2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross arrives in the U.S., pricing starts at $24,290

The compact crossover goes on sale next month

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The first shipment of the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has arrived in the United States. Mitsubishi's new all-wheel drive compact crossover will go on sale in showrooms in early March with a starting price of $24,290, including a destination charge of $995.

The Eclipse Cross debuted last year at the Geneva Motor Show with design cues borrowed from the XR-PHEV II Concept from 2015. The exterior design, which Mitsubishi says is inspired by a runner in the "Get set" position, includes a forward-raked rear window, wedge profile and deep side crease. Its starting price slots it just below competitors like the Honda CR-V and Hyundai Tucson, and it will come in four trim levels.

Those include the base ES, which is the only trim available with front-wheel drive. Adding all-wheel drive, or S-AWC in Mitsubishi speak, adds only $600 to the base price. The LE S-AWC trim starts at $25,890 and the range-topping SE S-AWC starts at $27,390, though neither are eligible for options, so those are pretty much the prices customers will be dealing with.

All trim levels are powered by a direct-injection turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four that makes 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The S-AWC acronym would stand for Super All-Wheel Control, Mitsubishi's system that manages torque supplied to each wheel for added straight-line stability and cornering performance. It offers three selectable driving modes — auto, snow and gravel — to enhance performance. Safety technology includes blind-spot warning and lane-change assist, forward collision mitigation and lane-departure warning, plus a system that automatically adjusts headlight brightness to the conditions.

Interior features include an available 7-inch infotainment display with a touchpad controller, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus voice recognition via Google Assistant or Siri. There's also a full-color LCD head-up display available. A dual-pane sunroof and heated rear seats are some of the other niceties.

The Eclipse Cross joins the brand's stable of crossovers, the Outlander and slightly smaller Outlander Sport, which helped Mitsubishi to a banner year in 2017, selling more than 100,000 vehicles for the first time in a decade. It also joins the Outlander PHEV, also new for 2018.

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