2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Redesign, History, Test Drive
Read our Preview of the 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross standard features, Redesign and Changes Interior Exterior, Price and Release Date.
With this model, the old Japanese brand hopes to enjoy the surf SUV to break its builder image become a bit too quiet. Mitsubishi has shown in competition, in WRC (5 titles) and especially in rallies (12 wins in the Dakar), with its Lancer 1 600 GSR and its Pajero. It’s all a little dated. In recent years, the Japanese label has gradually declined with a range of models that are certainly serious, but dull.
How to reverse the trend? “Hell, but of course, you have to bet on the SUV!” said Commissioner boy. But be careful, not a marvel of mechanical more or less well designed and intended to please a few aficionados. “We don’t have the will to apply for premium brand status, we just want to be a quality Japanese brand,” says Patrick Giri, the general manager of the French subsidiary of Mitsubishi Motors. A quality label, but who would place on the cardboard? “There is a territory to take between Land Rover and Volvo,” says Mitsubishi’s boss. It would be no wonder that Mitsubishi fondles the idea of a success story at the Jeep, another old brand, which has been forged over the years, without perhaps being fully aware of it, a reputation now worth the favor of an audience in search of Sincerity and authenticity.
Mitsubishi does not lack past to become a great future story: from 1936, the brand manufactured the first 4×4 vehicles, the PX 33. Nissan, which acquired 34% of the capital of Mitsubishi Motors six months ago, now has a strong position in the company. The Renault-Nissan Alliance should also help in this ambitious strategy.
Does 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross have the capability to be the weapon of reconquest, as was the Renegade for Jeep? Again, Mitsubishi likes to recall its 35 years of expertise in the SUV since the launch of the Pajero in 1982. “We want to reposition ourselves as one (almost)” pure player “SUV in Europe,” hammers the brand. “But no question of producing SUV’s” marketing “: our vehicles will be genuine SUV” Mitsubishi slice. But will they be pleasing to the eye? To see the Eclipse Cross, the answer is positive. It was designed by Tsunehiro Kunimoto, one of the stars of Japanese design, which joined Mitsubishi in 2014 after spending nearly 40 years at Nissan. His sculpted lines give him a certain visual identity. The front and rear lighting is particularly worked. With a new process of painting using crystallization technology, its deliveries are bright, especially in red. Only the rear bezel split in two, the solution chosen by Citroën and Honda for older models, will divide the opinions.
Display “High head” and touchpad
Inside, the quality of the materials is significantly better than before. The aesthetic of the cockpit, of classical inspiration, is pleasant and functional. An “information” axis crosses the middle of the dashboard and overlooks a “controls” axis. A “high head” reading device and a touchpad decorate this cockpit. All current safety and comfort aids are present in the call. The rear seat can be tilted from 16 to 32 ° (9 positions). It also slides on 20 centimeters, varying the volume of the trunk from 341 to 448 L in 5-seater configuration. Under the bodywork, an integral transmission system, called S-AWC, ensures the grain. It has three modes: automatic, Snow and “gravel” for difficult terrains. It is accompanied by an active yaw control (horizontal rotating movement of the body) controlled by the brakes. Under the hood, the Eclipse Cross will first be delivered with a four-cylinder petrol of 1.5 L developing 163 hp for a torque of 250 Nm. An amazing choice, as we were expecting this vehicle first equipped with the remarkable hybrid rechargeable technology (PHEV) developed by Mitsubishi, if coveted by Nissan and which would explain for much of its investment in the Brandi. Where, in rigor with a diesel group, always prized, whatever you say, in the compact SUV. The latter will arrive current 2018 in the form of a 2.2 L of 150 HP for 400 Nm of torque.
We tested the 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross for a few kilometers in an urban environment. The cockpit is pretty high. We appreciate the stockings covered by the lower door panels, which reduces the risk of dirt on the trousers in bad weather. The driving position is easy to adjust. The vehicle, aided by soft controls, is easy to take in hand. On the wicked Parisian cobblestones, we were able to appreciate the softness of his suspension as well as a soft upholstery. The petrol engine of more than 160 hp easily takes this car from 1 425 kg. Its sound is quite muffled, at least in the low rotations. The automatic gearbox uses a converter system. We fear of nagging skating, as is often the case with this type of transmission. But in the city, with a low load, it has shown a pleasant responsiveness and a direct response. Now you have to test it on the road, just like the vehicle itself.