2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Review: A Decent Crossover That Tries Hard To Be Different

[Photos: TFLcar unless noted otherwise]

2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: Overview

✓ It tries to look different Lackluster fuel economy
✓ Roomy interior Frustrating infotainment system
✓ Solid AWD system Least expensive model lacks most features you want
✓ Relatively affordable

The compact crossover game is a fierce battlefield where every manufacturer has at least one contender gunning for your hard-earned cash. This is a segment dominated by the likes of the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Chevy Equinox and Ford Escape, to name just a few. As the competition goes, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross was already facing an uphill battle when it emerged in 2018. Now, the 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross gets a few minor updates, but what strong points does it have to peel some buyers away from the most popular crossovers on the market?

In a word: value. At least at the lower end, Mitsubishi’s striking crossover offers a lower starting price than most of its competition. Here’s how it stacks up against its rivals:

Make/ModelStarting MSRP*Difference
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross$22,995
Toyota RAV4$25,850+$2,855
Honda CR-V$25,050+$2,055
Nissan Rogue$25,300+$2,305
Ford Escape$24,885+$1,890

*Prices above exclude destination charges, which vary by manufacturer.

Changes for 2020

Apart from minor cosmetic tweaks, the 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross looks the same as the 2019 version. That makes sense, since the model itself is still pretty new. However, you do get more standard equipment on all models except the base ES like automatic high beams, forward collision mitigation and lane departure warning.

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross also adds over the air update capabilities and a Vehicle Status Report function, which you can view in the brand’s My Mitsubishi Connect App.

2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
[Photo: Mitsubishi]

Styling: Distinctive

We always say styling is objective, and that still applies here. You may not like the look of the 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, but I commend it for trying to be different. It’s sharp from the front end, and the chrome trim connecting the top and lower portions of the fascia is a nice touch. If anything, the combined fog light and turn signal assembly would look cooler if it was a smaller LED unit, but overall Mitsubishi’s latest all-new crossover has some distinctive lines and forms that stand it out from some of the blander options.

Now, around the back is where the 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross makes its biggest styling statement. Unfortunately, the brake light assembly stretching across the rear window seriously hampers rear visibility, but you don’t have too much trouble picking this out in a sea of crossovers on the road. I have mixed feelings about the notably curvy rear fascia, but I also realize just using flat lines would make the design look a bit too Pontiac Aztek-ish.

Apart from that rear brake light and the spoiler, there aren’t too many notable features around the back. The Eclipse Cross badge has moved to the left side of the liftgate, and Mitsubishi deleted their named badge for 2020. While you can get a front-wheel drive version, this is the top end S-AWC (Super All-Wheel Control) model in SEL trim, which you can broadcast to the world at large thanks to the badges on the rear hatch.

The Eclipse Cross’ 1.5-liter engine won’t set your hair on fire, but it has enough grunt for your commute. [Photo: Mitsubishi]

Performance: Adequate

Sadly, the 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has sporty styling the actual powertrain can’t back up. In this segment, it’s pretty common to see cars packing more than 200 horsepower thanks to redesigned engines and turbocharging. On paper, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is underwhelming by comparison. It does have a turbocharged engine, but the 1.5-liter unit puts out just 152 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. That engine comes mated to a continuously variable transmission, which also doesn’t help if you’re looking for excitement.

The lack of power does show under acceleration, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. You may not have all the power, but the Eclipse Cross is slightly lighter than most of its rivals, which helps make up the difference a bit. The CVT offers smooth acceleration, but returned unremarkable fuel economy at 27 mpg.

Ride quality is one area where the 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross does fairly well, though. It’s quiet, while the softer ride absorbs most bumps without much fuss. Steering effort is light, but the steering is fairly accurate, and the all-wheel drive system manages to keep everything nice and composed in the corners. The compromise that comes with a soft ride, though, is a fair amount of body roll.

Comfort and convenience: It’s all there, but…

All 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross models come with a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. That said, you don’t get any physical buttons to navigate through menus, and the menus within the infotainment system can be confusing to use. The system does take awhile to boot up after starting the car, which is annoying if you just want to get in and go. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported, but are only available on LE and higher models. SE models add blind spot monitoring, lane change assist and forward collision mitigation to the mix, as well as dual-zone climate control.

This 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SEL 1.5T S-AWC takes it a step further with a Head-Up Display and LED lights, but the SE offers the best level of equipment for the money. On this SEL, the $2,100 Touring Package offers a panoramic sunroof, a Rockford Fosgate premium sound system, adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Apart from the frustrating infotainment system, the rest of the interior felt solid, and materials are up to snuff, given the price.

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross does offer some useful space, even with the sporty roof line. However, it’s not as much cargo area as some of its rivals.

Verdict: A solid choice, but be careful with trims

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross offers a solid all-around option, though it’s not spectacular in any one given area. It has enough power, it’s predictable to handle, and it’s comfortable. As most crossovers are getting crazily expensive, though, the Eclipse Cross makes a much more appealing prospect by comparison. This SEL is a bit pricey with all its options, ringing in at $32,720. Stick with the LE or SE, and you’ll have a reasonably priced new crossover that could suit your needs, without breaking the bank.

It’s also worth noting that Mitsubishi has one of the best warranties in the industry. Like Hyundai and Kia, they offer a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. You also get 7 years of 100,000 miles of anti-corrosion coverage and a 5-year/60,000-mile limited warranty.