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Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 2021: PHEV powertrain bolsters midsize SUV range

John Law

Mitsubishi has taken advantage of their updated plug-in hybrid powertrain first seen in the Outlander by fitting it to the sporty Eclipse Cross.

The 2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is now available for the first time in Australia with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain priced from $46,490 plus on-road costs. 

Mitsubishi is building on the success of the Outlander PHEV, which was the world’s best-selling PHEV for some time.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV 2021_
For 2021 the Eclipse Cross has picked up the option of a PHEV powertrain.

The Eclipse Cross shares its underpinnings with the larger Outlander, so it was only natural for Mitsubishi to sling the plug-in tech into the sportier midsize Eclipse Cross that was recently facelifted. 

Mitsubishi’s plug-in system is rare in the midsize SUV class, with rivals like the Toyota RAV4 using a series-parallel system and the Mazda CX-5 – another repeat best-seller – offering a pure ICE range.

What’s under the bonnet of the Eclipse Cross?

Those who have driven an Outlander PHEV will be familiar with the Eclipse Cross’ powertrain. There is a 2.4L petrol engine that delivers 94kW of power and 199Nm of torque.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV 2021_-6
The PHEV Eclipse Cross teams a petrol engine with two electric motors.

A pair of electric motors supplement the petrol engine; the front produces 60kW/137Nm and the rear 70kW/195Nm. Like Toyota, Mitsubishi does not quote combined power figures for the hybrid powertrain.

Power is sent to all four wheels, though unlike other PHEVs, the Outlander doesn’t use a traditional transmission, instead using reduction gears to transfer drive from the petrol motor to the front wheels.

Holding charge for the electric motors is a 13.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack which is enough for a 55km electric-only range when fully juiced, according to Mitsubishi. The Eclipse Cross can DC fast-charge at CHAdeMO outlets from 0-80 per cent in 25 minutes.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV 2021_-2
The Eclipse Cross PHEV doesn’t use a CVT transmission, instead it’s a system developed specifically for the hybrid.

Adding two electric motors and a big battery brings the kerb weight of the Eclipse Cross to 1,880kg compared to 1,440kg for the regular car.

But that doesn’t hurt fuel consumption. The 110kW/250Nm 1.5-litre petrol engine available in more affordable Eclipse Cross models returns 7.7L/100km. The PHEV powertrain claims a combined consumption figure of 1.9L/100km.

Regenerative braking allows the Eclipse Cross PHEV to run like a series-parallel hybrid, so fuel economy should still be impressive when the lithium-ion battery pack’s charge is depleted.

How much does the Eclipse Cross PHEV cost?

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV 2021_-7
The Eclipse Cross can be juiced up at public DC fast-charge stations using a CHAdeMO outlet.

The PHEV Eclipse Cross is available in three trim levels. The entry-level ES starts at $46,690 plus on-roads, representing a $16,400 premium over the most affordable ES 1.5L petrol. It is equipped with the following features:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • LED DRLs
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • DAB radio
  • 4-speaker sound system

Safety features for the base car include city-speed AEB, active yaw control, seven airbags and lane departure warning.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV 2021_-3
Inside the PHEV is almost identical to the regular Eclipse Cross.

Above the ES, the Aspire gains a healthy amount of spec for the $49,990 (plus on-roads) list price. In addition to the ES, the Aspire is equipped with:

  • LED headlights
  • Power adjustable driver’s seat
  • Suedecloth/vinyl upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • 12-speaker sound system

The Aspire offers a more complete safety suite with adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors, blind-spot monitor, 360-degree camera and rear cross-traffic alert.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV 2021_-5
The range-topping Exceed gets LED headlights as standard.

Finally, the range-topping $53,990 (before on-road costs) Exceed trim adds the following:

  • Leather upholstery
  • Navigation
  • Dual sunroof

The Eclipse Cross PHEV will join the rest of the midsize SUV range in August, priced from $46,690 plus on-road costs.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 2021: pricing in Australia

Prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • Eclipse Cross ES PHEV – $46,690
  • Eclipse Cross Aspire PHEV – $49,990
  • Eclipse Cross Exceed PHEV – $53,990
  • Eclipse Cross ES 1.5 FWD – $30,290
  • Eclipse Cross LS 1.5L FWD – $32,590
  • Eclipse Cross Aspire 1.5L FWD – $34,990 
  • Eclipse Cross LS 1.5L AWD – $35,090
  • Eclipse Cross Exceed 1.5L FWD – $38,290 
  • Eclipse Cross Exceed 1.5L AWD – $40,790