The Mitsubishi Eclipse Returns! (Unrecognizable and in the Wrong Segment)

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Today, Mitsubishi announced that its next model will be called the Eclipse Cross, acknowledging the defunct sport compact beloved by enthusiasts and teenage girls alike while simultaneously spitting on its memory. “Cross is short for crossover,” Mitsubishi helpfully explained in its announcement, as if anyone would have had trouble piecing that puzzle together.

“Eclipse is a word used to describe an astronomical event,” the Japanese automaker continued. “Marrying stylish coupe lines with the freedom of movement the SUV genre gives, the Eclipse Cross’ beautiful, dynamic form serves to bring about the same sense of excitement and inspiration as the diamond ring seen immediately before and after a total solar eclipse does.”

That’s sounds a lot better than saying it looks a lot like a Honda CR-V with a dash of Outlander.

Mitsubishi, like every automaker, is desperately trying to flesh-out its SUV lineup. It plans to shrink the next-generation Outlander Sport to help distinguish it from the much-larger Outlander. Changing the name might also help. Perhaps “Starion Cross” would work while remaining true to this new naming strategy.

The original Eclipse ushered in the 1990s as an American-made Japanese car riding on the Chrysler D platform, produced — along with the Eagle Talon and Plymouth Laser — as part of the collaborative Diamond Star Motors program. The coupe’s third generation garnered lackluster feedback from the press, mainly for being muted and unexciting, and sales took a death plunge. It died in its fourth generation, less popular than ever and sharing its platform with the Endeavor and Galant.

The Eclipse Cross will be unveiled at next month’s Geneva International Motor Show, with Mitsubishi hoping to evoke fond memories of the once-popular sporty compact and better years gone by.

[Image: Mitsubishi Motors]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Brettc Brettc on Feb 14, 2017

    Mitsubishi, just give up. No one cares about you any longer (did we ever?) and FCA and Nissan will still be around to get sub-prime people in a new car today.

  • MWolf MWolf on Feb 14, 2017

    Mitsibishi WAS relevant and people did care about them when they made things that weren't either painfully boring or impressively awful. I stopped caring when it feels like they did. They ruined the Eclipse, butchered the Mirage, and there is positively no reason to want one of their current CUV/SUV's when you can find better one (that isn't a Mitsubishi). Mitsibishi in the 90's? Hell yeah. Now? I've never seen a brand new car scream "bad financial decisions" for both the driver and the company so loudly

    • See 2 previous
    • Gtem Gtem on Feb 15, 2017

      @quaquaqua Have you driven one? I drove an Outlander GT last year and found it at least on par with my in-laws' '13 Rav4 Limited. To be fair the Mitsu had the optional V6/6A combo, I think the Toyota 2.5/6A is probably a more refined and satisfying pairing than the old Mitsu 2.4/CVT.

  • Grant P Farrell Oh no the dealership kept the car for hours on two occasions before giving me a loaner for two months while they supposedly replaced the ECU. I hate cords so I've only connected it wirelessly. Next I'm gonna try using the usb-c in the center console and leaving the phone plugged in in there, not as convenient but it might lower my blood pressure.
  • Jeff Tiny electrical parts are ruining today's cars! What can they ...
  • CEastwood From zero there is nowhere to go but up . BYD isn't sold in the U.S. and most Teslas are ugly azz 90s looking plain jane drone mobiles . I've only seen one Rivian on the road and it 's not looking good for them . I live out in the sticks of NW NJ and EVs just aren't practical here , but the local drag strip thrives in the warmer months with most cars making the trip from New York .
  • Lorenzo Aw, that's just the base price. Toyota dealers aren't in the same class as BMW/Porsche upsellers, and the Toyota base is more complete, but nobody will be driving that model off the lot at that price.
  • Mike The cost if our busing program is 6.2 million for our average size district in NJ. It was 3.5 last year.
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