Mitsubishi’s Eclipse Cross PHEV is a member of what we like to think of as the 100km
It’s a fairly exclusive club because it costs a lot to get into and the benefits are at best
Based on the same powertrain as the Outlander PHEV, with both petrol and electric
motors, claimed fuel consumption for the Eclipse Cross PHEV is a tiny 1.9L/100km.
That’s an impressive figure, but the reality is to achieve this figure the vehicle needs to
be recharged each and every 100km – otherwise the final figure is sure to be
Basically, the battery provides 45km of petrol-free travel. After that, the petrol engine is
on its own – at least until the battery has been recharged. Get the picture?
With seating for five occupants, Eclipse Cross sits between ASX and Outlander in
terms of size.
There are three plug-in hybrid versions from which to choose: ES, Aspire and Exceed.
Prices start from $47,290 for ES, $51,240 for Aspire and $55,990 for top of the line
The latter, the subject of our review, is a big ask with a price that is $12,500 more than
the equivalent turbocharged petrol model.
All PHEVs come with an auto and all three are underpinned by all-wheel drive.
Standard kit includes cloth trim, two-zone climate air conditioning, 18-inch alloys, push
button start, LED daytime lights, cruise control and rear parking sensors.
Aspire adds suede and synthetic leather trim, heated front seats, power-adjust driver’s
seat, LED headlights, front parking sensors, along with adaptive cruise control, 360-
degree camera, blind spot warning, lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert.
Exceed adds full leather, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, power-adjust
passenger seat, built-in navigation, head-up display and a double sunroof – plus an
ultrasonic mis-acceleration mitigation system.
The PHEV received some minor updates earlier this year, including the addition of a
power operated tailgate and V2L (the ability to power external equipment, with a 240
volt three-point power socket in the boot).
For a car with a focus on technology, however, it lacks wireless phone charging, the
latest USB-C ports or a 12-volt socket in the cargo area. Ditto missing rear air vents.
Eclipse Cross PHEV is covered by a 10-year / 200,000 km warranty – provided that it’s
always serviced at a Mitsubishi dealership. Otherwise, it’s five years and 100,000 km.
Battery warranty is eight year and 160,000 km.
Infotainment comprises an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth with voice control, AM/FM
and DAB+ digital radio, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and an eight-speaker,
Mitsubishi-branded sound system.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The powertrain comprises a 2.4-litre petrol engine with two electric motors, one for the
front and one for the rear axle, and a 13.8 kWh battery.
The engine produces 94kW of power and 199Nm of torque, while the electric motors
deliver 60kW/137Nm and 70kW/195Nm respectively.
A combined figure is not provided, but throttle response is sharp thanks to the instant
torque from the electric motors.
Drive is to all four wheels through a single-speed transmission and is remarkably
Standard safety includes seven airbags, rear view camera, automatic emergency
braking and lane departure warning, plus an ultrasonic mis-acceleration mitigation
The latter reduces the chance and severity of hitting obstacles when the driver
mistakenly presses the accelerator when stationary or at speeds of up to 10km/h.
Eclipse has grown a little in size since launch.
It now offers a pleasant, comfortable environment, with more rear legroom and a larger
The cool two-piece rear window has been replaced with a more conventional and
probably cheaper one-piece unit.
A revised instrument cluster displays engine speed as well as EV charge levels and
battery use — but no digital speedo.
For that, in the Exceed at least, there’s a flip-up, plastic-style head-up display panel that
deploys above the dash.
The front seats and steering wheel are heated, but cooling would have been a better
option given our climate.
Although larger overall, plug-in hybrid versions have a smaller boot than the standard
model because of the space occupied by the battery pack.
While the spare wheel has been replaced by a tyre repair kit.
The PHEV system is ‘EV-biased’ and prioritises EV Mode wherever possible, but can
deploy Series or Parallel Hybrid modes when required.
In EV Mode (available from 0-135km/h), the PHEV is powered by the front and rear
electric drive motors, drawing current from the battery.
In Series Hybrid Mode (available from 0-70km/h), the car continues to use the battery
to power the front and rear motors, while the petrol engine is engaged to run the
generator to charge the battery while driving.
This mode is also automatically activated when the driver wants maximum acceleration,
or for example when driving uphill or when battery charge is low.
In this mode, the vehicle will attempt to revert to EV Mode as often as possible for
maximum efficiency and minimum emissions.
