Inside the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: Mitsubishi Motor Corp’s global sales volume for Q1/FY2018 increased 21 per cent year-on-year to 292,000 units. Its sales in North America increased by 25 per cent year-on-year to 45,000 units. The carmaker said that growth was driven by demand for the Outlander PHEV and Eclipse Cross.

Inside the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: Mitsubishi Motor Corp’s global sales volume for Q1/FY2018 increased 21 per cent year-on-year to 292,000 units. Its sales in North America increased by 25 per cent year-on-year to 45,000 units. The carmaker said that growth was driven by demand for the Outlander PHEV and Eclipse Cross.

Unveiled at the 2017 Geneva motor show, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SUV appeared in UK car showrooms earlier this year. The carmaker has high hopes for this model but how will it fare against the likes of the Ford Escape and VW Tiguan? Time will tell but early indications are that this medium-sized crossover is proving popular. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside.

Produced at the Okazaki plant near Nagoya, Japan since October 2017, the Eclipse Cross complements the carmaker's SUV lineup which currently comprises the ASX, Outlander and Outlander PHEV.

The styling of the Eclipse Cross evolved from the Mitsubishi XR PHEV II Concept car.

The styling of the Eclipse Cross evolved from the Mitsubishi XR PHEV II Concept car. Its coupé-like shape with a tapered roofline, short overhangs and bulky front and rear fenders certainly make it stand out in a crowded market. The wedge-shaped rear end is further distinguished by its full-width light bar, which incorporates LED brake lights. It has a split rear window (that helps to reduce drag) with the wiper being hidden beneath a deep roof lip spoiler.

Once seated in the usual throne-like SUV position, the eye is drawn to a heavy dashboard architecture that uses a horizontal axis to split functions between driver information (above the axis) and the nitty-gritty operational stuff like the HVAC controls beneath. The net effect works quite well to visually widen the interior, while the relatively high centre console and body-hugging side seat bolsters make the driver and front seat passenger feel more cocooned.

The dash, steering wheel, centre console and door panels all have carbon and piano black accents with touches of chrome trim dotted across the lower dashboard, centre console blades, front door armrests and air vents. The dashboard itself is swathed in dimpled, leather-like material.

The rear seats slide and recline allowing the occupants to gaze up at the optional twin sunroofs. Although the rear occupants have plenty of elbow, knee and leg room, the boot space is a little pinched. The luggage blind is anchored lower down to improve visibility through the split rear window.

Storage-wise, there are plenty of poky cubby holes to stash bits and pieces, including a decent size double-decker compartment glovebox, centre console with sunglasses tray and underfloor storage box.

Infotainment

The seven-inch centrally located touchscreen features the carmaker's so-called Smartphone Link Display Audio (SDA) that supports Android and Apple CarPlay.  The driver can use Siri or the SDA's touchscreen to get directions on traffic conditions, make and receive calls, access text messages and listen to music. While the Eclipse Cross doesn't offer a sat-nav, the Apple CarPlay and Android allows the driver to link their smartphone's mapping function via the touchscreen (assuming you can get a mobile signal).

The SDA system is paired with a touchpad controller located on the centre console, alongside the manual handbrake. This pad is quite intuitive and preferable to prodding and swiping the touchscreen.

Head-up display

While head-up displays have been in cars for more than 20 years, OE fitment rates have been slow and gradual.

While head-up displays (HUDs) have been in cars for more than 20 years, OE fitment rates have been slow and gradual. But the HUD market is predicted to flourish as more cars are being equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and drivers are demanding graphically rich data, visual alerts and greater levels of connectivity. 

HUD technologies fall into two camps: Combiner and Windscreen. A combiner HUD uses a screen to reflect an image to the driver, while a windscreen HUD has images projected directly off the windscreen.

The Eclipse Cross incorporates a pop-up combiner that displays information on speed, adaptive cruise control and other ADAS critical data. It also warns you if one of the doors has been left ajar. Using a button on the dash, the display angle can be adjusted for individual driving positions, while brightness can also be adjusted to match the surrounding light level (both automatically and manually).

Advanced driver assistance systems                                      

In the ADAS department, the Eclipse Cross uses a number of sensors to monitor the perimeter of the car, predict situations that can lead to an accident and assist the driver in avoiding them. Other ADAS features include forward collision mitigation (FCM). This uses a camera and a short range laser located behind the windscreen to detect vehicles or pedestrians ahead. If the FCM determines a risk of collision, it audibly warns the driver and, if necessary, applies the brakes (from 3mph). It also comes with lane departure and blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam adjustment, and an around vehicle monitor with a bird's eye view image. The latter works by using four cameras that are positioned around the vehicle showing five different views – front, rear, right, left and a composite 360° overhead image – which assist when parking in tight spots. Parking guiding lines are shown on the screen which respond in real time to steering wheel movements.

Acoustic windscreen

AGC Automotive supplies the acoustic windscreen.

It is clear that a quieter interior is becoming more important to consumers as voice-activated devices such as hands-free mobile phones become more prevalent. The quieter the interior becomes, the easier it is to hear quieter squeaks or rattles that were previously blanketed by noise. In reality, there is a limit to increasing the mass or thickness of glass, and also for controlling stiffness due to the limit of glass design. To increase damping effectively and obtain good sound attenuation, laminated glass is used with a viscoelastic plastic interlayer that changes vibration energy into heat energy. Since the first vehicle appeared in Europe with PVB acoustic windscreen – the Renault Clio II – the number of vehicles being fitted with acoustic glazing is gradually increasing. The Eclipse Cross is equipped with an acoustic windscreen, supplied by AGC Automotive. 

On the road

From launch in Europe, all variants are powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, mated to a six-speed manual (FWD only) or an eight-step CVT automatic transmission (FWD and 4WD). Our petrol manual gearbox version returned an average of 39mpg, on a mixture of motorway, town and country routes, a little short of the headline figure of 42.8mpg combined. On balance, the Eclipse Cross comes with a long list of standard equipment (despite the lack of a sat-nav), some clever safety technology and an intuitive infotainment system complete with a trackpad. It's quiet, too, thanks to the use of sound insulation within the body panels and floor and acoustic windscreen.