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Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 2022 review: PHEV

  • Drivetrain2.4L plug-in hybrid
  • Battery Capacity13.8kWh
  • Battery typeLithium-ion
  • Electric range55km NEDC, 45km WLTP
  • Combined Range600km+
  • Plug TypeCHadEMO, Type 2
  • DC charge rate22kW
  • AC charge rate3.7kW
  • Electric motor output60kW/137Nm fromt, 70kW/195Nm rear
  • Combustion engine output94kW/199Nm
  • Combined outputN/A
  • Petrol efficiency1.9L/100km claimed
  • Electric efficiency21.5kWh/100km
Complete Guide to Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

The 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has a new high-tech powertrain that allows it to run as an electric car, or run using the petrol engine, or even use both at the same time. 

But the new hybrid SUV is not like a Toyota hybrid - because this one can be plugged in at home to recharge the batteries, and you should be able to get at least 50 kilometres of EV driving out of just a few dollars worth of electricity.

We’re talking about the new 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid EV, or PHEV as we’ve called it in the past. The brand has renamed it to include both ‘Hybrid’ and ‘EV’ in the name because, well, it reckons those terms have a bit more cut-through today than when the company first launched its Outlander PHEV back in 2014.

But with the new Eclipse Cross PHEV variants attracting a huge premium over the regular petrol-turbo models, does the extra money buy you a better car? Let’s find out.

Price and features - Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

The 2022 Eclipse Cross PHEV line-up is expensive compared to the petrol-turbo models.

The ES AWD has a list price (all prices MSRP, before on-road costs) of $46,490, while the mid-spec Aspire costs $49,990 and the top-end Exceed lists at $53,990. 

I know they’re not like-for-like in every instance - the ES and Aspire petrol-turbo models are 2WD, not AWD, for example, and there are some specification differences, too - but the price jump from each respective non-PHEV version is $15,500 (ES), $14,250 (Aspire) and $12,500 (Exceed).

The ES AWD has a list price (all prices MSRP, before on-road costs) of $46,490. (Image: Matt Campbell) The ES AWD has a list price (all prices MSRP, before on-road costs) of $46,490. (Image: Matt Campbell)

Yikes.

You’d really, really have to want the EV driving experience to justify that additional expenditure, right?

Here’s a rundown of the specifications across the three PHEV grades.

Standard for the $46,490 ES grade are 18-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, halogen headlights, keyless entry and push-button start, cloth interior trim, manual front seat adjustment, an 8.0-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android auto, a reversing camera, a four speaker stereo, digital radio and a rear cargo blind.

The Eclipse Cross rides on 18-inch alloy wheels. (Image: Matt Campbell) The Eclipse Cross rides on 18-inch alloy wheels. (Image: Matt Campbell)

Step up to the $49,990 Aspire and you score LED headlights and fog lights, a lower body kit, heated front seats, faux-leather and microsuede trim, auto wipers, adaptive cruise control, an eight-speaker stereo, surround view camera, front and rear parking sensors, and an array of safety equipment that we’ll cover off in the safety section.

Choosing the range-topping $53,990 Exceed model nets you leather seat trim, a heated steering wheel, a head-up display - making it the only grade with a digital speedo! - as well as sat nav, a dual pane sunroof, and a black headliner in the cabin.

Design - Is there anything interesting about its design?

You’re going to be able to tell the PHEV model from its more conventional counterparts by those oversized ‘Plug-in Hybrid EV’ badges on the front doors, and if you want to tell those behind you what you’re driving, there’s also a ‘PHEV’ badge there, too. Wait, wasn’t the plan to do away with the term ‘PHEV’, Mitsubishi

But aside from that, the outside features just the different 18-inch alloy wheels (which are the same on all PHEV models, no matter the cost - I think that’s a bit lame, because if I’m spending $7500 on the Exceed I’d like a different wheel design!). Oh, and the Aspire and Exceed get that different lower front splitter, too.

It may be categorised a small SUV but at 4545mm long, riding on a 2670mm wheelbase, 1805mm wide and 1685mm tall, it’s big for its boots. (Image: Matt Campbell) It may be categorised a small SUV but at 4545mm long, riding on a 2670mm wheelbase, 1805mm wide and 1685mm tall, it’s big for its boots. (Image: Matt Campbell)

Plus the PHEV has two fuel filler doors - one on each side of the car over the rear wheels. The driver’s side one is the EV charging ports (x2 - detailed below), and the passenger’s side one is for the petrol. Note: while the EV port is push-openable, the petrol cap still requires you to lift a lever in the driver’s footwell. 

