Road Test Review – 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross – Updates Can’t Mask Middling Performance

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is a CUV that’s always had some form of an identity crisis. The Eclipse Cross has the exterior styling needed for it to be one of the boldest CUV entries in the market, but suffered from inconsistent presentation, especially with its performance and interior. Mitsubishi has made some updates to help give it a better presentation while also fixing some of the flaws that hobbled older models. But have the changes made the Eclipse Cross better?


A Nip and Tuck Adds Cohesion To Exterior Styling

Mitsubishi stylists had alot on their plate when they were updating the Eclipse Cross for 2022, and the exterior styling was the first area to receive some improvements. It still looks stylish but designers modernized the front and rear fascias to help the SUV fall in line with the newer design elements that we first saw in the bigger Outlander. The liftgate has also been tweaked and the weird-looking rear split window of old has been eliminated. The sloping roofline still gives the Eclipse Cross a euro-flavored look and in some regards allows the Mitsubishi to stand out from some of its rivals.

The rear bumper has also been reworked and this part of the design is the lone stumbling block here with the conservatively styled piece clashing with the rest of the Eclipse Cross’s styling theme. Mitsubishi reps were also clearly inspired by the axed Mitsubishi Evo especially when you look at some of the more subtle design elements in the SUV. Sometimes, it’s the little things that can stand out, and in this case, the light changes here make the Eclipse Cross feel more complete than before.


Better Ease of Use Defines Eclipse Cross Cabin

Slip inside Eclipse Crosses like our example, and you’ll see that the interior has also benefitted from its own share of updates. The infotainment screen is replaced with an all-new 8.0-inch unit that’s now mounted closer to the driver to enhance on-the-move usability. Older Eclipse Crosses used to use a touchpad controller that was annoying to use and was right up there with the touchpad units that we have seen in Lexus models in terms of frustration.

Our tester pitches that and replaces the touchpad control with manual controls for things like volume, climate, and more. The core pieces of the cabin are still largely carried over but SEL models like our example come equipped with a number of extra features to help spice things up somewhat. That includes metal pedal covers, push-button start, heads-up display, as well as adaptive cruise control. Apple CarPlay Andorid Auto and in-dash navigation are also available, but only on the 8.0 inch screen with the smaller 7.0 inch unit lacking all three of those items.

SEL models also come with leather seats and while they focus on providing more seat comfort than bolstering, that’s fine with us since the seats did a good job providing long-distance comfort on freeway journeys and even on short jaunts through town. The second row has an adequate amount of room for most passengers but the sloping roofline does limit headroom for taller passengers. Passengers in the second row have controls for the heated rear seats as well as a lone 120-watt power outlet for charging mobile devices. Move back to the front, and you’ll see that the rearview camera now comes with a birds-eye view which can be paired with the traditional rearward angle to help give drivers a nearly 360-degree view when maneuvering into tight parking spots.


Performance Is Still A Noticeable Weakness

While Mitsubishi engineers made changes to the exterior and the interior ofthe Eclipse Cross for 2022, they left the performance hardware alone which results in the engine still being the biggest detriment to the Eclipse Cross. All models are powered by a 1.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder which is good for 152 hp but it won’t set any records at the track with our example needing 8.6 seconds to make the sprint to 60 mph.

The engine delivers its power in a smooth and predictable manner, but the software and the CVT are tailored towards fuel economy versus outright performance which results in sluggish acceleration and middling behavior in high speed passing. The fuel economy numebrs here reflect this with the Eclipse Cross getting 26 mpg in front wheel drive configuration. All-wheel drive models like our tester lose 1 mpg and get 25 mpg in the city but it’s out on the freeway where all-wheel drive models get 28 mpg. That’s also a mpg lower than the front wheel drive version but is higher than some of its rivals.

Contrary to its sporty design, the Eclipe Cross has a relatively soft ride which presents itself when you pitch the SUV into corners with moderate bodyroll blunting some of the Eclipse Cross’s behavior from drivers. On the other hand when our tester was allowed to do the things that define its segment, the squishy ride quality actually allowed our tester to have good long hual ride quality with the suspension soaking up all kinds of bumps and divots.


Value Quotient

Base pricing for the Eclipse Cross starts at $23,695 before fees and options are factored in. That’ll get you into a base front-wheel drive ES model but buyers looking for more equipment wil have to move into higher trims with the SE model in both front and all-wheel drive being the bets value here due to its balance of technology, value, and comfort. Range topping SELs like our tester start at $29,295 but the $2,100 SEL Touring Package helped push the base figure to $31,395. A small list of accessories and the $1,195 destination fee blended together to help push the sticker to a grand total of $34,075 which is up there with segment benchmarks like the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, and the Hyundai Tucson.

The pricing also ushes SEL models out of the value-focused sweet spot in pricing, but if we had to buy one for ourselves, we would actually skip the SEL trim and instead focus on the SE. As mentioned, SE models still offer a good amount of equipment but they manage to make their mark at less cost versus the SEL which is great for families and SUV buyers that are working on a tight buying budget.


That said, the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross feels like an unfinished painting. It has enough improvements to help it be a noticeable step above the older model, but at the same time, it also has not had the opporutnity to truly benefit from Mitsubishi’s connections with Nissan and we look forward to seeing if the next generation model will be able to fill in some of the missing pieces.