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New Mitzy passes over the Sun

MITSUBISHI has expanded its horizons with the launch of a completely new model, the Eclipse Cross — a stylish and striking mid-range SUV that provides a whole new option for buyers.

Safety and technology could be described as the hallmarks of the Eclipse Cross, which comes in two variants — the base model XLS used for a test drive and the VRX which adds some tempting extras.

Both use a 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine capable of 112kW at 5500 rpm and maximum torque of 254Nm between 2000 and 3500 rpm.

Both are two-wheel-drive. A four-wheel-drive model is expected about the middle of the year.

They come with a CVT transmission with an eight-speed sports mode and paddle shift, giving fuel economy of 7.3 litres per 100km.

The Eclipse is an easy drive, smooth and stable, quiet with precise cornering and armchair comfort suspension.

It has a tall driving position and is easy to get in and out of.

A five-star ANCAP rating reflects the attention that has been given to this sector. The entry level XLS has forward collision mitigation which can be adjusted to alter the distance at which it engages and lane departure warning, as well as a rear view camera.

Move on to the VRX and you get rear cross traffic alert, blind spot warning with lane change assist, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross traffic alert. The top model also has the around view monitor to give a birds eye view of your surrounds.

The outline of the Eclipse is striking and the colours available are bold to say the least, as are the 18-inch alloys on which it sits.

Vivid red LED lights that slide across the rear of the vehicle make it stand out to following traffic at night.

All models have headlights that react to light conditions and dip automatically for oncoming vehicles, remote entry with automatic folding mirrors, daytime running lights and roof rails.

Mitsubishi has packed the interior with new technology, the most unusual of which is the touch pad commander which will relay all the smartphone functions, music, maps and messages.

This can also be done by just touching the screen.

The VRX adds a head-up display which puts the information in your line of sight. Rounding out the VRX extras are a leather interior with heated front seats, a dual sunroof, adaptive cruise control and LED headlamps with auto levelling.

The Eclipse is a genuine new face in the Mitsubishi fleet that should hit the target for a whole new niche of prospective customers.

Mitsubishi is looking for it to live up to its name and eclipse the opposition.