Once upon a time, Mitsubishi sold one of the world’s most capable SUVs, a 12-time winner of the Dakar Rally. Sadly, the Montero left the U.S. after 2006, and the Japanese automaker’s SUV offerings since then have elicited yawns from Americans. The all-new Eclipse Cross is no Montero, but at less than $25,000, this new compact crossover is a compelling value.
If you can look beyond the Eclipse Cross’ rear-end styling, with its unfortunate resemblance to Pontiac’s famously ugly Aztek, you'll find the Cross has much to offer. Its small turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is eager, smooth, and quiet. It’s mated to one of the better CVTs, one that mimics a conventional tranny’s shift points. The powertrain is rated to tow 1,500 pounds, and AWD costs just $600 extra on the base model.
The steering and suspension are tuned for ease and comfort rather than crisp handling. Advanced safety features, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, are available, although only on more expensive trim levels. But even the base model’s interior is filled with nice-to-see, nice-to-touch materials and little hard plastic. Mitsubishi wraps every Eclipse Cross in an unusually generous security blanket: a bumper-to-bumper warranty of 5 years/60,000 miles and powertrain coverage for 10 years/100,000 miles.
Photos courtesy of Mitsubishi
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