It may be categorised a small SUV but at 4545mm long, riding on a 2670mm wheelbase, 1805mm wide and 1685mm tall, it’s big for its boots. The popular Mazda CX-5 is only 5mm longer, and it plays in the midsize SUV segment!

Inside there are some design differences, with a specific gear joystick-style selector, and a different instrument panel.

It is impressive how the brand has managed to shoehorn a petrol engine, two electric motors, a battery pack and more into the car, but there are some practicality implications. Read about them in the next section.

Practicality - How practical is the space inside?

Up front, the cabin is a pretty smart place, with nice enough materials and finishes, and a few good storage options. There’s a cubby in front of the shifter, but oddly enough it doesn’t have a wireless charger (there are 2x USB 2.0 ports above) and isn’t quite big enough for a smartphone (even the smaller ones don’t fit there all that easily), and there are cup holders between the seats, a decent covered centre console bin, and door pockets large enough for bottles.

The PHEV models get a different instrument cluster dial for EV driving readout info, but all have the old-school 4.2-inch TFT colour display that lacks the size and usability of some rivals with larger info screens - the MG HS PHEV, for instance, has a 12.3-inch digital display, which shows you a lot more info than this tiny little screen does. Heck, there’s not even a digital speedometer in there - and you only get one if you buy the Exceed model, which has a head-up display (HUD).

The cabin is a pretty smart place, with nice enough materials and finishes. (Image: Matt Campbell) The cabin is a pretty smart place, with nice enough materials and finishes. (Image: Matt Campbell)

That’s part of the problem with the way this car’s interface operates. If you want the most detailed information you need to use the touchscreen media system, but that negates the usability of the media functions. On multiple occasions I found myself switching between Apple CarPlay phone calls and searching for that particular driving info screen I found most useful (there are about 15 screens to choose from, and plenty of them are hard to decipher).

It’s a huge disappointment for a customer who might want to see all that detailed information but also listen to a podcast, answer a call, follow their phone’s mapping or just have anything other than the hybrid info come up on the infotainment screen. The screen itself - an 8.0-inch unit, with sat nav integrated into the top spec only - is fine, but small compared to today’s rivals.

In the back seat, there’s a compromise for cabin space. The leg room is good, but the seat has been bumped up to accommodate some of the electrical hardware and the petrol tank, meaning someone my size (182cm/6’0”) will find they’ve got enough room for their legs but not their head, and those even larger will really need to take care getting in and out. While pre-facelift examples of this car had a clever sliding second row seat, that’s gone. It was never a feature in any PHEV version, and undoubtedly the layout of the battery pack has something to do with that. 

The double pane sunroof no doubt eats into the space in the rear to a degree as well, and in the Exceed it likely feels a bit more cramped because of the black headliner. 

Boot space is 359L (VDA) for PHEV models. (Image: Matt Campbell) Boot space is 359L (VDA) for PHEV models. (Image: Matt Campbell)

While three adults could potentially fit across the back row for very short trips, there are dual ISOFIX and three top-tether points for child seats. The Exceed is the one you want if you’re aiming to treat your rear-seat passengers right: it has heated rear outboard seats, rear directional air vents and two USB ports for charging - the ES and Aspire miss out on all that stuff.  

Boot space is 359L (VDA) for PHEV models, which is a step down from the 405 litres (VDA) for the non-hybrid models. There is extra hardware under the floor, and you don’t get a spare wheel in the PHEV models either - instead there’s a tyre repair kit. For context, we only just managed to fit all three CarsGuide hard suitcases (124L, 95L and 36L) in the boot of the PHEV version, while it was far less of an issue in the non-PHEV.

Oddly, no model comes with a power tailgate. 

Drivetrain - What are the key stats for the drivetrain?

The plug-in hybrid version runs a non-turbocharged 2.4-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine producing just 94kW and 199Nm.

Meagre outputs, but the petrol unit is backed by two electric motors - the front motor has outputs of 60kW/137Nm, while the rear motor produces 70kW/195Nm. It’s all controlled by a single-speed transmission.

The plug-in hybrid version runs a non-turbocharged 2.4-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine producing just 94kW and 199Nm. (Image: Matt Campbell) The plug-in hybrid version runs a non-turbocharged 2.4-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine producing just 94kW and 199Nm. (Image: Matt Campbell)

There is no ‘combined power output’ figure, but there is a 13.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack as part of the equation as well.

