had many stories to tell about the various adventures required to keep the car running and road-worthy.

After a short hiatus of the Eclipse name, it is now back on the Mitsubishi showroom floor — not as a sports coupe but as a new Crossover Utility Vehicle or CUV. It also comes with an introductory price point that is sure to stir up the competition and get perhaps a younger generation looking in their direction.

The new Eclipse Cross has a look that is all its own, and the designers went back to the original version before coming up with a Crossover that has a couple of holdovers from the original. Those mostly include the shape of the roof and the way it recedes into the rear of the car, as well as the wedge profile that is somewhat similar.

From the front, the look is all Mitsubishi, featuring their Dynamic Shield design. It’s meant to show the front end’s functionalities, which include protecting both the folks inside and the car itself. Following to the rear, the shape is very unique with a dual window design, giving a very broad and stable look. The uniqueness of the vehicle should help in attracting new buyers to the showrooms.

The Eclipse Cross is powered by a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that is turbocharged and makes a very nice 152 horsepower and, more importantly, 184 pound-feet of torque. This power is sent to the wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which we did find a little bit on the “growly” side when we really put our foot to the floor.

The new Eclipse is by no means meant to push the speed envelope. The designers have instead set out to capture folks with the looks and with what the new CUV has to offer inside, which is technology aplenty and added safety features that are sure to attract attention.

Our test ride was the top trim level that Mitsubishi offers on the Eclipse Cross, and that just barely topped $30,000 and came standard with many features we would not have expected at this price point.

The interior seemed to reach out to the driver with a very sporty feel, and there were piano black and luminous silver accents throughout the cabin and a new touchpad that controlled the 7-inch touchscreen mounted in the center dash. The touchpad actually had a swipe and click control to move through the menu screens, and it became much easier for us to maneuver as the week progressed.

Craig’s first encounter with the Eclipse was picking it up late at night from the airport after arriving home from Chicago after the MAMA Spring Rally. He became a little frustrated trying to work the radio with just the touchpad, as there are no volume or channel controls included on the dashboard. The real cause of frustration, though, was that the freeway was narrowed to two lanes coming through Lehi and had caused traffic to be backed up over the Point of the Mountain. To make matters worse, Craig couldn’t quickly figure out how to get just plain radio information on the slowdown.

After a couple of days, using the touchpad became easy and second nature to us, along with using Apple CarPlay to navigate, make calls and listen to our own music in the Eclipse, which is also equipped with Android Auto.

On the safety side, standard on the SEL trim were blind spot monitoring, traction control and Mitsubishi’s Super All Wheel Control. This is really a fancy name for their technology that supplies just the right amount of torque to each individual wheel no matter the circumstance. Be it on a straightway, going through a corner or using the all-wheel drive in the mountains, this system is able to give the driver the confidence and ability to conquer pretty much anything that comes before the Eclipse.

The one addition we received was the Touring Package, which included front collision detection and mitigation along with lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, roof rails, a full panoramic sunroof and a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate stereo system. It was well worth the extra $2,500 and something we would definitely recommend if for nothing else than the sunroof and adaptive cruise.

Another new addition to the Eclipse was the Mitsubishi Connect system. This is an all new subscription-based service that is embedded in the telematics of the vehicle and uses a 4G LTE cellular modem with GPS capability to communicate. Users can call for SOS Emergency Assistance or just plain roadside assistance, or the system will automatically notify first responders in the event of a collision.

The owner can also have doors unlocked, a horn honk, the lights flashed or just the entire car located if the Eclipse is lost. Our favorite part is that the parental settings can regulate speed, geo-fence the vehicle into a certain area and also notify parents if the vehicle is out past curfew. There are some great options for parents with teens, but we’re glad the cars of our day didn’t have any of these types of options!

The Eclipse Cross is a great new addition to the Mitsubishi line, and we hope it’s the vision of many new things to come from them. See the new CUV at Cutrubus Mitsubishi, 1711 Main St., Layton, Utah. You can also call 801-614-3000 or visit www.laytonmitsubishi.com.

Base price: $27,895

Price as driven: $31,795

Craig and Deanne Conover have been test-driving vehicles for over seven years and have had the opportunity to drive many makes and models. They receive a new car each week for a weeklong test drive. Craig has worked in the newspaper industry for over 23 years and has been with The Daily Herald in Provo for 13 years — and Deanne has been a veterinarian’s assistant at Mountain West Animal Hospital for 11 years. They both love having the unique opportunity of trying out new cars. They reside in Springville, Utah. Check out other reviews at heraldextra.com/sundaydrive.

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