2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse, No one doubts the power of SUVs. According to Mitsubishi, in 2016, in Europe, they accounted for 77% of sales. And half of that gigantic cake was of 4 × 4 versions. It is with focus on this reality that Mitsubishi is reshaping its range in the European market.
In practice, this story begins with the SUV of this post, the Eclipse Cross, and will follow with the next generation Outlander (anticipated by the conceptual GT-PHEV, 2016) and a smaller model – with SUV silhouette, of course – created especially to put the brand in fight conditions in an ocean of sharks: the segment of compact SUVs.
By now, you might be wondering, “What about ASX, how does it look?” Let’s go: this future compact SUV will officially be the replacement for ASX – even if there is no definition of continuity of the name.
However, with the arrival of Mitsubishi’s upcoming compact SUV, it’s exactly what Eclipse Cross is the true successor to ASX in practice. Once the story is told, it’s time for the presentation.
More modern on the lines, with a coupe-like rear and better overall quality, Eclipse Cross is just like the Outlander, which sits on the same ASX platform. This explains why the three had the same wheelbase of 2.67 meters.
In stylistic terms, this SUV follows the logic, combining the familiar air of the front section with a dynamic profile, with wide wheeled cartons and ascending waistline.
The rear, with a kind of translucent lower window, widens the glazed area. Models like the Citroën C4 VTR and the hatch version of the Civic bet on a similar solution. It’s weird and it takes a while, but you get used to it.
The ASX was one of the least equipped models of legroom in the rear and luggage compartment capacity in its class. As a result, the Japanese have opted for the only possible solution to solve the problem without moving the wheelbase: a movable rear seat, capable of advancing and retreating on longitudinal rails of 20 cm, allowing to enlarge the space for luggage or occupants, according to need.
The rear seat, split, has a higher position than the front ones. In access to it, a clear evolution towards the ASX: the doors open in a much more generous angle.
The imitation carbon fiber (used in some points, such as in the frame of the glass buttons) and the chrome plastic (in the center console) erase the overall picture of reasonable quality.
In the more equipped versions there will be a multimedia center with 7-inch monitor and head-up display (system that projects the main information of the car in a small acrylic screen in front of the steering wheel).
The Eclipse 1.5 turbo, gasoline, with manual gearbox was the version chosen in our test drive in Barcelona, Spain.
As the gearshift lever sits very close to the steering wheel, it is easy to play the SUV without letting the rotations fall between the gears, which allows even more enjoyment of the new 1.5 turbo engine.
This four-cylinder engine has maximum power (163 hp) and thrilled by the way it responds with forcefulness just above 1,600 rpm.
In the bends, the benefits of a body remarkably stiffer in terms of twisting. With lower ground clearance compared to ASX (18.3 cm vs. 19.5 cm), the Eclipse has a low level of body inclination, which makes it pleasant to drive.
For those who choose the most complete version, with 4 × 4 traction – we drive in front-only traction – I recall that the S-AWC system is recognized as competent (having been premiered in 1987 in Galant VR4 and over ten generations of the Lancer Evolution, a monster on the rally races).
The S-AWC distributes the torque under normal running conditions by 80% for the front wheels and 20% for the rear. In critical cases of reduced grip, the ratio can be reversed, with increased load on the rear axle wheels by up to 40% / 60%.
According to the version, the transmissions also change, which can be made by a box of continuously variable relations (CVT) or by a conventional automatic gearbox, with torque converter and eight gears.
With the start of sales in Europe expected only in the middle of 2018, Mitsubishi still does not talk about the price of Eclipse Cross there.
But in Brazil, where his arrival has already been confirmed officially, it should be between ASX 4 × 4 (R $ 120,000) and Outlander (R $ 145,000).
The good 1.5 turbo engine is the highlight of the Eclipse Cross in front of the ASX. But it also goes beyond materials, finishing, functionality, visual and … price.
TECHNICAL DATA SHEET – MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS
- Price: R $ 135,000 (estimated)
- Engine: gas., Trans., 4 cyl. in line, 1499 cm3; 16V, inj. direct, turbo, 163 hp at 5,500 rpm, 25,5 mkgf between 1,800 rpm
- Gearbox: manual, 6-speed, front-wheel drive
- Suspension: McPherson (front) and multilink (rear)
- Brakes: vented discs (front) and solid discs (rear)
- Steering: electric, 11.4 m (turning diameter)
- Wheels and tires: light alloy, 215/70 R16
- Dimensions: length, 440.5 cm; width, 180.5 cm; height, 168.5 cm; between-axles, 267 cm; weight, 1,425 kg; trunk, 341 l (reclining seat) and 488 l (advanced seat)
- Performance *: 0 to 100 km / h in 9.5 s, top speed: 205 km / h
* Factory data