New Zealand is the first to launch the 21MY Eclipse Cross – now more clearly defined within Mitsubishi’s SUV range and representing a stronger offering in its class.

At 140mm longer than the previous model, it should provide greater cargo space and offering clear differentiation between ASX and Outlander. The plug-in hybrid model (PHEV) will follow in 2021, expanding Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid offering alongside the Outlander PHEV.

As well as being significantly larger than ASX, the new Eclipse Cross is notable for sporting the latest iteration of Mitsubishi’s distinctive Dynamic Shield front design and having a single window at the rear.

Reece Congdon, MMNZ Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs, said: “We are very pleased to be able to give Kiwi motorists the chance to be among the first in the world to get behind the wheel of this exciting new model.

“New Zealand has a very strong market in this class. Competition is high and we are convinced that Kiwis will find plenty to satisfy their demands in the newly imagined Eclipse Cross, which carries over the best features of the previous model and adds some considerable improvements to benefit modern, active lifestyles.

“This eye-catching new model is well-suited to those with a sense of style and adventure in equal measure.”

Changes to the front of the Eclipse Cross include a new headlamp arrangement, stylish new black grille, honeycomb centre bumper and new lower garnish – which Mitsubishi says is a classy evolution of their distinctive Dynamic Shield design.

Headlamps – LED for VRX, halogen for XLS – are now located either side of the bumper with fog lamps underneath. LED daytime-running lights on both models slice along the bonnet line with the turn indicators, injecting instant fresh appeal to the front aspect.

Stylish new 18” alloy wheels further set the tone for this updated look, as does a black side door garnish.

The most dramatic change is at the rear, where the split window design makes way for a more refined tailgate with a single window and roof spoiler. Mitsubishi says this design offers improved rear visibility for the driver.

Opening the boot unlocks one of the key advantages of this new model – a generous 405 litres of cargo space, which is 19% (71 litres) more than the outgoing model. A distinct improvement on the outgoing model, designed for those who want to pack more into their lives.

An increase in length of 140mm has made this possible. Measuring 4,545mm bumper to bumper, the new Eclipse Cross is also 180mm longer than ASX and, at 1,685mm tall, claims an extra 45mm in height over its smaller brand-mate.

Not only do these larger dimensions provide Eclipse Cross with a more clearly defined position within the Mitsubishi range, the new model now sits at the upper end of the small SUV segment –within millimetres of the Mazda CX-5 and significantly ahead of the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage.

Interior changes to the new model include a new 8” Smartphone Link Display Audio system, positioned closer to the driver for easy-reach operation as part of an overhauled centre console and instrument panel design for improved ergonomics.

In the VRX, black leather-appointed upholstery is offset with new, white stitching for a more refined look. The VRX passenger seat has height, tilt and power slide power adjustment for greater comfort, while the rear seats are heated and feature two-stage temperature control.

Key carryover spec for the VRX includes Mitsubishi’s Multi Around-View Monitor System, Head-Up Display and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Forward Collision Mitigation remains standard across the range, with Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist introduced to the XLS for improved safety and greater peace of mind.

For those with that extra sense of adventure, the AWD model retains Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control for enhanced handling in challenging conditions.

Stock arrives late-November 2020. Pricing starts at $35,990 +ORC.

PHEV for 2021

Following the success of Outlander PHEV – New Zealand’s best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle – the new Eclipse Cross range will feature a PHEV option from 2021. It will use the same twin-motor system as Outlander, modified to suit the size and weight of the chassis.

The PHEV architecture consists of one front and one rear high-power electric motor, a large-capacity drive battery and a 2.4-litre MIVEC engine with a single-speed planetary gearbox, allowing for the quick, silent, yet powerful acceleration unique to electric vehicles.

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How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm also an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.

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