2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Best, when we heard the rumor that Mitsubishi was bringing back the eclipse; worst, when we found out that wasn’t quite the case, as they’d be using that sporty name on yet another compact crossover. Let’s see if driving the new eclipse cross will put an end to our Dickensian dilemma.
Just when we weren’t too sure about what exactly was going on at Mitsubishi, now that they have aligned themselves with Nissan and Renault, we get word of this new compact crossover, the 2018 Eclipse Cross. Size-wise, it slides in between the Outlander and Outlander Sport in their lineup.
Much like the Honda CRV it would love to steal some sales from, the Eclipse Cross is tiny-turbo-powered with a 1.5-liter I4 rated at 152-horsepower, well short of the CR-Vs 190. There’s more torque, however; 184 lb-ft., compared to Honda’s 179.
Like the CR-V, the Eclipse Cross is CVT tranny only, and base ES trim is the only one available with front-wheel-drive. All other trims come with Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control all-wheel-drive.
Those kind of power numbers didn’t exactly peak our anticipation for test track results. Still, the Eclipse Cross doesn’t feel underpowered by any means. It’s a little lazy at launch, but then graceful amounts of power begin pouring on, ushering you to 60 in a respectable 8.6-seconds.
The CVT has simulated shifts that help things sound a little less frantic working your way down the track. That all comes to an end in 16.7-seconds at 79 miles-per-hour.
Mitsubishi had to expect some backlash, choosing to resurrect the Eclipse sport coupe’s name on a ute; so they made an earnest attempt to make corner handling worthy of the name.
But a lot of the agility comes from the all-wheel-drive system, which uses selective braking to minimize understeer. Otherwise, we’d call it firmly average; betrayed by safe and slow steering and a fair amount of body roll.
The Eclipse Cross does have all of the features you expect in the modern day compact crossover. Meaning a color multi-information display, steering wheel controls, naturally a backup camera, plus automatic climate; they’re all standard.
Our mid-level SE was outfitted quite nicely, similar to many brand’s top trim levels; and adds a host of comfort and convenience features like heated seats, push button start, and Mitsubishi Connect.
Unexpected features for this class like head-up display and multi-view camera are also available. Our SE also added advanced safety features like Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic alert.
The 7-inch infotainment screen shoots out of the dash, and is controlled by a square touchpad controller on the console. There’s a definite learning curve to figure it out, and even once you do, it can be frustrating.
The Eclipse Cross launches a new Mitsubishi Connect subscription service that, in addition to the usual safety notifications, gives you remote access to your car with a cell phone app; allowing you to unlock the doors, change vehicle settings, and even set parental controls.
Seats are sufficiently comfortable, and the general pleasantness of the interior has you wanting to spend plenty of time in the cabin.
The exterior is among its best features; being rather dramatic looking for this usually appliance-like segment.
The front bares a strong resemblance to the Outlander family, and in profile the appearance favors a wedge, but yet a bit more coupish and sporty than most compact crossover rivals.
The rear is tall, with a split-glass hatch that brings to mind the Pontiac Aztec and the original Honda Insight. While you do see more outside, the split is quite distracting through the rear view mirror.
Under the hatch, is a good 22.6 cubic-ft. of cargo space; expanding to 48.9 cubic-ft. with rear seats folded.
All-wheel-drive Eclipse Cross’ have Government Fuel Economy Ratings of 25-City, 26-Highway, and 25-Combined, which we matched almost perfectly with an average of 24.9 miles-per-gallon. Earning an average Energy Impact Score, with the use of 13.2-barrels of oil yearly while emitting 5.7-tons of CO2.
The front-drive Eclipse Cross starts at $24,290, all other trims come with all-wheel-drive and top out with the SEL Touring for $31,390.
While the brand has been on a roller coaster ride here in the U.S., becoming the junior member of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has added tremendous stability. And, given that Mitsubishi has a global history of building rugged, dependable, SUVs, we think 2018 Eclipse Cross has a real chance to succeed.
True, by bringing back the Eclipse name, Mitsubishi is clearly aiming to cash in on the Eclipse Coupe’s reputation as a stylish, compact performer that delivers a lot of bang for the buck. We can see many of those same words applying to the Eclipse Cross. So, it might just be exactly what Mitsubishi needs to stay relevant, as they continue to rebuild the brand here and around the world.