In Parallel Hybrid Mode (available above 70km/h), the PHEV operates like a traditional
This means the petrol engine drives the front wheels in tandem with the front electric
motor via the multi-mode front transaxle, while the rear electric motor drives the rear
Once again, the vehicle is configured to revert to EV Mode or Series Hybrid Mode
Regenerative braking is available in all three modes and can be adjusted via paddles
on the steering wheel. There are five steps that add drag when you take your foot off
the throttle, sending energy back to the battery.
But, unlike other vehicles of this kind, you still need to apply the brakes.
It all might sound a bit complicated, but there’s no need to worry because the car takes
care of everything — everything that is apart from charging.
The PHEV has AC Type 2 and DC CHAdeMO style input sockets.
Using the supplied cable and a regular 10A powerpoint it takes 7 hours to fully charge.
It’s also supplied with a second cable for faster Mode 3 charging using a wall charger
which takes 4 hours, while 0-80 per cent with a full-blown commercial DC charger takes
The Mitsubishi Remote Control app allows drivers to plan and activate battery charging
remotely via the app, to take advantage of off-peak electricity tariffs.
Mitsubishi claims 55km of electric range, but that’s under the old NEDC standard.
Under the newer, more stringent WLTP system, it’s actually 45km — but 55 sounds
Basically, if you live in the ‘burbs, Mitsubishi claims the electric range is sufficient to pop
into the city and back without needing to recharge. We reckon it’s a costly option and a
lot of mucking around for little in return.
The cynical might suggest it has more to do with satisfying emissions requirements
than delivering real world benefits.
At the same time, because it’s a plug-in hybrid, you don’t need to worry about being
stranded. When the juice runs out, the petrol engine kicks in.
Hybrid questions aside, the PHEV is a heavy car and this has implications for the ride
There are five drive modes: tarmac, snow, gravel, normal or economy.
Normal or Eco are what most urban motorists will use, while Tarmac is in effect a sport
mode in which the car becomes tauter, sportier and more responsive.
The ride is harsher on anything apart from smooth bitumen, even though they’ve done
a bit of work on the rear suspension.
You feel all the little imperfections and the car can take longer than normal to settle as
it continues to bounce up and down on the suspension.
That weight means and the fact the car sits relatively high also means it has a tendency
to run wide in corners, with squeal hard braking and lift-off oversteer when braking late
and hard into corners.
The steering lacks any sort of feel. In fact, you can waggle the steering wheel (technical
term) from side to side with little or no effect on the direction of travel.
It’s like trying to change direction in the billy carts we used to build as kids in the
backyard with wood pinched from building sites.
A sports car it is not.
With a 45-litre tank, it takes regular 91 unleaded.
We took the PHEV for a run down the coast over the Easter long weekend and
unfortunately did not have access to a powerpoint to recharge the battery.
We were getting 6.8L/100km after 780km, bearing in mind that trip computers in
Mitsubishis are prone to reset no matter what you do
Power consumption was 16.2kWh/100km, while 47 per cent of our time was spent in
EV mode. No sure how this can be, as we never recharged the battery after the initial
charge was depleted.
This compares with 7.7L/100km for the 1.5-litre turbocharged all-wheel drive version of
The Eclipse Cross PHEV Exceed is a likeable enough car, but for $12,500 more than
the regular model, it needs to be more than that.
For this kind of money, you can get into MG’s new ZS EV Long Range, a fully electric
SUV with 440km of range that does not require charging as frequently.
While buyers might be coming around to the benefits of EVs, they have demonstrated a
reluctance to pay the outrageous prices that manufacturers are demanding for them.
New technology is always expensive, but the technology is mature now and pricing
needs to start reflecting this fact.
AT A GLANCE
Eclipse Cross PHEV ES AWD: $46,490
Eclipse Cross PHEV Aspire AWD: $50,490
Eclipse Cross PHEV Exceed: $54,490
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Mitsubishi dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV Exceed five-door wagon)
Capacity: 2.4 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders inline, Atkinson cycle
Maximum Power: 94 kW @ 4500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 199 Nm @ 4500 rpm
Front electric motor: 60 kW/137 Nm
Rear electric motor: 70 kW/195 Nm
Fuel Type: Standard unleaded petrol
Battery capacity: 13.8kWh
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 1.9L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 43g/km
DRIVELINE: Single Speed Transmission reduction gear, all-wheel drive
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4545 mm
Wheelbase: 2670 mm
Width: 1805 mm
Height: 1685 mm
Turning Circle: 10.8 metres
Kerb Mass: 1895 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 45 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc
10 years/200,000km (when serviced with Mitsubishi)
Battery 8 years/160,000km