2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Trailing the competition in multiple areas

Roseville, Calif. – Mitsubishi took two years to engineer improvements to the Eclipse Cross and the consensus is the company still came up short on the compact sport utility vehicle.

The 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross driven here for 10 days has been fully redesigned after a pause in production a year ago. The changes include a retuned suspension, updated interior and exterior styling, and standard driver assistance.

However, even with the improvements, the Eclipse Cros still trails much of its competition in multiple areas. The industry leaders include the Mazda CX-30, Kia Soul and Honda HR-V.

The Eclipse Cross is offered in four trim models (ES, LE, SE, SEL) and joins the Outlander and Outlander Sport in Mitsubishi’s SUV stable.

For a review, the Eclipse Cross came out in 2018 and many people assumed it was reminiscent of the popular Eclipse coupe and Spyder convertible. The original Eclipse brand had a nice run between 1995 and its best sales year in 2002 (72,041), but was eventually discontinued in 2012 following severely plummeting sales.

interior of Eclipse Cross
Eclipse Cross

So, unlike many people assumed, the introduction of the Eclipse Cross four years ago wasn’t a rebirth. Mitsubishi was probably using the name for its recognition value and overall solid reputation. Yet sales of the Eclipse Cross haven’t taken off – its best year was 2019 (19,661).

The revamped 2022 Eclipse Cross is 5.5 inches larger (1.5 inches in front, 4 in the rear) and now has an overall length of 173.4 inches. It has a new infotainment system and the improved suspension gives it better handling and overall feel for the road.

The front-wheel drive Eclipse Cross (AWD is an option) has a turbocharged 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Although it provides sufficient power in many situations, it clocks a lackluster 8.5 seconds going 0-60 mph. Fuel economy is low for the class at 26-29 mpg.

On smooth roads, the Eclipse Cross delivers a solid ride, thanks in part to its new rear shock absorbers. Still, there are no thrills driving the Eclipse Cross – it falls short of being sporty and fun.

Standard safety features include lane departure and forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and rearview camera.

AT A GLANCE – 2022 MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS

  • Performance: turbocharged 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, 152 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 26-29 mpg
  • Price estimate: $23,500 to $29,100
  • Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; Drivetrain: 10 years/100,000 miles; Roadside assistance: 5 years/unlimited; Corrosion: 6 years/100,000

Interior & Infotainment

The Eclipse Cross interior accommodates five passengers and has some definite upside. Seating is fairly comfortable in the overall spacious cabin. It provides good head and leg room up front, while the back seats are not as obliging due to a sloping roofline that is insufficient for taller people.

Cargo space – 23.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats; 50.1 cubes with rear seats folded down – trails many competitors.

We like the easy use of the 7-inch touchscreen and physical knobs and buttons. Yet critics who want more technology may find it antiquated. On the plus side, at least the previous touchpad controller is gone and the touchscreen is 2 inches closer to the driver. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are standard.

Despite making some much-needed improvements, the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross still has some work to do if it wants to move up significantly in a crowded field of capable small crossover SUVs.

Nationwide sales of small crossover SUVs continues to grow, pushing past sedans that have become much-less desirable. That trend gives people lots of choices when it’s purchase time and right now the Eclipse Cross is less desirable than some.