The engine can power the battery pack in series hybrid driving mode, so if you want to top up the batteries before you get to a city, you can. And there is regenerative braking, of course. More on recharging in the next section.

Energy consumption - How much fuel does it consume? What’s the range like, and what’s it like to recharge/refuel?

The Eclipse Cross PHEV has an official combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 1.9L/100km. That’s astounding, really, but you need to realise that the test calculation is only for the first 100 kays - there’s a really good chance your real-world consumption will be a lot higher, as you can only deplete the battery charge once before calling on the engine (and your petrol tank) to juice it back up.

Electric driving range is stated at 55km based on NEDC cycle testing, while the WLTP rating is a more realistic 45km. In our testing we fell between the two during our “fully charged” 100km run, in which the electric charge initially ran for 50km. But, over the 100km run, the dashboard info screen said the car used “82 per cent” electric driving, while somehow also showing 3.9L/100km for petrol consumption.

The Maximum charge input is 3.6kW. (Image: Matt Campbell) The Maximum charge input is 3.6kW. (Image: Matt Campbell)

I did the numbers at the fuel filler, and the actual return was 4.5L/100km. That’s okay, but not nearly as spectacular as you might hope, and I’ve seen very close in a RAV4 hybrid - which in most instances is cheaper than the Eclipse Cross despite being bigger and, frankly, a lot better.

I also ran the car for a further 100 kays without plugging in, just to see what the ‘worst case scenario’ might be - and it wasn’t too bad, with the fuel consumption jumping to a real-world return of 5.5L/100km. But again, that’s worse than you’ll likely get with a RAV4…

When it comes to charging/recharging, there is available AC charging using a Type 2 plug that can fully recharge the battery in as little as 3.5 hours, according to the brand. DC fast charging with a CHAdeMO plug should fill from zero to 80 per cent in 25 minutes. Maximum charge input is 3.6kW.

Like me, you’ll want to do the maths to see what is going to be the most economical way to run your car - aside from just plugging it in at the office and hoping nobody notices.

There is available AC charging using a Type 2 plug that can fully recharge the battery in as little as 3.5 hours. (Image: Matt Campbell) There is available AC charging using a Type 2 plug that can fully recharge the battery in as little as 3.5 hours. (Image: Matt Campbell)

A standard 10-amp household plug - which should take about seven hours to replenish the batteries - could cost as little as $1.88 to get back your circa-50km EV range - that’s based on overnight charging, off-peak, on an average 13.6c/kWh electricity price. Of course, if you’re considering a PHEV, you might have a solar array and the electricity could well be free. Good for you.

But remember, there’s more to it than just the electricity costs - you need to also consider the additional purchase budget required just to get into the PHEV model over a regular Eclipse Cross. 

Driving - What’s it like to drive?

If you’re after that electric car thrill of near-silent, almost mind-blowing acceleration, the Eclipse Cross mightn’t be the right car for you

But if swift progress and the buzz you get from taking off from the traffic lights without any hesitation at all is more your thing, it could be great for you. And if you’re not quite ready to go “full EV”, then it’s probably something you’re considering.

The EV driving mode is the best driving mode in this car. You can run it just on the petrol engine to ensure you save your battery range, and you might choose to do that when you’re driving on the freeway and know you’re approaching an urban area where the EV goodness will be better used. Or you could have it so it's using battery and petrol power, and that’s where you’ll get maximum combined performance.

But running the car in the default, EV-prioritised mode means you will make the best of this powertrain's strengths, because - for the fifty odd kays you’ll get out of the battery - it’s pretty good.

It’s also impressive the way this powertrain dips between petrol engine, battery pack or both at higher speeds. When the battery range had depleted on my test drive, the engine kicked in almost imperceptibly, working to power the car and also generate more electricity for the battery pack. It then dipped out of petrol, back to battery, and so on and so forth, multiple times during my drive. 

The steering is light and lacks feel, but at least it’s easy to park. (Image: Matt Campbell) The steering is light and lacks feel, but at least it’s easy to park. (Image: Matt Campbell)

The best thing about the way it did so was that it was smooth. There is barely any vibration from the petrol engine, the transmission doesn’t have any gears to fumble with, and overall the refinement is really good.

There are drive modes - Eco, Normal, Snow, Gravel and Tarmac - and in my test I kept to Normal. I did fiddle with the regenerative braking reactiveness, though, using the paddleshifters to dial up or down the aggressiveness of the energy recoup system. It doesn’t feel as aggressive as some pure electric cars, but thankfully it has a decent pedal feel and progression when you apply the brakes yourself. 

