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2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross update revealed, on sale November

John Law

Mitsubishi has revealed an updated Eclipse Cross SUV with an attractive integration of the brand’s dynamic shield front-end styling, more technology and a tantalising plug-in hybrid powertrain on offer.

Mitsubishi will divulge exact pricing and specification details in November before the car’s official launch on the 21st, which will be followed by the arrival of the PHEV Eclipse Cross in early 2021.

For now, we can examine the styling of the Eclipse Cross which, in Mitsubishi’s own words, is “sleek, stable, upscale and unique”. 

2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross front
The Eclipse Cross might be the best looking Mitsubishi on sale.

We’d also like to point out the popularity of defunct 90s sports car monikers on small SUVs as Ford’s competitor, the Puma, lands on Australian shores.

The most obvious change is the adoption of the corporate front grille first seen on the Triton, and now the ASX and Pajero Sport. However, its integration is far more refined for the Eclipse cross; the chrome pulled longer to the sides accentuating the SUV’s width.

Changes extend around the rear of the Eclipse Cross where Mitsubishi has updated the hatch door ditching the signature full-width centre brake light for a single, larger piece of glass to improve visibility and tidy up the styling. Although, we can’t help seeing a first-generation Lexus RX in the rear lines of the vehicle.

2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Hero
The new styling ditches the intrusive rear brake light in favour of practicality.

Still, the chrome accents that encircle the side windows show off the Eclipse Cross’ most interesting glass-house nicely. The taillights have been updated, too, for a more imposing look.

After all, this size class is all about looking different. We’ll wait to see the new Eclipse Cross in the flesh against competitors like the funky Hyundai Kona and Honda HR-V

While the designers have had a go of the interior, the Eclipse Cross isn’t what you’d call groundbreaking. The hardpoints have carried over, as have the dowdy looking steering wheel and automatic shifter, with plenty of piano black for younger passengers to scuff up.

2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Interior
The screen is bigger, but not much else has changed in here.

The touchscreen display does at least grow in size to eight-inches – previously seven – and gets the added convenience of hard volume and tuning knobs. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, though the Mitsubishi has ditched the Lexus-style touchpad in favour of improved storage.

Buyers will get the choice of standard black interior appointments, or the pictured grey leather to lift interior ambience, though exactly which models will get the choice will be confirmed closer to launch.

Powering the Eclipse Cross will be a carryover 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, outputs have not been quoted but don’t expect them to change much from the 110kW and 250Nm currently on tap. There will be the option of all-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive, too.

2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Interior
There will be two leather colours offered, though.

The more exciting powertrain technology is borrowed from this car’s bigger sibling, the Outlander – currently the world’s best selling plug-in hybrid.

That powertrain puts a larger 2.4-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder (the Outlander gets a two-litre unit) to work with dual electric motors and a 12kWh battery. We’ll have to wait for the Eclipse Cross to launch before we know details like range and fuel consumption of the new powertrain.

The new Eclipse Cross will go on sale in November initially powered only by the 1.5-litre engine here in Australia before the plug-in hybrid arrives in early 2021.