Driven: Mitsubishi Eclipse 1.5 Turbo GLS 4×2 CVT

Driven: Mitsubishi Eclipse 1.5 Turbo GLS 4x2 CVTWell slap me and call me Brian O Conner. It’s a turbocharged Mitsubishi Eclipse! Cross.

What is it?
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is a compact SUV that just happens to share its name with the marque’s FWD performance coupe from the 90s. Yes, most famously that green one that blew up in the inaugural Fast and Furious movie because NOS. This isn’t that. Think Nissan Qashqai or Suzuki SX4 and you’ve got the idea. This one is a forcefully aspirated 1.5 litre, the new range topper.

How does it look?
Well it looks like a Mitsubishi. What I mean is, the Japanese brand has a very samey treatment when it comes to their front ends. So, strong echoes of Pajero Sport and ASX but overall, a handsome blue four by two.

What about living with it?
Hop aboard the Eclipse Cross, settle into its leathery seats and you’ll encounter a traditionally Japanese cabin. That means good materials and sound ergonomics in what is a well-appointed living space. The driver benefits from a tilt and telescopic helm, multifunctional and leathery. Then there’s cruise control, buetooth and handsfree control plus head up display. Despite the CVT gearbox, the 1.5T comes with paddle shifters. And on that note…

How does it go?
The new turbocharged engine makes the same amount of power as the two litre NA engine found elsewhere in the range. That’s 110kW, whilst torque increases from 198Nm to 250Nm. Naturally this makes for a marginally more fuel efficient drive train, one that loses less shunt at the reef. It goes well enough, with car-like handling and a non-offensive soundtrack. I mean the exhaust note, less so my YouTube music playlist.

Should you buy one?
Ag, I think so hey. There’s literally nothing wrong with the Eclipse Cross and the Turbo makes a lot of sense. At R469k its biggest problem is the fact that it has its work cut out just getting noticed in this massive, burgeoning segment. In all honesty, it does get lost in the crowd. And that’s a pity considering what a strong prospect it is. Good car, this.

Quick Stats: Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 1.5 Turbo GLS 4×2 CVT

Price: R469,000
Powertrain: turbocharged 1.5l fwd, 110kW, 250Nm, 8-step CVT auto, 7.7l/100km fuel consumption

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