Our writer test drives the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV Sport around Auckland

Writer Carmen Lichi takes a hybrid for a spin

With sub-compact SUVs all the rage in 2023, I was keen to see how Mitsubishi's plug-in hybrid version, the Eclipse Cross PHEV Sport, would perform for me as a busy mum juggling freelance work with errands and post-kindy activities, as well as longer road trips.
Silently zipping through the streets of inner-city Auckland, this very user-friendly, futuristic-looking all-wheel-drive ride didn't disappoint.
The first thing that struck me about the Eclipse was how bulletproof it felt. With my girl-racer days long gone and some precious, sticky-fingered cargo to consider, road safety is now my top concern.
And with rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, I definitely felt safe.
As befits a five-star safety-rated vehicle, it also has automated emergency braking, with forward collision warning and pedestrian detection – meaning it thinks and acts if you don't – and it's super-easy to park. There are also two ISOFIX points in the back and three top-tether anchorage points for extra peace of mind.
I test drove the Eclipse on a fresh winter's day, so the heated steering wheel and seats were very welcome, while the dual sunroof feature is a win for front and backseat passengers.
Going from 0 to 100km/h in just over eight seconds, the Eclipse felt peppy and fun to drive: smooth yet safe. Three different terrain options – tarmac, gravel and snow – add another layer of stability.
But it's in town the car really excels. With light-footed city driving, I could keep the car solely in EV mode, meaning no fuel costs for up to 55km!
Charging couldn't be easier and can be done at home with just your normal 240-volt, three-pin plug in six hours.
The supplied cable is stored in the boot, but the trade-off is there's no spare tyre.
There's no need to worry about lengthy charging times – a public charging system can yield up to 80% charge in just 25 minutes.
I also loved the easy-to-load, spacious boot. As an outdoorsy family, we hike, kayak and head out on camping trips whatever the weather. There's plenty of room for storing gear, and it easily accommodates the weekly grocery haul. The back seats fold down – though not entirely flat, which creates nearly double the capacity.
Overall, this is a very solid addition to the PHEV market, with economical driving, stellar safety features, and a seamless shift between electric and gas, truly making it the best of both worlds!
Find out more information about the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV here, and book your own test drive today.

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