NOW more mature than it’s ever been, the 2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Aspire is an SUV whose design has become less controversial with each iteration. The newest version is much more elegant.
Our test vehicle was finished in Deep Blue paintwork which was complemented by black body accents, privacy glass and roof rails. It’s a genuinely good looking package for the most part.
The Dynamic Shield design language that is its front end, and inherent across pretty much every Mitsubishi vehicle in the market, feels a little overpowering, although that can be a personal taste thing. Some people love it.
Wrap around LED tail lamps and a conventional top tailgate spoiler show a more cohesive look to the reworked back end too. The high seating position feels taller than it is, and forward and side visibility is very good.
They’re the good bits. On the downside, the driver’s rear view feels restricted by the thick interior rear pillars. The Aspire variant does have a reversing camera though, and multi-around monitor for a virtual overhead view, which more than compensates.
As taller drivers know, we often have problems with the location and height of the accelerator pedal. The Eclipse Cross falls into this category too, due to a panel intrusion into the cabin, underneath the dash.
It becomes uncomfortable when driving for longer periods or when using the cruise control. This unfortunately could be a deal breaker as other manufacturers are able to address this issue.
Finished in grey, with perforated micro-suede and stitched synthetic leather side panels, the seating is supportive and comfortable. The driver’s seat is power operated and both front seats are heated on the Aspire and Exceed grades.
Carbon fibre-look trim panels are fitted around the door window switches with a piano black console finisher panel. Storage is good too, with door bottle holders, two cup holders in the console and a lidded storage box with sliding oddments tray.
The rear seat centre armrest contains two cup holders. But, in a world of mobile phones, it seems like an oversight to not allow sufficient usable space for a mid-sized phone spot. Logically this should be in close proximity to the USB outlets in the centre console.
The Eclipse Cross also lacks wireless phone charging, presumably for the same reason. A roomy 405-litre cargo area expands to 1,149-litres with 60/40 split fold rear seats to handle most loading tasks.
There’s plenty of rear seat leg room for full sized passengers, which is welcome and practical. A rear seat pocket is only provided on the passenger side.
On the road, the Eclipse Cross Aspire feels capable in all tested suburban environments, with its 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo engine offering 110kW of power. The CVT can be operated with the steering wheel paddle shifters, but that seems unnecessary.
Claimed fuel economy is 7.3-litres/100km, and we produced almost 9.0-litres/100km in real world trials. That’s not unexpected, as our testing covered only suburban activities and at least the Mitsubishi runs on 91 RON unleaded.
The revised rear suspension feels comfortable over Sydney’s suburban roads, while riding on new 18-inch two tone alloy wheels. It is fitted with a strut brace under the bonnet in case we had driven the car hard enough to notice.
We enjoyed the protection of four audible parking sensors each end on several occasions, and the virtual overhead view (MAM), and reverse camera, work well in busy carparks to back an unfamiliar vehicle.
The driver aid system warnings are well modulated and audible, without resorting to panic inducing sirens. The forward warning alert seemed overly sensitive several times but it was doing its job.
As expected, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard on the range-wide 8.0-inch touchscreen. Satellite navigation is only supplied on the Exceed grade, so phone map apps need to fill the gap in the Aspire.
DAB+ digital radio is included on all Eclipse Cross grades, with the Aspire scoring the Mitsubishi power sound system (MPSS). This brings eight speakers, however the bass was sometimes poor on our test vehicle.
The usual comfort suspects were present with dual zone climate control, auto-sensing lights and wipers, and one-touch electric window operation all round. There are two front USB outlets but none in the back. There is a rear 12-volt outlet though.
The Eclipse Cross Aspire is available in White, Sterling Silver and Titanium Metallic, Lightning Blue (as tested) and Black, with the latter two being pearlescent paints. White Diamond and Red Diamond are also offered as prestige options.
The Eclipse Cross is covered by a 10-year, 200,000km warranty, provided the vehicle is serviced at a Mitsubishi dealer within specified service windows. If you choose not to go that route, it’s a 5-year 100,000km warranty instead.
Yearly service intervals apply, with capped price servicing and one year roadside assistance. Servicing the car at an authorised dealer also renews the roadside assist cover up to a maximum of four years.
The Mitsubishi safety suite includes a forward collision mitigation system, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, and the usual stability controls, brake enhancements and seven airbags. It has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.
The 2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Aspire is priced at $37,230 drive away. It’s a well executed package that’s let down by a number of issues. It would suit those looking for something slightly larger than a mini SUV, but taller drivers need to beware.
Our test vehicle was provided by Mitsubishi Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Aspire, contact your local Mitsubishi dealer.