2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Quick review

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In this highly competitive small crossover class, it is obviously better than before, but the Eclipse Cross still lags behind in terms of performance, tech, and amenities.


With a midcycle refresh and a brief hiatus, the underachieving 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is back and better than ever. Besides having a refined look, the performance has been tweaked, and there are new technologies and comforts, too. Even though "better" is not good enough to make the Eclipse Cross stand out in a highly competitive class, it feels like a good compact crossover choice.


Sharp looks


I enjoy the exterior aesthetic of the Eclipse Cross without reservation. Despite its slightly awkward wheel-to-body ratio, this vehicle is a good-looking example, especially when tinted in the Red Diamond color. (I particularly like Bronze Metallic for painting the crossover's angular musculature in a more stylish light.)


For the 2022 Eclipse Cross, there are new front and rear bumpers, extending the SUV physically and visually while retaining Mitsubishi's signature C-shaped chrome wings and an aggressive grille. While a sloped roofline reduces rear headroom, it creates a stylish and bold silhouette that makes this crossover stand out among bean-shaped crossovers.


In terms of the exterior, the biggest change is a redesigned rear hatch that removes the weird light bar that divided the rear glass into two halves. A resculpted rump makes the Eclipse Cross seem a little more generic, but overall it is a better-looking car.


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Disconnected performance


Powered by Mitsubishi's turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder MIVEC engine, the Eclipse Cross features a compact design with a low center of gravity. All-wheel drive is optional, but front-wheel drive is standard. The only engine available is paired with a continuously variable transmission. It claims 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, which is decent on paper but somehow seems underwhelming with the CVT in place.


One of my biggest complaints about Eclipse Cross is that it feels disconnected. Its turbo lag and CVT rubberbandiness take away the throttle response, making the SUV feel sluggish when passing or merging. A wheezy, unpleasant sound is coming from the engine which, due to the nature of continuously variable ratios, doesn't quite match the acceleration.


A column-mounted paddle shifter adds a sporty touch. To the touch and flick, they are good, but the slow response time of CVT when changing ratios is not satisfactory. At least they're mounted in the right place.


If you walk lightly around town, the Eclipse Cross feels fine. A CVT settles into a pretty comfortable groove when you give it slow, predictable inputs. For this class, the fuel economy is midpack and there's plenty of power for climbing hills. A week filled with highway driving and heavy testing yielded about 25 mpg per week, about equal to what the EPA estimates for city driving, highway driving, and combined driving with all-wheel drive. Front-drive models get slightly better mileage on highways, climbing to 28 mpg as well as 26 mpg combined.


It is difficult to keep the Eclipse centered in its lane because of vague steering, which makes it feel clumsy on the highway. While the suspension is nicely composed over bumps and potholes and extremely comfortable for long rides, you'll pay for that softness with noticeable body roll, pitch, and dive in spirited driving.

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Driver aid and cabin tech


Although Eclipse Cross' highway confidence could be improved with lane-centering technology, you can only get a lane departure warning system. The technology for collision mitigation braking with pedestrian detection is at the very least standard equipment. The LE trim level adds automatic high beams, while the SE adds blind-spot monitoring with lane-change assistance and rear cross-traffic alert.


My top-spec SEL model has the optional Touring package, which adds high-speed braking to the collision mitigation system and completes the driver aids suite. In this package, there is also a tiny head-up display that emerges from the instrument cluster and is really too small to be useful.


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Better, but still not enough


The 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross starts at $24,590 -- including the $1,195 destination charge -- for the front-drive SE model, or $25,375 with all-wheel drive. Upgrade at least to the LE 2WD ($25,940) to unlock CarPlay and Android Auto. It is the SE trim level that stands out from the lineup. You get most of the available driver aid tech, 24 months of access to Mitsubishi Connect telematics, remote services, and keyless entry for $27,340. It also says a lot about the future of the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross that passive keyless entry/start will still be available in 2021.


SEL model, as tested, costs $34,670. The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited is about $2,000 cheaper, but it offers far more than the Hyundai.


Although the Eclipse Cross is better than before, it still lags far behind in terms of performance, cabin technology, safety systems, and amenities when compared to its competitors in its class. It's fine, but you can definitely improve.


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