Past partners launch smart SUVs

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Volvo XC60 are set to add extra flavour to an already rich SUV stew.


TWO brands whose paths once crossed are expecting to blaze trails in different directions with their latest sports utilities.

Mitsubishi and Volvo – which once built a common car that sold in two different guises here (being the Volvo S40/Mitsubishi Charisma) – chose the same day, Friday October 13, to reveal their new models.

However, only Volvo’s new prestige sector XC60 is ready to look for a home now. Mitsubishi’s Eclipse Cross has been shown to media, but with the first shipment of saleable cars yet to land, there’s no buy-in until December.

Both are considered key models with big volume expectation, but in different parts of the market.

Siting between the ASX and the Outlander, the Japanese model is arriving in front- and all-wheel-drive formats, in XLS and VRX specification levels, all with a 112kW/254Nm 1.5-litre engine and a constantly variable transmission with eight pre-set ‘change’ points.

Pricing starts at $34,990 and tops at $45,590; but that’s for front-drive. The all-wheel-drive models don’t come until April.

The Volvo, meantime, kicks off at NZ$84,900 and peaks at $117,900; these tags respectively attaching to the T5 Momentum with a turbocharged 2-litre engine and the range-topping XC60 T8 R-Design with the same ‘twin engine’ petrol electric running gear that features in the most expensive version of the larger XC90.

Both are highly specified cars. The Eclipse Cross has Forward Collision Mitigation with windscreen-mounted laser and camera, Lane Departure Warning, Auto High Beam, Rain-Sensing Wipers and Dusk-Sensing Headlights as standard.

The VRX adds radar functionality plus Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning (with Lane Change Assist), Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Multi-Around View Monitor.

Both variants also run 18-inch alloy wheels and have sleek chrome accents and privacy glass. The ‘hero’ colour is a Brilliant Red that is achieved from a multilayered base and clear coat process. It features rich red pigment, highly reflective aluminium flakes and mica.

Mitsubishi’s Smartphone link Display Audio (SDA) interface has been revised and the VRX also features a new Head-up Display directly in front of the steering wheel.

The all-wheel-drive has an electronically controlled AWD system with ABS, Active Stability Control and Active Yaw Control plus Snow, Normal and Gravel models.

The XC60 is also, of course, loaded with occupant-protecting fare: Lane Keeping Aid is standard and Oncoming Lane Mitigation and Steer Assist join the standard Intellisafe City Safety system, which includes pedestrian, cyclist, vehicle and large animal detection with automatic emergency braking. The Blind Spot Information System will also be enhanced by Steer Assist to help avoid potential collisions.

A 360-degree camera, navigation, Park Assist Pilot, keyless entry, handsfree tailgate and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integrated into the Sensus system are feature throughout.

All XC60s feature all-wheel drive, with three levels of spec available - Momentum, Inscription and R-Design.

The petrol family starts with the 183kW/350Nm T5 Momentum at $84,900 (add $5000 for the Inscription), 246kW/440Nm T6 R-Design at $89,900 and the T8 R-Design plug-in hybrid for $117,900. The T8 has the T6 engine plus another 65kW/240Nm of plug-in electric power on the rear axle.

The diesels open at $86,900 for the 140kW/400Nm D4 Momentum (another $5000 for Inscription) and $94,900 for the 177kW/500Nm D5 R-Design.