2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: A completely new SUV worth checking out [First Look]

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (Sinclair Broadcast Group / Jill Ciminillo)

Mitsubishi is kind of a forgotten automaker. Nothing in its stable is likely to be on most people’s list when they are cross shopping a vehicle purchase. And I’ve even had several people ask me if Mitsubishi is even producing vehicles for the United States anymore.

It is.

And the all-new 2018 Eclipse Cross is a vehicle worth checking out.

Slotted between the Outlander Sport and Outlander, the small SUV is meant to be on the sportier side of the spectrum.

I haven’t driven a Mitsubishi product since 2014, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But in plain terms, I’d say the Eclipse Cross meets or exceeds expectations in all categories.

Eclipse Cross is equipped with a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that delivers 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This is a different engine from both the Outlander Sport and Outlander get, and it has greater torque.

This translates into quick off-the-line starts and some fun-to-drive acceleration in curvy road situations.

The Eclipse Cross is a nice handling vehicle, an aspect the folks at Mitsubishi highlighted with drives through mountain switchbacks surrounding the Los Angeles area.

One slight blip in the fun is the flat-out acceleration that you’d experience when merging with traffic on the highway. It’s a tad lackluster. However, the SEL Touring models that we were driving during the press launch came equipped with column-mounted paddle shifters, and this helped with faster acceleration.