Taking a place between the popular RVR and Outlander models, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross hit the road in 2017 with a new turbocharged engine, unique looks, a capable all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, and a blend of must-have tech and content.
Good road manners and all-weather performance, as well as Mitsubishi’s industry-leading warranty coverage, are key reasons to consider a used Eclipse Cross. Competitors worth consideration include the Subaru Crosstrek, Nissan Qashqai, and Jeep Compass.
On board, many of the Eclipse Cross’s controls and interfaces will be familiar to owners of past or current Mitsubishi models. Feature content includes automatic lights and climate control, a full-colour driver computer, push-button start, blind-spot monitoring, heated seats, a sunroof, and more.
Under the hood, look for a smooth and quiet 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, good for 152 hp and a punchy 184 lb-ft of torque. With an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT), the Eclipse Cross’s powertrain is well set up for light-footed drivers who want solid around-town responsiveness and light fuel bills.
The Eclipse Cross’s AWD system is fully automatic, though drivers can use a special console-mounted button to toggle between various modes for further control over the system in specific situations.
What Owners Like
Most owners say the Eclipse Cross delivers a comfortable ride, solid highway feel, refined engine, smooth performance, and a flexible and roomy interior. Good forward sightlines and easy entry and exit help round out the package.
What Owners Dislike
Gripes include a comfort-first ride, and steering feel and handling that leave some owners wishing for more sportiness. Others wish for a more modern-looking cabin, a smoother ride on very rough roads, and an easier pull to close the tailgate.
Here’s a great forum discussion where current Eclipse Cross owners talk about what they love – and hate – about their machines. Here’s another solid rundown of what owners say about the reliability and driveability of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
As the Eclipse Cross is a relatively new crossover, second-hand selection will be generous, and most should have plenty of warranty remaining – though a few simple checks and resources are worth keeping in mind before you buy to minimize the possibility of headaches and surprises.
The Test Drive
Check the Records
Mitsubishi’s 10-year powertrain warranty helps add confidence to your purchase, but you’ll want to double-check that the warranty is still in good standing to avoid unpleasant surprises should a repair be required.
Remember that strict adherence to the maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual is required to maintain a vehicle’s warranty in good standing. If the former owner of the vehicle ever skipped or stretched maintenance, inspection or servicing intervals, remaining warranty could be compromised.
Check all service records against the Eclipse Cross’s maintenance schedule for maximum peace of mind. Remember that if you need a warranty repair, you’ll probably need to prove that all maintenance and oil changes are up to date, with service records and receipts.
Start It Cold
Insist on test-driving a used Eclipse Cross that’s dead cold, making sure it hasn’t been pre-warmed before your arrival. Then, when starting the engine, pay attention to how long it takes to turn over and achieve ignition. Even if the engine is cold, it should start up the moment the ignition button is pressed. If that’s not the case, or if the Eclipse Cross you buy begins to hesitate at start-up, have a dealer technician investigate.
According to some owners, updated engine computer programming is required to correct ignition issues like these. A dealer can quickly diagnose and correct the programming, if required.
Engine Timing Sensors and Check-Engine Light
A vehicle’s check-engine light (CEL) can appear for countless reasons. A technician can use a special piece of equipment to determine which problem – or problems – have caused a CEL to appear.
Some Eclipse Cross owners have reported a CEL appearing as a result of issues with sensors that control the timing of the engine. Most have not. Here’s some more reading.
If you see a CEL in your Eclipse Cross during a test drive, be sure to have the unit checked by a technician to diagnose the problem before you buy.
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Remember: a CEL is your vehicle’s way of inviting you to have its computer scanned, in order to pinpoint the specific problem that caused it to appear. Do not attempt to fix a CEL by disconnecting the vehicle’s battery, or switching to a different gasoline grade.
Squeaks and Rattles
Some owners complain of unwelcome noises from certain parts of the Eclipse Cross’s interior on rough roads, with culprits ranging from loose screws to misaligned interior panels to a tailgate whose rubber bump-stops need to be adjusted.
Listen closely for unwanted noises on rough roads, and note that any unwelcome noises from beneath the vehicle may indicate excessive wear to one or more suspension system components.
Interior squeaks and rattles are generally easy to address and no cause for alarm, but excessive suspension noise on rough roads should be looked into professionally before you buy.
A Few More Points
To help ensure you get the best motoring experience possible from your used Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, work with a dealer service advisor to confirm three important items. First, make sure the unit you’re buying has no outstanding safety recalls. Dealers perform recall work to affected vehicles free of charge to make them safer.
Second, while checking on safety recalls, a service advisor can also determine if any software updates are available for the vehicle you’re considering. Software updates can improve the operation of various vehicle systems, and prevent possible trouble down the line.
Third, on higher-mileage units, consider having the vehicle’s battery tested before you buy. A weak battery can cause electronic headaches long before it fails to start the engine. Making sure your Eclipse Cross is running a healthy battery can help prevent problems.
With all software updates, maintenance, and recalls up to date, you’re well on your way to a confident second-hand motoring experience with the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
IIHS: Top Safety Pick (2019)
NHTSA: 5/5 Stars (2020)