Say what you would say about Mitsubishi, but this company is slowly but surely improving across the board. However, many of the automaker’s products still have room for improvement and – despite its streamlined look, easy-to-use technology and zippy engine – the 2022 Eclipse Cross continues behind the more well-rounded compact SUV.
The Eclipse Cross of 2022 is 5.5 inches longer than before and more aggressively with the front fascia. The upper LEDs act as daylights and the dimples under the house as headlights and fog lights. The solid lightbar that extends the rear of the older version has been replaced by two separate taillights. I really liked the old design, but the new taillights are very distinctive and give the compact crossover some presence on the road.
The Eclipse Cross retains the same 1.5-liter turbocharged I4 engine as before, leaving 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The low-end torque makes the Eclipse Cross feel quite disjointed from the line and there is a surprising amount of mid-range punch. A continuously variable transmission doesn’t necessarily do this engine any favors, though – it’s under a bit of pressure, though I think it’s on par with most CVTs.
The new suspension parts have been fitted for 2022, partly to accommodate the Eclipse Cross’ now at full length, but also to improve on the previous model’s prediction for body roll. The retracted shocks and springs do a better job, of course, but the Eclipse Cross is still a bit too roly-poly for my taste. This thing really changes, which does not inspire much in the way of the driver’s trust. Weirdly, the Eclipse Cross’ steering manages to be both quick and sloppy at the same time, making it a bit difficult to keep the crossover focused during the turn. Combined with body roll, this Mitsubishi is not really fun to drive.
The most fuel-efficient Eclipse Cross EPA-estimated that the city will return 26 miles per gallon, 29 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined. My loaded SEL AWD testers down those numbers to 25, 26 and 25 respectively. It is better than a similar Hyundai Tucson but still below other compact CUVs.
Inside, Eclipse Cross’s technology collides with a newly available 8-inch screen with embedded navigation. Frankly, I think Mitsubishi could have left a native naval system on the table, but the lowest trims are availableAnd For easy access to Google Maps and Waze. Mitsubishi makes its navigation a bit more special by incorporating at least WhatsApp technology, which divides the entire world into 3-meter squares and provides three words to each class. One of my favorite places to eat is “steady, stunned, brainless”.
The multimedia screen is located two inches from the driver and is now operated by touch only. Earlier models used to have a touchpad which was a total pain in the neck to use, so I’m all about this improved functionality. Responds to screen input very quickly and icons are nice and large. Mitsubishi’s snappy little display-screen lifts the screen, though, which is something I’ll probably forget.
Forward-collision mitigation with pedestrian detection and lane-departure warning are standard on all 2022 Eclipse cross trims. The Le model and above receive automatic high beam and rain-sensing wipers, while the upper two trims receive blind-spot warning, lane-change assist and rear-cross traffic alert. Adaptive cruise control is reserved only for the highest SEL trim. These are great features, sure, but the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 offer many of these as standard across the board. Mitsubishi really should do the same.
Inside, the new gray leather of SEL trim goes a long way towards making this cabin more inviting. Nevertheless, the interior of the Eclipse Cross is nothing to write home about, but has some nice features throughout. Heck, the top SEL trim also has heated rear seats.
Cargo space has been improved for the 2022 model for its larger footprint. There is now 50.1 cubic feet of space, or 23.4 cubes up along the second row. Unfortunately, you are still far below Honda, Mazda and Toyota.
The Eclipse Cross starts below $ 25,000, but my SEL tester has been given the option to get up to $ 1,600 for the destination – including $ 1,600 for all-wheel drive – and $ 34,075. While I can give substandard steering, floaty suspension and a pass crunch for $ 25K, it’s hard to justify this mid-$ 30K price when I find greats like the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 or Toyota RAV4 Options can be found.
The refreshed Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross takes it one step further to 2022, yet it still plays behind a highly competitive class of crossovers. It’s a good price, don’t get me wrong, but as they say: you get what you pay for.