But one area let it down.
Mitsubishi is a radically different brand these days. There was a time when the Japanese manufacturer was renowned for its legendary sports cars like the Lancer Evo, 3000 GT, and Eclipse, but now it’s focusing on the lucrative SUV market for the foreseeable future. While the Lancer and high-performance Evo has been scrapped, the Eclipse lives on today as a compact crossover.
This has upset some fans of the original sports car, but the Eclipse Cross stands out from the compact crossover crowd thanks to its distinctive styling and generous standard equipment. But is it safe to crash? To find out, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested the Eclipse Cross to destruction in a series of crash tests.
The 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross performed well overall, but there’s still room for improvement. The compact crossover earned a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS, but only when equipped with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights. It also failed to earn the institute’s highest Top Safety Pick Plus award because its available LED headlights, which come with the SEL trim, only earned an acceptable rating, while the base halogen headlights earned a poor rating.
The IIHS notes that opting for the Touring package will add high-beam assist, which helps rectify the limitations of the LED low beams by automatically switching between high beams and low beams, but this doesn’t boost the headlights to a good rating. A good headlight rating would have earned the compact SUV the Top Safety Pick Plus award.
In crash tests, however, the Eclipse Cross fared far better, scoring good ratings in all six IIHS evaluations, while its optional front crash prevention system was rated superior, which is the highest possible rating. In IIHS track tests, the Eclipse Cross avoided collisions at 12 and 25 mph.
While it’s a shame the Eclipse Cross didn’t score the highest safety rating, the IIHS's tests confirm it's one of the safest compact crossovers on the market. Pricing for the 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross starts at $23,595 for the base trim, while the range-topping SEL trim will set you back $28,195.