If you look at the local Mitsubishi Motors range, there is one glaring omission in the product line-up. In the Philippines, Mitsubishi doesn't offer a subcompact crossover, which is rather odd since all of its competitors have a small, high-riding hatch in their respective stables.
Toyota has the Corolla Cross, Honda has the HR-V, but Mitsubishi has the Eclipse Cross. The thing is, MMPC (Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp.) doesn't offer it here. Still, we reckon it's a segment the MMPC should fill soon.
Alleged brochure photos of the 2021 model surfaced online recently, and the facelifted Eclipse Cross could be the crossover the company needs. After all, MMPC no longer offers the aging ASX, so perhaps it's about time they re-entered that segment. But what does the Eclipse Cross have to offer?
The new-look Eclipse Cross has a redesigned front end to put it in line with the rest of Mitsubishi's corporate look. The result is an Xpander-like front end with high-set LED daytime running lights and large foglight housings. Also, the grille is larger and more prominent than the pre-facelift version, giving it a more aggressive look. Gloss black highlights and honeycomb patterns complete the updates at the front.
As for the rest of the crossover, new wheels are part of the package, along with a redesigned tailgate which removes the extra glass panel under the spoiler. Also new for 2021 are the taillights, which takes some cues from the Xpander. But the most significant update is found under the hood and chassis.
If the brochure photos are the real deal, Mitsubishi added a plug-in hybrid option for their second-smallest crossover (the ASX is still hanging on). The leaked image doesn't show any power figures, but it is likely to be a similar system used in the Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle). Should MMPC decide to bring that in, it could be the first PHEV crossover in the country from a mainstream manufacturer.
With Mitsubishi pushing for a more electrified future, the Eclipse Cross PHEV should help get things moving. Following the launch of the Outlander PHEV, having a smaller and more affordable option should increase PHEV's appeal in the country. But if MMPC won't bring in the electrified Eclipse Cross, the standard model's specs look appealing nonetheless.
Without the hybrid system, the Eclipse Cross is available with a 1.5-liter turbo with 161 PS, a 2.0-liter with 150 PS, and even a 2.2-liter diesel that puts out 177 PS. Should MMPC bring this model in, we'd like to see it with the 2.2-liter turbodiesel. Now that would make it a promising proposition. With no diesel-powered B-segment crossovers in the market, MMPC could shake things up with the Eclipse Cross MIVEC diesel. The only thing left for them to do is bring it here.