- Horsepower: 152
- Torque: 184 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 8.6 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 16.7 seconds @79 mph
- EPA: 25 mpg city / 26 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 13.2 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 5.7 tons/yr
2024 Mazda CX-90
A Force To Be Reckoned With
If you’ve been following Mazda lately, you’ll know they’ve been fielding some serious new designs; you could even say, they’re latest efforts are 10-times better than before. After all, the CX-3 became the CX-30, then CX-5 became the CX-50, and now it’s the CX-9’s turn. So, let’s find out if this all-new CX-90, their largest SUV yet, is a real multiplier or if it’s all just a numbers game.
Don’t think of this 2024 Mazda CX-90 so much as an updated version of the CX-9, as it’s more of a complete rethink of their 3-row crossover, the first built on an all-new, large vehicle platform for the brand. And this platform carries a host of surprises. Not only does it make the CX-90 bigger by every dimension, but it’s a rear-drive architecture, and features all-new powertrains, including the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, and even an inline-6 engine.
Why an inline-6 to replace the CX-9’s turbo-4? Well, in general terms, I6s are better balanced, run smoother, and can deliver more torque at lower RPM. Just ask the BMW faithful, or any of the truckers you see going down the road hauling more than 20-tons of cargo with their inline-6s.
There are 2-versions of the longitudinally mounted 6, both assisted by turbocharging and a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Output for the base Turbo is 280-horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque; this Turbo S cranks it up to 340-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. The PHEV, on the other hand, is based on a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I4, working with a 100-kW electric motor to deliver 323-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. A 17.8-kWh battery delivers 26-miles of EV driving.
It’s not the prettiest SUV, but it does have very smooth body work; plus, the longer hood and 7½-inches of wheelbase stretch over the CX-9, give it more stately proportions. All CX-90s come with i-Activ all-wheel drive and the brand’s first 8-speed automatic transmission; the longer wheelbase allows tow ratings to step up from 3,500-lbs. to 5,000.
At the test track, our Turbo S launched effortlessly with good grip on the way to a 6.4-second 0-60. The smooth vibes continued throughout the ¼-mile, with refined power delivery, seamless shifts, and a noticeably more solid and stable feel at speed than the CX-9. Our best time was 14.7-seconds at 98 miles-per-hour.
Through the cones, it still behaves like a Mazda, with very good steering feel and a solid presence in corners at low to moderate speeds. Some understeer and body roll will show up when pushed hard, but Mazda’s Kinematic Posture Control uses subtle selective braking to help the vehicle rotate, and safety systems will step in well-before it gets out of sorts.
There’s a nice firm feel to the brake pedal, delivering good stopping results of 118-feet from 60 miles-per-hour. You can feel a lot of weight transfer, but nosedive was well contained.
Another unique element the CX-90 brings is seating arrangements for 6,7, or 8. It’s the 8-seater that’s standard with 3-across bench seating for 2nd and 3rd rows. 7-seaters get either captain’s chairs in the 2nd row, or more contoured seats for the 3rd; 6-seaters sport 2nd row captains and the contoured 3rd row. Cargo capacity varies with seating, but is at best 15.9 cubic-ft. behind the 3rd row, 40.1 behind the 2nd, and 75.2 with all seats folded.
As far as what it’s like to actually live with, the CX-90’s cabin is a clear step up, including on some trims suede-like materials, intricate stitching, and real wood, all consistent with what we’ve seen from the brand lately. A 10-inch dashtop touchscreen is standard for infotainment, with upper trims getting a larger 12.3-incher. We applaud Mazda’s inclusion of plenty of old-school manual controls for radio and climate, which keeps menu diving limited to secondary functions. PHEVs get a few unique controls and readouts to monitor drive modes and battery level.
Overall, the CX-90 is highly functional, entertainingly sporty to drive, and will be more competitive in the ever growing 3-row family crossover segment; and its posh interior may even attract luxury buyers on a budget.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the Turbo S are 23-City, 28-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a good 26.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular.
Pricing begins with the base Turbo at Select trim for $40,970, PHEVs are available in Preferred trim and above starting at $48,820, and the Turbo S starts at $53,125.
Force multiplier is a military term for when strategic elements come together to produce results greater than would have been possible without them. Well, no high-level math skills are necessary here to see that the 2024 Mazda CX-90 is clearly more than just a much better CX-9; it’s now a force to be reckoned with in the 3-row family crossover segment.
- Engine: 3.3-liter I-6
- Horsepower: 340
- 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 26.5 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 369 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 14.7-seconds at 98 mph
- EPA: 23 City / 28 Highway / 25 Combined
- Starting Price: $40,970