I keep my plea for a ban on car names with the gruesome appendix ‘cross’ in reserve. Or rather: I have to have the approach route to my hobbyhorse make a detour. First this. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has a double rear window, split horizontally into a top and a bottom by a grotesque light bar annex spoiler. The beam is a turning point. The lower pane is upright, the upper one slopes like a Velux skylight.
We saw that bar more than once. Our dear Audi A2 had it, an old model Mazda 323, the C4 Coupé from Citroën. Mitsubishi probably borrowed the idea from the penultimate Honda Civic. I never saw the point of it. It comes at the expense of the view that, according to Mitsubishi, comically benefits from the construction. Moreover, no windscreen wiper fits on such a rear window construction, so that both glass surfaces quickly become dirty in the winter.
Back to that ‘cross’. A connection between the glazing and the ill-fated crossover idea behind the car is likely. Mitsubishi, not a design brand, must have decided with the Eclipse Cross to tie in with the fashion genre of the SUV coupe. For the sporty, the roof was lowered and the rear window was drastically tilted. On the other hand, they did not want to lose the load space that a sloping roofline entails. So the upright rear had to be raised, so that little visible space remained between the spoiler edge and the lowered roof strip. Mitsubishi solved that by glazing part of the tailgate.
Incidentally, the Mitsubishi bar has an almost certainly unintended secondary function. At night, he blocks the piercing headlights of oncoming traffic like the bar across a suspect’s face. The beneficial anti-glare effect is reconciled with the enormous blind spot that slides like a wall between the eye and the environment.
The result caused some embarrassment, until a young Mitsubishi power came up with the bright idea of marketing the emergency handle as ‘challenging design’. “Its beautiful wedge shape and sharp lines full of dynamics leave a powerful impression on everyone,” the Dutch importer writes as hopeful as possible. That will please the comatose over-sixties who buy it for the high entry level. They’re all right.
Desperation or design?
I laugh at the concerned colleague who expresses his doubts about the unique selling point of the Eclipse. He doesn’t drive badly, he muses, but what does he excel in? There is a big misunderstanding there. He is not meant to be unique. When the Mitsubishi bosses attribute that quality to him, they are just as blind as their designers. It is yet another affordable surrogate SUV for the elderly individual who cannot distinguish between despair and design. He can safely buy them all. If you want an Eclipse, take the Mitsubishi. At Honda you buy the HRV, at Mazda the MX3, at Nissan the Qashqai. It is all the same. All those cars are good enough, but never top notch. That’s not possible for that price. But nobody in this market is short of perfection.
Stupidity is a better word for the idiosyncrasies that Mitsubishi does allow itself. The infotainment system can be connected wirelessly to your smartphone with Bluetooth, but a built-in navigation system is missing. Don’t worry, you can project your navigation app via the Smartphone Link on the screen of the car. That must be an iPhone, because the system is not compatible with my Samsung, and connection is only possible with such a clumsy USB cable. How can you be so stupid?
Goedmakertje is the rear seat that can be adjusted over a length of 20 centimeters, which increases the legroom at the expense of the loading capacity. In the rear position, there remains 341 liters of luggage space, less than a Golf. The freedom of movement in the back is still only reasonable. Voilà what the crossover ideal has brought to humanity; limited space and disastrous view. Think of something more sensible, Japanese friends. But it does drive really well.
For those who can’t let it stand; spend as little as possible on him. Take the basic front-wheel drive model with manual transmission and the same engine as my four-wheel drive test car. It is lighter and more economical, and it is undoubtedly more pleasant to drive than with the asthmatic CVT automatic. Have fun with your fake SUV.