2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Episode 3739
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

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. 

Specifications

  • 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 MX-5 Miata 1

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Still A Miata, And That’s A Great Thing

Episode 4340
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When the cool little Mazda MX-5 Miata arrived for 1990, it immediately triggered a host of imitators and sparked a genuine global roadster revival. While that fad has faded, America’s love affair with the MX-5 has stayed strong. And, we’re pretty sure we know why!

The 2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata is probably one of the most recognizable cars on the road, and it has a way of putting a smile on our face every time we see one, not to mention any time we get a chance to hop behind the wheel. The Miata concept really hasn’t changed drastically over the last three decades, proof that Mazda got the formula right from the beginning.

Rear-wheel drive, minimal weight, tight suspension, willing engine, superb manual shifter, simple folding top, and just enough creature comforts to make long drives as pleasant as carving up backroad twisties.
An overload of power has never been part of that equation, and many may still decry the lack of horsepower, but just a reminder, this car was meant to rekindle the spirit of British roadsters from the 1960s that were a pure joy to drive, and had engines half as powerful as what the Miata works with today, which is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter I4 with 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque.

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Front
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Profile
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Rear
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Detail
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Rear Detail
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Front2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Profile2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Rear2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Detail2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Rear Detail

A six-speed manual transmission remains the standard; you must upgrade to top Grand Touring trim to even get the available six-speed automatic. And it all works together to deliver a joyful driving experience that few other vehicles can match.

The exterior design has gotten more purposeful and less cartoonish over the years; new for this year is updated lighting which now incorporates the LED DRLs into the headlight assembly, as well as a more cohesive design for the full LED taillights, plus some fresh wheel choices.

Continual upgrades under the skin too, with a new asymmetric limited-slip differential for all manual-equipped Miatas. Its purpose is to minimize oversteer, and if you think that means it’s less fun, you’d be wrong.

The perfect feel and action of the shifter keeps you looking for reasons to shift gears.

It was still a blast to dart through the handling course at our Mason Dixon test track and on the autocross circuit at Summit Point Motorsports Park. Minimal body roll and perfectly neutral handling had us scooting through the turns with ease. Kinematic Posture Control was added back in ’22, using selective braking to tighten up cornering. Adding to it for ’24 is a new steering rack and updated software for the Electric Power Assisted Steering that provides better on-center feel and more precise control.

7.0 seconds to 60 mph won’t exactly get your blood pumping, but it’s plenty adequate for the Miata’s mission and the engine sounds great for a four-cylinder. The perfect feel and action of the shifter keeps you looking for reasons to shift gears. But keep those engine revs above 6,000 for the most power. We did and our best quarter-mile was 15.4 at 92 mph.

Our average braking distance of 118 feet from 60 mph may have been a little longer than we’re accustomed to from a performance car these days, but their predictable and fade-free nature will give you plenty of confidence at your next track day.

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Dashboard
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Seats
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Instrument Cluster
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Central Display
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shifter
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Trunk
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Engine
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Dashboard2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Seats2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Instrument Cluster2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Central Display2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shifter2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Trunk2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Engine

Things remain all business in the cockpit, with everything falling readily to hand, and comfortable seats locking you in place. The most notable change in here for ’24 is a bigger infotainment screen, growing from 7.0 to 8.8 inches.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings with the manual are 26 City, 34 Highway, and 29 Combined. That’s a slightly better than average Energy Impact Score of 10.3 barrels of annual oil use, with 5.0 tons of CO2 emissions.
Starting price is only $30,170; top Grand Touring goes for $35,470.

It’s true that the Mazda MX-5 Miata has barely evolved over the years; but fortunately for all of us, virtually all of the ways that it has changed have been for the better, yet even in 2024, it remains incredibly affordable. It has been such a constant presence and passion for so many of our MotorWeek staffers over the years it seems like it has been around for a lot longer than just three decades, and thankfully, it looks like there’s no slowing the Miata down.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Engine: 2.0-liter I4
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 181
  • Torque: 151 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 7.0 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 15.4 seconds at 92 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
  • EPA: 26 City | 34 Highway | 29 Combined