New Styling Cues Make it Look Less Like a Pontiac Aztek

You’ll see the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross that is slated to roll into showrooms early next year has shed the bloated look that was somewhat reminiscent of an old gym shoe. The exterior design of this new Eclipse Cross is more akin to a pair of Nike Air Force 1s. It has a slimmer, sportier look, a more refined interior, and better tech.

2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Powertrain

Those are all positives, but the automaker primarily touts the eco-friendliness of this new Eclipse Cross, although the engine is the same as the 2021 models. Pop that hood and you’ll find Mitsubishi’s tried-and-true 1.5-liter direct-injected turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It produces 152 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque.

Of course, Mitsubishi is rightfully proud of the 26/29 city/highway rating. Those numbers are due in large part to the automaker’s MIVEC – its variable valve timing system – that reduces fuel consumption and maximizes efficiency. The automaker paired the engine with an eight-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a sport mode.

“From the day we started to rethink the new Eclipse Cross, we wanted to address an attitude of boosted road performance and eco-friendliness, all with a stand-out style that will take this SUV to the next level,” said Minoru Uehara, chief product specialist of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, who is responsible for leading and facilitating the creation of the new Eclipse Cross. “Besides the contemporary exterior and comfortable and smart interior, Mitsubishi Motors’ legendary Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system ensures that drivers are always in control for their next adventure.”

2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Photo: Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.

More Eclipse, Less Aztek

Yes, that fuel economy and power are noteworthy, but the new model has other exceptional features, too. As we mentioned, the exterior is streamlined. Some reviewers -including us – especially cheer the new hatch that improves rear visibility and eliminates the odd Pontiac Aztek vibe. The three-dimensional taillights are now slimmer and longer, too. Gone are the broad, pointy taillights of older models that gave the rear a distinct minivan vibe.

Interior Treatments

The cabin sports a black interior with silver accents. New upholstery and trim options include gray leather. The 2022 model has an eight-inch infotainment screen. It’s closer to the driver and includes a link display for your phone. Some critics ­­– yes, including us again – celebrate the now easy-to-spot volume and tuning knobs that flank the info screen. No more fumbling with a bulky multi-function touchscreen to change volume or modes.

2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross interior layout in a right-hard drive configuration.
2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross interior layout in a right-hard drive configuration.

2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Pricing

Pricing and other specifics are not yet available. Although we do know the new Eclipse Cross will first launch in Australia and New Zealand in November, and in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2021. While there will be a plug-in hybrid variant available in select markets, there are no plans at this time to add the PHEV model to the U.S. lineup.

Nancy Dunham is a life-long journalist whose work appears in many national automotive and general interest magazines and accompanying websites. Her dad was an executive with Western Auto Supply Co. (sold to Sears), so the smell of tires still brings back a flood of childhood memories. Favorite professional assignment: driving on the Texas Motor Speedway. She lives in Austin, Texas with her cat Prudence.

Photos & Source: Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.

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