2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross facelift officially debuts – updated styling; new PHEV powertrain available

2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross facelift officially debuts – updated styling; new PHEV powertrain available

Mitsubishi has unveiled the facelifted Eclipse Cross, which is set to go on sale in Australia and New Zealand in November this year, followed by the United States in the first quarter of 2021.

The mid-cycle refresh brings with it changes to the front and rear ends of the compact SUV, with the most significant seen on the latter. Here, the previous full-width taillights and split rear windscreen are gone, replaced with vertical L-shaped clusters and a single pane of glass.

To go along with these revisions, there’s also a reshaped tailgate that helps reduce the stubby look of the pre-facelift model’s tail. Further downwards, the rear bumper is now primarily black (or body-coloured in other markets) and sports a skid plate-like element for a sense of ruggedness.

This look is replicated at the front on the bumper, which is accompanied a revamped lighting setup. There’s still a two-tier setup as before, but the slimmer upper portion now only contains the LED daytime running lights.

Meanwhile, the main lighting units have been moved further down, with oval housings with chrome detailing to ensure you know where they are. Mitsubishi’s Dynamic Shield face remains present as before, but with some tweaks like fine hexagonal perforations for the narrower upper grille, along with a honeycomb mesh insert beneath it.

Inside, the infotainment system display has grown in size from seven to eight inches and features a new interface and physical volume and tuning knobs. The previous touchpad, which looked a little out of place, has also been ditched, so interfacing with the system is done via a touchscreen that is brought closer to occupants.

For the US market, the Eclipse Cross will be powered by a 1.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 152 hp and 249 Nm of torque. This is paired with a CVT and two- or all-wheel drive – the latter being Mitsubishi’s Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system.

2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross facelift officially debuts – updated styling; new PHEV powertrain available

A new plug-in hybrid powertrain is also part of the facelift and is derived from the setup used in the larger Outlander PHEV. Here, a 2.4 litre naturally-aspirated MIVEC engine is paired with two electric motors – one at the front and one at the rear – as well as a large-capacity traction battery and a single-speed planetary gearbox.

At low and medium speeds, the system runs in EV mode, with the electric motors doing all the heavy lifting. When the batteries start to lose their charge, the MIVEC units acts as a generator to recharge them in series hybrid mode. At much higher speeds, the system switches to parallel hybrid mode, with the engine directly driving the wheels via the single-speed gearbox.

Aside from providing power to the electric motors, the traction battery can also be used for outdoor leisure or in emergency situations, as it is capable of supplying up to 1.5 kW of power from an onboard outlet. Mitsubishi says a fully charged a fuelled Eclipse Cross PHEV can supply power to a general household for up to three days via the vehicle-to-home (V2H) system.

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Gerard Lye

Originating from the corporate world with a background in finance and economics, Gerard’s strong love for cars led him to take the plunge into the automotive media industry. It was only then did he realise that there are more things to a car than just horsepower count.




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