That is the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Black Linked. The brand new trim stage sits on the high of the model’s household SUV line-up, designed to compete in opposition to snazzier variations of the Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 3008, and our favorite household SUV, the Skoda Karoq.
Because the title suggests, the Black will get some moody-looking equipment to assist it stand out from the lesser Eclipse Cross variants. The same old silver entrance and rear skid plates are painted black, and there’s additionally a black end for the entrance grille, door mirrors, door trims and 18-inch alloy wheels. There are three exterior colors to select from: white, gray and black.
Elsewhere, tools ranges are beneficiant. Commonplace options embody LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, heated entrance seats, a head-up show and dual-zone local weather management. The Black Linked additionally affords an upgraded sound system and leather-based seats with distinction orange stitching.
All of this package is crammed right into a cabin that appears good sufficient, and one which’s a step up in model and performance in comparison with Mitsuibishi stablemates just like the ASX. The sprint high is delicate to the contact, however elsewhere there’s loads of arduous, scratchy plastics. There’s just a few too many random finishes, too; the window swap surrounds are coated in pretend carbon fibre trim that isn’t discovered anyplace else, for instance, which makes it really feel a bit of fussy. It’s all solidly screwed collectively, although, and the entrance seats are very cozy.
The ‘Linked’ a part of this trim stage’s title hints at an uprated infotainment system. Whereas the items in different Mitsubishis really feel like clunky aftermarket add-ons, the unit within the Black Linked appears sharp, and is responsive to the touch inputs. You’ll want a smartphone with both Apple CarPlay or Android Auto although – there’s no built-in sat-nav – however in any other case it will get the job achieved. This thought-about, it’s a bit annoying that the shelf beneath the display screen isn’t fairly sufficiently big for a contemporary gadget – particularly when you plug a USB cable in to it.
As with different Eclipse Cross fashions, practicality is a little bit of a combined bag. The inclusion of a rear sliding bench provides the Mitsubishi one thing uncommon on this class, and it’s straightforward to make use of through a few levers beneath the seats. Legroom is nice when the bench is about to its rearmost place, but it surely comes with a compromise; like this, the boot measures simply 341 litres – lower than a Volkswagen Golf.
You’ll be able to slide the seat all the way in which ahead when you want extra space for storing, however that forces the rear passengers to maintain their knees up by their ears – ears that themselves will virtually be brushing the ceiling, because the panoramic sunroof eats into headroom. With the seats as far ahead as they go, the amount remains to be solely 448 litres – a Skoda Karoq, regardless of being 23mm shorter than the Eclipse Cross, affords 521 litres. The Skoda has ample cabin house, too.
In fact, you may get across the lack of sat-nav, and also you gained’t be loading up the automobile to the brim with folks and issues each day, but it surely’s out on the street the place the Eclipse Cross actually struggles in opposition to the category leaders. The experience does a good job of coping with huge bumps, but it continuously fidgets round over rougher surfaces, even at motorway speeds.
And at larger speeds, issues with the steering start to current themselves, too. The rack feels obscure, which signifies that it calls for fixed corrections to maintain the automobile pointing in a straight line. Not solely does this not instill a lot confidence on a twisty street, but it surely’s one thing that may turn out to be tiring on an extended run.
Energy comes from a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, and consumers can select from a front-wheel drive mannequin with a handbook gearbox or the four-wheel drive model with an auto pushed right here. The auto gearbox is a CVT unit, however one with synthetic steps to make it behave extra like a standard field. In follow, it really works moderately nicely; it largely removes the droning impact below acceleration that often hampers a CVT’s refinement, but settles right down to minimal revs at a cruise. It’s attainable to take management with steering wheel-mounted paddles, which reply shortly.
Easy although the gearbox is, the powertrain falls down in two key areas: efficiency and economic system. A Skoda Karoq powered by a 1.5-litre turbo, mated to an auto gearbox and four-wheel drive, takes virtually a second and a half much less to speed up from zero to 62mph.
As for the thirst, the Eclipse Cross is achieves 32.5mpg in official assessments, however even that could be a quantity we struggled to match in the actual world. Whether or not driving on the town or on motorways, or cruising alongside a rustic street, consumption stayed fairly persistently within the mid-twenties. CO2 emissions of 175g/km places the Eclipse Cross within the high 37 per cent bracket – 5 bands larger than the Skoda.
After which there’s the worth. This mannequin prices a smidge over £31ok. There isn’t a free color choice on Black Linked trim, so that you pay not less than £555 on high of that. To place that into perspective, the Karoq 1.5 TSI 4×4 auto prices £30,990 in Scout trim; a automobile that’s extra spacious, quicker, comfier, quieter, cheaper to run, extra enjoyable to drive, and with a slicker infotainment system.