The Eclipse Cross debuted for the 2018 model year, while the Outlander Sport came along in 2011. The former feels distinctly fresher, thanks in part to its turbocharged engine. It’s also a little more expensive.
It’s the usual Mitsubishi proposition with the Eclipse Cross. How many compromises in quality is a buyer is prepared to make in the quest for lower initial pricing and decent levels of equipment? On the positive side, it does come with a 10-year/100,00-mile powertrain warranty.
What’s New for 2020?
Front-wheel drive becomes the standard setup, with all-wheel drive migrating to the options list. A new SP trim level is introduced, the LE trim gains heated front seats and the mid-to-upper SE trim gains driver aids that used to be available only in the highest trim. Additionally, SE now offers a package consisting of a panoramic sunroof and roof rails. See the 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross models for sale near you
What We Like
- Pleasing interior design
- Long warranty
What We Don’t
- Drone-prone, slow-reacting CVT
Propulsion comes from a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine making 152 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, using regular unleaded gasoline. This connects to a continuously variable transmission. FWD is standard; AWD iOS optional.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates fuel consumption for the FWD ES at 26 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in combined driving. The AWD ES achieves 25 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/26 mpg combined.
The other trim levels return 25 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/26 mpg combined with FWD or 25 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined with AWD.
Standard Features and Options
The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 5-seater subcompact crossover is available in ES, LE, SP, SE and SEL trim levels.
The ES ($23,940) starts off with 16-in alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and taillights, fog lights, heated side mirrors, keyless entry, a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat/4-way adjustable front passenger seat (manual adjustment), tilt-telescopic steering wheel adjustment, cruise control, automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, a slide/recline rear seat with 60/40-split fold function, a 7-in infotainment display, an AM/FM/HD radio, a 4-speaker audio setup, Bluetooth, a USB port and two 12-volt outlets.
The LE ($25,040) adds 18-in alloy wheels, black side mirrors with turn signals, heated front seats, an infotainment system touchpad controller, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, satellite radio, steering wheel voice recognition control and two USB ports.
The SP ($26,240) receives some cosmetic changes such as a carbon-effect grille and side mirrors, a black hood badge and a larger rear spoiler.
The SE ($26,590) brings automatic on/off headlights, power-folding side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, illuminated vanity mirrors, 6-speaker audio setup, a rear center armrest, an electronic parking brake, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and a few cosmetic additions.
New for 2020, the SE also gains forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and automatic high beams. An options bundle of roof rails and a powered dual-pane panoramic sunroof is available in the SE for $1,000.
This trim level is also where Mitsubishi Connect kicks in. It’s a subscription service for remote locking and unlocking, parent-imposed restrictions, automatic collision notification and several other features. A free 24-month trial is provided.
The SEL ($28,090) tops the range with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for the CVT, LED headlights, an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, leather seating surfaces, a multiview camera system and a head-up display.
The SEL trim is also eligible for a Touring package ($2,100) that includes the powered dual-pane panoramic sunroof and black roof rails plus automatic high beams, a self-dimming rearview mirror, a garage door opener, a heated steering wheel, heated outboard rear seats, a 710-watt/9-speaker Rockford-Fosgate audio system, high-speed automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.
All trim levels can be fitted with a towing package (maximum towing capability is 1,500 pounds), extra cosmetic details and LED cabin lighting. AWD is available in every Eclipse Cross variant, costing $1,600.
Cargo space behind the rear seats is 22.6 cu ft. Folding them down increases volume to 48.9 cu ft. The optional panoramic sunroof and the upgraded audio system’s subwoofer reduces those figures slightly to 22.1 and 48.8 cu ft. respectively.
Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, hill-start assistance and seven airbags (front, front side, side curtain and driver’s knees).
The Eclipse Cross has yet to be crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given it top marks of Good for most categories, making it a Top Safety Pick+.
Behind the Wheel
Even though there are some hard plastics around and rear headroom is compromised somewhat by the sloping roof, the Eclipse Cross has a generally pleasant interior.
A tight turning circle contributes to easy maneuvering, even if steering feel from the electric system is virtually nonexistent. Ride quality is on the unrefined side, and the Eclipse Cross leans when going through quick corners.
At higher speeds, road noise intrudes into the cabin. That may not be much of a problem, though, because this modestly powered engine runs out of motivation in the upper reaches of its rev range.
The AWD system comes with Snow and Gravel modes.
Other Cars to Consider
2020 Hyundai Kona — Plenty of equipment and a keen price.
2020 Jeep Renegade — Charming and slightly rugged.
2020 FIAT 500X — Pleasant and affordable. AWD comes as standard.
2020 Subaru Crosstrek — Another rival with standard AWD. The engine feels a little weak, but the rest of the car is good.
Used Honda CR-V — Officially a compact crossover, so bigger than the Eclipse Cross. A perennial bestseller because it’s such a great package. Look for one through Honda’s certified pre-owned program.
Now with the most useful driver aids and enjoying a cost-effective price/equipment ratio, the SE would be our recommendation. This class of vehicle is full of excellent candidates, though, so be sure to look into the competition. Keep resale values in mind as well. Find a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross for sale