Japanese automaker Mitsubishi hasn’t given up on the American car market, but like a lot of other automakers, it does seem to have shifted wholesale from traditional passenger cars to the new wave of crossover SUVs. Its latest one is the new 2020 Eclipse Cross, named (sort of) after the popular Mitsubishi Eclipse sports coupe of the 1990s and early 2000s.
There are a few similarities between the old coupe and the new crossover: Both have optional all-wheel drive (the coupe with the GSX); both have turbocharged engines; both feature a lot of styling (no judgment on whether it’s any good, however — that’s your call). But Mitsubishi has always been a little wacky in terms of its technology, and the new Eclipse Cross is no different.
Here’s half a dozen … features, let’s say, of the new Eclipse Cross that you might not have otherwise noticed.
1. Two Power Sliding Moonroof Shades
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross I tested was a loaded SEL version, featuring the optional Touring Package that includes a power panoramic moonroof. But it’s not one continuous roof, it’s two separate pieces — a power sliding front part and a fixed glass-panel rear part. Both feature power sliding sunshades, however, controlled by two different switches: one on the front overhead console, another on the overhead dome light panel behind the front seats.
2. Two Turn-Signal Noises
Have you ever gotten in a car and lamented that the turn signals just didn’t sound like you wanted them to? Yeah, me neither. But a lot of things are controlled electronically in the new Eclipse Cross, and apparently that includes the turn-signal sounds — for which you can choose between two options. The default one sounds fairly conventional, but the optional sound is … odd. It’s not the tick-tock you’d expect from turn signals, but more a beep-boop noise you might hear from a Tokyo pedestrian street crossing signal. I switched to the second option for all of an hour, then promptly switched back.
3. Change the Interval of the Rear Wiper
Of slightly more usefulness is the ability to change the delay interval for the rear window wiper, which itself is a tiny little thing thanks to the Eclipse Cross’ odd split-window hatchback design. Choose from zero, 4, 8 or 16 seconds between swipes. Of course, you should probably do this before you set off on your drive, as diving through the menus while in motion is rather distracting.
4. No Sport Mode, but Auto, Snow or Gravel
If there’s a dedicated sport mode in the Eclipse Cross, I was completely unable to find it (Mitsubishi says that the continuously variable transmission’s artificially created “eight speeds” are the sport mode). There is, however, a button that allows you to switch between Automatic, Snow and Gravel modes on the Super All-Wheel Control system, which adjusts the electronically controlled all-wheel drive, stability control, antilock brakes and active yaw control systems to the appropriate environmental and road conditions. Auto is the default setting, but if you switch to Gravel or Snow, the system remembers and starts you out in that setting on the next vehicle ignition.
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5. Choose Your Airflow
The climate control is also computer-controlled, which allows you to adjust the airflow setting between the windshield and footwell vents beyond the normal split settings. You can adjust it to flow more to the windshield, the footwell or a mix of both depending on what you’re comfortable with.
6. Keep on Keepin’ on With Accessories
If you want to keep the accessories in your Eclipse Cross powered up after you shut off the engine, you can adjust how long they’ll work with the engine off. The default is 30 minutes, meaning you can keep your phone plugged in or the audio system playing and it’ll still be drawing power from the vehicle battery for half an hour, but that can be extended to an hour or shut off entirely if you prefer.
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