In the midst of the crossover SUV boom, each traditional size segment has become saturated. As a result, automakers are beginning to fill the gaps that separate classes, giving us some interesting in-between options. The all-new 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross jumps right into one of those in-between categories bookended by compact and subcompact crossovers. It's a niche that offers more space and feature content than the smallest vehicles, with an extra dose of style and a lower price than bigger ones.
Because of the Eclipse Cross' in-between nature, though, there's not really an obvious direct competitor. As such, we've selected a diverse group of small crossovers that are similar to the Eclipse Cross in some but not all key areas: size, price, feature content, style and likely buyers. The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2018 Toyota C-HR and 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport each have elements in common, but are different enough to provide useful points of comparison.
A chart of specifications and key standard features is shown below, followed by more in-depth analysis. And if you wish to compare these crossovers with others not listed, be sure to check out our comparison tools.
Engines and DrivetrainsOne of the Eclipse Cross' biggest advantages in this segment will be its engine. Subcompact crossovers, including the other three we've chosen, are sluggish to say the least. This new Mitsubishi should be different as it packs a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder that belts out a whopping 184 pound-feet of torque. We say whopping, because the C-HR, Crosstrek and Rogue Sport all have between 139 and 147 pound-feet. Horsepower is similarly unimpressive at just 152 horsepower - the same as the Crosstrek - but that torque should make passing and on-ramp runs much more satisfying.
The appeal of crossovers for many people is the availability of all-wheel-drive, and this is where the Subaru gets an advantage. Like with all Subarus that aren't a BRZ, the Crosstrek has standard all-wheel drive. The Mitsubishi comes close, making all-wheel drive standard on every trim level except the very base ES trim level. On the Rogue Sport, all-wheel drive is an option on all trim levels. Depending on where you live, though, being able to have front drive on a high-trim crossover could be a plus because it will save some money and improve fuel economy. The C-HR loses this battle as it's only available with front-wheel drive.
Another area in which the Crosstrek has an advantage is its standard manual transmission, which makes it a bit more appealing for those who like to row their own. Every other vehicle here comes with a CVT only.