The steering is light and lacks feel, and doesn’t offer that much engagement or involvement. That might matter to you if you’re like me. I wish it was more fun. But at least it’s easy to park.

While the suspension is fine and comfortable on the highway, it can feel wooden and the ride is quite lumpy at low speeds. It never really feels all that well resolved for urban driving, which is a bit of a downer considering that’s likely where a car like this will spend most of its time

The tune of the suspension - being a bit firm at lower pace - surprisingly doesn’t have any payoff when it comes to cornering, as it lacks a bit of body control, shifting its weight side to side. 

All in all it is a decent plug-in hybrid offering – and will be perfectly suitable to someone who wants some EV driving as a part of their lifestyle. It’s just a matter of doing the maths as to whether it will work for you.

Safety - What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

All Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross models have been awarded a five-star ANCAP crash test safety rating based on 2017 testing for the pre-facelift model. 

The range has increasing levels of safety technology the more you spend, but all variants have forward autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with forward collision warning (operates between 5km/h and 80km/h) and the AEB includes pedestrian detection (between 15km/h and 140km/h). 

The Aspire and Exceed get adaptive cruise control. (Image: Matt Campbell) The Aspire and Exceed get adaptive cruise control. (Image: Matt Campbell)

Standard on all grades is a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, seven airbags (dual front, driver’s knee, front side, side curtain for both rows), active Yaw control, stability control, and anti-lock brakes (ABS) with brake force distribution. Lane departure warning is standard too.

Spend up on the Aspire for adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and front parking sensors. From Aspire up to Exceed, there’s the addition of the brand’s Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System, which can dull throttle response to prevent potential low speed collisions.

No speed sign recognition is available, and therefore no smart cruise control either. Plus there is no lane centring system fitted either, and nor is there a driver attention monitoring system, so it’s falling behind on the tech front.

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is built in Japan.

Ownership - What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

There’s a huge 10 year/200,000 kilometre warranty on offer - but it’s valid if you maintain your car with Mitsubishi’s dedicated dealer service network over the 10 years/200,000km timeline, or else you get a five-year/100,000km plan.

But while the rest of the car will be covered by that decade-long warranty if you service it with Mitsubishi, the battery is only covered for eight years/160,000km, no matter where you have the car serviced.

Maintenance is due every 12 months/15,000km. But just a note - the more complex powertrain means higher service costs than the regular turbo-petrol versions. The annual fees are: $299, $399, $299, $399, $299, $799, $299, $799, $399, $799; so an average cost of $339 for the first five years, or $558.90 per visit over 10 years/150,000kn. 

Included for customers who service their car with the brand is four years of roadside assist.

Do you have questions over reliability, issues, concerns, recalls, automatic transmission problems, or anything else of that ilk? Check out our Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross problems page.

  • Drivetrain2.4L plug-in hybrid
  • Battery Capacity13.8kWh
  • Battery typeLithium-ion
  • Electric range55km NEDC, 45km WLTP
  • Combined Range600km+
  • Plug TypeCHadEMO, Type 2
  • DC charge rate22kW
  • AC charge rate3.7kW
  • Electric motor output60kW/137Nm fromt, 70kW/195Nm rear
  • Combustion engine output94kW/199Nm
  • Combined outputN/A
  • Petrol efficiency1.9L/100km claimed
  • Electric efficiency21.5kWh/100km
Complete Guide to Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid EV is an interesting inclusion for the brand, especially as it is typically considered a ‘value player’ in the market.

But with negligible real-world fuel consumption benefits if you drive beyond the limited EV range and a high price premium over the non-PHEV models, it’s important you see if the sums add up for your particular needs.

Primarily going to use the car for running around town? Cool. Think the 50-ish-kay EV range will work for you and make you happy? Amazing. Sold on the look of the car? Hat tipped.

But let me say this - if you are considering the Eclipse Cross PHEV, there are some alternatives you should also have on your list, including the MG HS PHEV, the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV, Kia Niro PHEV, and - the one I’d buy - a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. For me, plug-in hybrid tech is a bit of a halfway house, in most instances offering too high a price premium for the range you’re getting to drive electric. Heck, a Kona Electric isn’t much more than the top-spec Exceed PHEV, and I’d have that if I wanted a real day-to-day EV experience.

Score

3.7/5
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.