Every Eclipse Cross is powered by a 110kW/250Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT auto) combo, giving it a clear performance advantage over the older ASX.
Priced from $35,090 before on-road costs, the LS is the mid-tier grade, sitting some $4800 upstream of the base ES 2WD (front-wheel drive), and is the least expensive AWD. If you don’t need that, the $32,590 LS 2WD will save $2500 (and 64kg).
Every version includes seven airbags, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), Forward Collision Mitigation, Active Yaw Control, cruise control, paddle shifters, 8.0-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming and voice control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, twin USB-A ports, digital radio, rear view camera, climate control air conditioning, cargo blind, 18-inch alloys and a conditional 10-year warranty.
Metallic and pearlescent paint adds $740 extra while prestige paint requires another $940.
Key LS additions are Lane Departure Warning, auto high beam, rear parking sensors, keyless entry/start, auto on/off headlights and wipers, front fog lights, privacy glass, auto up/down windows, roof rails, heated/power folding door mirrors, rear armrest with cupholders, electric park brake, brake auto hold and an audio upgrade.
Now, for $100 less, the $34,990 Aspire ditches the LS’ AWD but gains important safety like Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, Blind Spot Warning, front parking sensors, adaptive cruise control with stop/go functionality and a surround-view camera, as well as dual-zone climate control, suede-like upholstery, heated front seats, a powered driver’s seat and another audio upgrade. Bargain!
This means if you want to combine the Aspire’s driver-assist safety extras with AWD, you’ll need to find $40,290 for the Exceed AWD, that also ushers in leather, LED headlights, powered passenger seat, sat-nav, double sunroof, a head-up display, heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. There’s also an Exceed 2WD from $38,290.
How much do you need AWD?
The LS AWD is $1200 cheaper than the similarly-equipped Kia Seltos Sport+ AWD, costs nearly $3500 less than the corresponding Mazda CX-30 Touring AWD, but is over $2000 more expensive than the (less powerful) Toyota C-HR GXL AWD and a whopping $5500 over the (albeit smaller) Hyundai Kona Active AWD, to name some of its fiercest rivals.
That said, the Mitsubishi does undercut most popular larger medium SUV alternatives with approximating or higher equipment levels by several thousands of dollars, like the Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport AWD, Subaru Forester 2.5i-L, Toyota RAV4 GXL Hybrid AWD and Honda CR-V VTi-L AWD.
Overall, then, the LS AWD is priced to sell, if not exactly equipped to excel with its incomplete driver-assist safety suite, revealing a gap in the Eclipse Cross’ range. How about the non-existent $37,490 Aspire AWD grade, Mitsubishi?