The subcompact crossover market is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry. That can make it tough to stand out. Some highlight style, like with the Hyundai Kona and Jeep Renegade. Some go for a bargain focus such as with the Nissan Kicks. Our subject in this case, the 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, earns a look for its remarkable space, strong powertrain and generally good value. The Eclipse Cross's spaciousness is its ultimate party trick, especially for its small size. From the driver's seat, your 5-foot 11-inch and somewhat heavy author could find a very comfortable driving position with loads of head room and leg room. The seating position is high with loads of visibility. The generous headroom also keeps you from feeling like you're sitting on top of the car. The front seats don't have much shape to them, but the cushions are thick and soft enough that they're plenty comfortable. I was also surprised at how easy it was to get in and out of the Eclipse Cross. The door opening is quite large, thanks to a high roof and reasonably low floor, plus the relatively high seat. This kind of easy ingress and egress I don't see often except for in minivans such as our long-term Chrysler Pacifica. More impressive than the space in the front is the space in the back. I could sit behind myself with a few inches to spare in front of my knees. I can't even say that about many comparably-sized cars let alone the current crop of cramped crossovers. The back seats are flat and firmer than I would like, but they do recline and can slide fore and aft to make more room for cargo or passengers. All of this fits into a package that's about 5 inches shorter than a Honda Civic hatchback, one of the most spacious small cars on the market. Cargo space is close to the Civic, too. With the seats up, it's slightly behind the Honda at 22.6 cubic feet (22.1 for our SEL with the subwoofer and moonroof) versus 25.7. But with the 60/40 split seats folded, the Eclipse Cross jumps ahead with 48.9 cubic feet versus the Civic's 46.2. The rest of the interior is less impressive. The plastics, while varied in texture and finish, are cheap and hard. The infotainment offers two ways to interact with it, either with the touchscreen or a touch pad, but neither is great. The touchscreen is far away, and the touch buttons on either side are annoying, and the touch pad is only slightly better than the terrible Lexus touch pad interface. When it comes to the driving experience, the Eclipse Cross isn't extraordinary, but it beats much of its competition in a few key areas, first of which is powertrain. Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-4 with 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The relative abundance of torque means you can give the throttle a moderate prod and receive comfortable …
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|MPG||26 City / 29 Hwy|
|Transmission||8-spd CVT w/OD|
|Power||152 @ 5500 rpm|
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