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Mitsubishi Eclipse gains mid-range AWD option

Minor MY20 update for Mitsubishi’s Eclipse Cross ushers in all-wheel-drive LS variant

30 Sep 2019

MITSUBISHI Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) has released its MY20 Eclipse Cross line-up, which is headlined by the availability of all-wheel drive beyond the small SUV’s flagship Exceed grade.


The Japanese brand’s Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system is now also available on the mid-range LS grade, priced from $34,490 plus on-road costs. It commands the same $2500 premium over its front-wheel-drive counterpart that the Exceed does.


“We are listening to our customers and they wanted a more affordable all-wheel drive, which is why we added S-AWC to the LS,” said MMAL deputy director for marketing and operations Derek McIlroy.


Like the $31,690 Black Edition FWD variant, the Exceed is now $200 dearer, at $36,690 in FWD form and $39,190 in AWD guise, while the entry-level ES FWD ($29,990) and the LS FWD ($31,990) are priced the same as before.


The S-AWC set-up available on the LS and Exceed includes Active Yaw Control (AYC), which “offers drivers predictable handling”, according to MMAL, by controlling the brakes and steering to regulate the torque split between the left and right wheels.


The company says this technology improves the vehicle’s accuracy when tracing the chosen line through corners, in straight-line driving and when changing lanes.


As such, MMAL senior manager for product strategy Owen Thomson told journalists at the MY20 Triton national media launch in Adelaide that safety is often a key reason why customers option AWD.


“We think there’s opportunity for this,” he said. “There’s certain regional parts of Australia (where) we can see a demand for it.”


The Black Edition FWD justifies its price bump with the addition of dusk-sensing headlights, foglights, rain-sensing wipers and high-beam assist to its list of standard equipment.


As its name suggests, the Black Edition FWD takes the ES FWD specification to the next level with a front skid plate and black finishes for its front bumper, grille and rear spoiler, among other darkened treatments.


Meanwhile, the Exceed has gained revised front door trims with illumination, and a black headliner to help offset its increase in cost. The rest of the Eclipse Cross line-up makes do with a grey item.


Paintwork-wise, the Black Edition FWD is available in Starlight, Black and Titanium, which are no-cost options. However, this trio commands a $690 charge alongside Sterling Silver and Lightning Blue on all other Eclipse Cross variants, with White their only free hue.


Red Diamond can be had instead for $890, although it costs just $300 on the Black Edition FWD.


As reported, standard equipment in the ES includes 18-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights (DRLs), heated side mirrors, a roof spoiler, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, DAB+ digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, a six-speaker sound system, dual-zone air-conditioning, paddle-shifters, autonomous emergency braking and a reversing camera.


The LS adds auto-folding side mirrors, silver and chrome exterior trim, keyless entry and start, an electric park brake, lane departure warning, and front and rear parking sensors.


Stepping up to the Exceed nets auto-levelling LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a head-up display, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and surround-view cameras.


All Eclipse Cross variants are motivated by a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine that produces 110kW of power at 5500rpm and 250Nm of torque from 2000-3500rpm. This unit is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).


Sales of the Eclipse Cross have improved again this year, with 5049 examples sold to the end of August – a 9.7 per cent increase over the 4602 deliveries made during the same period in 2018.


The Eclipse Cross is the eighth best-selling model in the sub-$40,000 small-SUV segment, trailing its ASX sibling (13,752 units) as well as the Mazda CX-3 (10,138), Hyundai Kona (8493), Honda HR-V (8256) and Nissan Qashqai (7702), among others.


2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross pricing*

ES FWD (a) $29,990
Black Edition FWD (a) $31,690
LS FWD (a) $31,990
LS AWD (a) $34,490
Exceed FWD (a) $36,690
Exceed AWD (a) $39,190

*Excludes on-road costs

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