Hey you! Yeah, you, the guy approaching 40! Remember the Mitsubishi Eclipse? Of course you do. Did you pick one of the sporty little coupes up at your local Mitsu dealership back in the ’90s? Or your Plymouth dealer? Or Chrysler? Or Eagle? Thanks to the healthy Mistu-Chrysler Diamond Star Motors partnership, there was a while where it seemed like you could pick one of those things up anywhere.
Or did you come of age in the early 2000s, the era of George W. Bush, MTV’s Spring Break, and The Fast and the Furious? It’s okay to admit it now if you spent your teens trying to replicate that awful green “DANGER TO MANIFOLD” car Paul Walker drove. The parachute pants and frosted tips though, those are still unforgivable.
Or was yours that wedge-shaped plastic coated version that followed, the one with the obnoxious commercial that Dave Chappelle took the piss out of on the pilot episode of Chappelle’s Show? Sure, the Eclipse soldiered on another decade, but the less said about its sad final years, the better.
Nonetheless, for a good 15 years, the Eclipse had an otherworldly knack for evolving to stay the stuff of teenage dreams. And in its absence, we young-timers have started to look back on one of the first sporty cars we could ever hope to afford with fondness. So now that you — yes, you the guy approaching 40, are getting married and on the way to having 2.53 kids just like your parents, Mitsubishi has decided to launch an all-new Eclipse, just for you!
… as a crossover.
Yep. A crossover.
Looking to relive your glory days while your kids tell you to turn your lame music down from the back seat? Then read on for everything you need to know about the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Your manifold will not be harmed.
1. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
In 2016, one devious thing led to another and Mitsubishi ended up being bought by Nissan. And while that could’ve spelled trouble for the diamond brand, Nissan has committed to keeping it alive. The Eclipse Cross is the first all-new model to debut under Nissan ownership, though the bigger company had no part in its development. What does this all mean for the prospective buyer? Probably greater dealership distribution and better parts support, making the new crossover easier to buy, and easier to service.
2. An Outlander by any other name…
Mitsubishi has been a small operation in the past few years, but it’s found success with its midsize Outlander and compact Outlander Sport. It should come as no surprise then, that the Eclipse Cross’ architecture is closely related to these two models. It will also share the same 105.1 inch wheelbase with both of them.
3. Shooting the gap
As the crossover market continues to expand, we’re seemingly treated to more segments and sub-segments with each passing year. Slotting in between the two Outlanders, the Eclipse Cross will do battle with the Jeep Compass, Mini Countryman (both all-new for 2018), and Subaru Crosstrek.
4. Neither fast nor furious
In the global marketplace, the Eclipse Cross will be offered with either a 1.5 liter inline four or a 2.2 liter turbodiesel four. And while the diesel is mated to an eight-speed automatic, the U.S.-spec versions will only be available with the 1.5 liter four mated to a CVT. No power numbers have been released yet, but this thing isn’t going to be particularly quick.
5. Emphasis on the cross…
The Eclipse Cross will use Mitsubishi’s electronic four-wheel drive system to help the Eclipse transition from sporty nameplate to crossover. With a legendary reputation for four-wheel drive (RIP Evo, above), there’s at least a little of Mitsu’s performance DNA in this new model.
6. Based on a high concept concept
The Eclipse Cross is a fairly faithful production version of 2015’s XR-PHEV II concept, albeit without the hybrid powertrain. Mitsubishi says:
The “Dynamic and Characteristic” rear design is distinguished by the almost cubist styling created around the high-mounted, stretched rear lamps and by how it horizontally divides the forward-rake rear window into two.
7. It’s sportyish-ish
Thanks to its compact size, the Eclipse Cross will likely be marketed as Mitsubishi’s sporty offering, and the way its taillights arc across the rear deck recalls the spoilers offered on the old car. Unfortunately, that angled sheetmetal and busy rear are already drawing comparisons to the infamous Pontiac Aztek…
8. The face of Mitsubishi
Bold rear fascia and creased sheetmetal aside, the Eclipse Cross wears Mitsubishi’s latest front end styling, which it calls the “DYNAMIC SHIELD.” According to the company, this:
refers to the protective shield shape visually formed by the black central area represented by a black radiator grille that symbolizes the performance of the car. The black area is embraced from three directions – from the left, right, and bottom. DYNAMIC SHIELD emphasizes the front end’s functionalities aimed at protecting both people and the car itself.
It may be busy, but from here on out, this is what you’ll see whenever a new Mitsubishi comes towards you in traffic.
Editor’s Note: While Mitsubishi spells DYNAMIC SHIELD in all caps, the jury is still out on whether you need to shout it when saying it. We’ll update if we hear from Mitsubishi.
9. It has an interior!
Inside, the Eclipse Cross has a slightly more interesting looking dash design than either of the Outlanders, though the acres of black plastic and aluminum-look trim remain. The new crossover will be available with Smartphone Link Audio Display system, which supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system is controlled by a Lexus-style touchpad controller in the center console. There’s also a Mazda-esque Head-up Display.
10. It won’t break the bank
Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but considering that the Outlander Sport starts around $20K, and the Outlander bows at around $24, we’d bet the farm that this in-betweener will start at around $22K.