The big-selling Nissan Qashqai is what's known as a benchmark car in the small SUV market. Whenever a car maker brings out a new car in this sector, it's deemed to be taking on the Qashqai at its own game and, try as they might, most fail to succeed.
Mitsubishi is taking renewed aim at the profitable SUV market with this new Eclipse Cross. It's planned to go on sale in the UK early next year, where it will face competition from the Seat Ateca, Kia Sportage and, of course, the Qashqai itself.
It's worth noting that the Japanese car maker already has its ASX to sell here but, despite a classy interior and comfortable ride, it's never been seen as one of the best small SUVs around.
What's new on the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross?
If the Eclipse name sounds familiar, that's because it was last used on the Mitsubishi Eclipse sports car which was sold mainly in the US between 1989 and 2012.
The Eclipse Cross certainly apes many of the hallmark features of modern SUVs - namely an oversized front grille, body cladding around its lower edges and a muscular, aggressive look with a coupé-like sloping rear. All this, Mitsubishi says, is designed to make the car appeal to "style conscious" buyers.
What engines can I get on the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross?
Two engine options will be available in the UK - a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel which is likely to be the most popular choice for buyers in this country. The petrol option comes with a CVT automatic gearbox, while the diesel comes with an eight-speed automatic. The Eclipse Cross is four-wheel drive as standard, meaning it should be able to go off-road without any trouble.
What equipment does the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross come with?
We've yet to see inside the new Eclipse Cross, but Mitsubishi is promising a tablet-style infotainment screen in the middle of the dashboard – controlled via a touchpad – alongside a head-up display and "futuristic" interior design. Drivers will be able to connect and control their mobile phones using the Apple CarPlay and and Android Auto services.
Split-folding rear seats also feature, which should aid the Eclipse Cross's practicality.
How much will the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross cost?
The Eclipse Cross will sit in between the current ASX and Outlander SUVs in Mitsubishi's line-up, and with the ASX priced from £15,999 and the Outlander costing from £24,999, a starting price of around £18,000 seems likely for the Eclipse Cross. If Mitsubishi can keep the car's ownership costs low, and its PCP prices attractive, then it should stand a good chance of competing against more mainstream small SUVs. Our current class champion, the Seat Ateca, is priced from £17,990.
See more of the Seat Ateca in our video review, below.
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