After a short pause and a mid-cycle update, 2022 is not at its bestEclipse Cross is back and looking better than ever. The look has been refined, the performance optimized and there are also new technologies and comfort. Unfortunately, “best” still isn’t good enough to stand out in a highly competitive class, and while the Eclipse Cross feels like a good compact crossover choice, it’s far from the best.
- More comfortable driving
- Updated cabin technology for most trim levels
- Beautiful and edgy style
I do not like
- Disconnected performance
- Poorly equipped lower trim levels
- The higher levels lack advanced features
The external aesthetic is the only aspect of the Eclipse Cross that I like without reservation. Aside from the slightly awkward wheel-to-body ratio that is endemic to this corner of the CUV class, this is a good looking vehicle, especially in the Red Diamond hue of this example. (My favorite of the available shades is Bronze Metallic, which paints the crossover’s angular musculature in a more elegant light.)
The front and rear bumpers are new to the Eclipse Cross 2022, stretching the SUV both physically and visually while maintaining an aggressive grille and lighting combination with Mitsubishi’s C-shaped chrome wings. The sloping roofline compromises rear headroom a bit, but creates a nice, crisp silhouette that works well and stands out among a crowd of bean-shaped crossovers.
The biggest exterior change is the redesigned rear hatch, which does away with that odd light bar that split the rear glass in two in favor of a simpler design. The re-sculpted rump is a little more generic, but overall the Eclipse Cross is a better looking vehicle.
Under the hood you’ll find Mitsubishi’s 1.5-liter MIVEC turbocharged four-cylinder that equips the Eclipse Cross. This is the only engine available and is paired with a continuously variable transmission with standard front-wheel drive or optional Super All-Wheel Control. Output is claimed at 152 horsepower and 184 foot-pounds of torque, which sounds decent for this class on paper, but somehow feels less than advertised once the CVT gets into the mix.
My biggest complaint about the Eclipse Cross’s performance is that it feels disconnected. Throttle response is robbed of its bite by a tag team of CVT rubber bands and a touch of turbo lag, which makes the whole SUV sluggish when passing or melting. In the meantime, I get an unpleasant wheezing sound of the engine which, due to the nature of the continuously changing ratios, never quite adapts to acceleration.
Column-mounted shift levers are a nice sporty touch. They feel good to the touch and touch, but the slow response of the CVT when changing gears does not match their tactility. at least they are.
Walking around town on a light foot, the Eclipse Cross feels good. When you give the CVT slow, predictable inputs, it settles into a pleasant enough groove. There’s plenty of power to climb hills, and fuel economy is midpack for this class. I averaged around 25mpg during a week of heavy testing on the highway, on par with the EPA’s estimated city of 25mpg, 26mpg on highway, and 25mpg combined with all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive examples fare a little better at highway speeds, climbing to 28 mpg here, as well as 26 mpg combined.
2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: Underachievement unlocked
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The steering is vague, which makes the Eclipse clunky on the freeway and difficult to keep centered in its lane. The suspension is well composed on bumps and pits and extremely comfortable for longer runs, but you’ll pay for that smoothness with noticeable roll, pitch and dip while driving briskly.
Driver assistance and in-cab technology
The highway safety of Eclipse Cross could be improved with some sort of lane centering technology, but sadly you can only get a lane departure warning system. At the very least, that technology is standard, as is collision mitigation braking with pedestrian detection. Upgrading to the LE trim level adds automatic high beams, while SE models get blind spot monitoring with lane change assistance and rear cross traffic warning.
My top-of-the-range SEL model has the optional Touring Package which complements the driver assistance suite with adaptive full-speed cruise control and adds high-speed braking to the collision mitigation system. This package also adds a small head-up display visor that rises from the top of the instrument cluster and is far too small to actually be useful.
A reversing camera is standard and you can switch to a surround view system on the SEL. The button to activate the front and surround camera feeds is located on the steering wheel, a unique placement that makes the system extremely easy to access when you need it. As a person obsessed with parking perfectly parallel between lines, this little detail is my favorite part of the Eclipse Cross tech suite.
New for model year 2022 is a new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system on trim level LE and above. Mitsubishi has also ditched its old, awkward touchpad controller in favor of the volume and tuning knobs right next to the screen. The SE model further enhances the cabin technology with onboard navigation equipped with.
Despite the new hardware, the infotainment software is still pretty sparse. On the plus side, the simplicity means it’s quite responsive too. Furthermore, the addition ofAnd means you can make up for most of the tech shortcomings quite easily with a high-quality smartphone and USB cable.
Meanwhile, the entry-level Eclipse Cross ES uses a smaller 7-inch display that lacks the smartphone link needed for Android Auto or CarPlay connectivity, which is a huge shame for buyers lured by the low starting price of Eclipse Cross.
Better, but still not enough
The 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross starts at $ 24,590 – including the $ 1,195 destination tax – for the front-wheel drive SE, or $ 25,375 with all-wheel drive. I would recommend upgrading to LE 2WD ($ 25,940) at least to unlock CarPlay and Android Auto. The weak point in the alignment is the SE setup. For $ 27,340, this gives you the most driver assistance technology available, 24 months of access to Mitsubishi Connect telematics, remote services, and keyless access. Furthermore, the fact that passive keyless entry / boot is still an option in 2021 speaks volumes about the state of the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
My all-wheel drive SEL model costs $ 34,670 as tested. That’s about $ 2,000 less than a loadbut then again, Hyundai offers a lot more for the money.
Yes, it’s better than before, but in terms of performance, cabin technology, safety systems and comfort, the Eclipse Cross is still far behind in this very competitive small crossover class. Okay, but you can definitely do better.