Remember what you were doing 10 years ago?
More to the point, do you remember your new year’s resolution from 2011? Or any other promises you might have made all those years ago?
And not really surprising, unless you got married back then.
A decade is a long time to keep a promise.
But that’s what Japanese maker Mitsubishi has pledged to its loyal band of Australian consumers.
The long-standing Japanese marque has rolled out a 10-year warranty, plus 10-year capped servicing deal, for all of its models.
I know what you’re thinking: they’re either incredibly confident in their product, or desperate to make some noise in a competitive market. Considering Mitsubishi’s trusted brand and consistent Aussie sales success, I suspect it’s the former.
What’s more, the deal is even offered on relatively new models, such as Mitsubishi’s popular Eclipse Cross, a car that hasn’t even been on the market for 10 years.
In fact this smart-looking little SUV has just undergone a comprehensive refresh – an impressive reimagining of the little soft-roader that has more than held its own in the fierce Compact SUV battle.
In Mitsubishi’s SUV-heavy (six in total) line up, the Eclipse Cross sits midway between the likes of the ageless Pajero and Pajero Sport, the long-serving Outlander and the brand’s baby, city-focused ASX.
Like the ASX, the Eclipse Cross leans pretty heavily towards the car-like end of the SUV spectrum, and even has a front-wheel-only option in its base model.
We tested the Eclipse Cross in its volume-selling form, the mid-range LS AWD model, with a sub-$35k price tag and a strong technology and features package.
Like all four Eclipse Cross variants in this new lineup, it boasts a competent 1.5 litre, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine matched to an efficient but uninspiring constantly-variable transmission.
The Eclipse Cross covers a fair range of pricing and trim options. The entry-level, front-wheel-drive ES starts just below $30-grand (plus on road costs) while at the top of the range, the Exceed brings leather and sunroof plus more bells and whistles and a $40,000-plus asking price.
That puts the LS into the sweet spot, not only for this model but for the compact SUV category in general, where its rivals include Nissan’s swoopy Qashqai and Kia’s soon-to-be-replaced Sportage, and slightly more premium offerings such as the big-selling Mazda CX-5 and VW Tiguan.
Into that scrum comes the attractively-restyled Eclipse Cross, which had been unchanged since its launch in 2017.
As well as some substantial styling tweaks and some new tech, importantly (and unusually for a refresh model) the Eclipse Cross gains some overall size (140mm longer), bringing additional cabin space and flexibility, plus some increased cargo space (now 405L).
Extra goodies added to this model include electronic park brake, keyless entry, push-button start, rear parking sensors, lane-departure warning and a leather steering wheel.
Stylistically, the refreshed Eclipse Cross gets rid of the rather silly, rather annoying split rear hatch of the previous model, which involved a horizontal bar bisecting the rear windscreen, a feature which added little but compromised rear vision.
The new car brings a more resolved appearance, with a particularly attractive rear quarter that reflects an athletic, poised stance. It’s easily the most contemporary and attractive model in the Mitsubishi range and matches that with well-evolved driving dynamics.
It offers a compliant and reassuring ride, feels stable under rapid changes of direction and when braking, and is generally quiet and smooth in its operation.
While 110kW might seem like a modest output for a turbo-charged four-cylinder engine, the Eclipse delivers surprisingly willing acceleration when driven with a bit of intent, thanks largely to a big well of torque provided by the smallish boosted engine.
The wheel-mounted paddles (yes, some people are still using those) help crack through the monotonous hum of the CVT gearbox to give the driver some additional input and influence.
What the CVT does bring is impressive fuel efficiency, officially 7.7L/100km but even better in open road running.
The LS model comes fitted with Mitsubishi’s push-button all-wheel-drive system, called Super All Wheel Control, which adds some reassurance when driving on wet or slippery roads but which presumably won’t take you very far off road.
The new Eclipse Cross is not the most engaging car, but it brings more style than we’ve become used to from this maker, while still being thoroughly fit for purpose as an economical, comfortable and practical family runabout.
Not to mention, of course, that 10-year warranty.
MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS LS AWD
* HOW BIG? While technically a compact SUV, the recently-elongated Eclipse Cross probably beats most of its class rivals for interior space
* HOW FAST? Despite only having 110kW beneath the bonnet, and driving through a constantly-variable transmission, the car is more responsive and nippy than expected
* HOW THIRSTY? The official data is 7.7L/100km and even more frugal on the open road, where it tends to lope lazily along
* HOW MUCH? As tested, the LS AWD will cost $35,090 plus on-road costs.