Sprint Review: 2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

What do the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Mercedes Sports-Coupé, recent Honda Civic and a bunch of Citroëns have in common?

You should know: The split-glass rear hatch. All of the above-mentioned vehicles (and probably a few more) were designed with beautifully sloping rear quarters which gave them a sexy silhouette but turned out be a complete ‘mare to reproduce in the real world, i.e. with metal, plastic and glass.

Which is why, with very few exceptions, all of them started off with a two-piece tailgate design… that pretty much eliminates any rear visibility. And almost all of them had a mid-life facelift which aimed at fixing said problem. Mitsubishi’s Eclipse Cross compact-crossover SUV is no exception, for it now has a sensible rear glass setup.

More info: It gets even more bizarre when you consider this trendy pavement hopper’s name: Eclipse Cross. The original Eclipse was a compact sports car and only shares the Mitsu badge with this front-wheel drive SUV.

Why you shouldn’t: Well, the good news is that the offending split rear window is now gone, plus this car got some of the contemporary Mitsubishi style added to its face. Prices aren’t too bad (460 to 500k) and you get the choice of a 2L petrol or 1.5L turbo-petrol engine; but only with a dreaded CVT (continuously variable transmission).

Why you should: Like other CVT’s nowadays, the one in our 1.5L GLS test car did its utmost to simulate gear changes and therefore avoid the wrath of self-proclaimed petrol-heads. Give it the beans and it should hit 100km/h in about 9 seconds: our best effort near sea level was a shade over nine.

The 2.0 model we tested in 2018 took an equally respectable 10.92 seconds. Also, some key specifications I’d like to mention include 180mm of ground clearance, average fuel use of about 8L/100km from the 63L tank, a 5.3m turning radius, seven airbags, keyless operating system and plenty of modern safety aids!

What else? Mitsubishi includes a few other sensible items with each purchase, most notably a 3-year/100,000km warranty with five years of roadside assistance and a 5-year/90,000km service plan. It’s stylish, fairly roomy and comfy, and now comes with a rear window you can see out of!


Engine:1.5L i-4 Turbo-petrol
Transmission:8-step CVT, FWD
Max. Power:110kW
Max. Torque:250Nm
Avg. cons.:Claimed 7.7L/100km
0-100km/h:9.06 seconds (claimed 8.9)
Top Speed:No claim
List Price:From R500,000  

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