2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross | 2018 Eclipse Cross | interior
Mitsubishi has a plan to break out of its current austerity mode, during which the brand’s occasional sparks of edgy design and performance-oriented engineering have remained in a deep slumber. The 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is the first fruit of that effort, and it’s intended to signal a course correction toward a more compelling lineup.In the interest of survival, Mitsubishi decided a few years ago to pin its hopes on offering value while at the same time going all-in on utility vehicles. If non-SUVs (other than the Mirage) reappear in the lineup, they almost certainly will be in the form of rebadged Nissans, thanks to Mitsubishi’s new alliance with Renault-Nissan. Meanwhile, the new Eclipse Cross splits the size difference between the larger Outlander and the smaller Outlander Sport and aims to be more athletic than either, in looks at least. Its design is driven by the same extroverted ethos as the Toyota C-HR and the Mazda CX-3, although this Mitsubishi is a size larger and definitely roomier inside than those models.Don’t let the splashy aesthetics or the fact that Mitsubishi is using the nameplate from its former coupe lead you too far astray, however. There’s no sports-car gravitas to the Eclipse Cross, which Mitsubishi says is focused on styling and technology. According to Nathan Berg, senior product manager for Mitsubishi Motors North America, the project was inspired by a desire to bring vehicles in the mold of the BMW X4 to the realm of mainstream crossovers. “[The] Eclipse Cross really appeals to a much different mind-set [than the two Outlander models], somebody who wants a vehicle that really looks good before anything else,” he explained.\n\nThe Eclipse Cross is a mashup of the front-end appearance of the brand’s other compact crossovers and an entirely different design at the rear—one that looks more athletic and rakish from some angles yet busier from others. Inside, the dash has a bisected, cockpit-style layout with a lot of brightwork.\n\nThe driver interface has two features of special note. Top trim levels include a head-up display that tucks away when it’s not being used, and the infotainment system in all but the base ES includes a 7.0-inch tabletlike display that sits atop the dash. The latter supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and will feel instantly intuitive to all but the most steadfast Luddites, although it lacks a simple volume knob. What won’t feel as straightforward is the touchpad used to control the system that’s set into the center console; it combines attributes of Lexus’s trackpad and Audi’s MMI system.Less exciting than the styling but perhaps more important is the new turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four under the hood. Part of a new engine family, it makes 152 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 184 lb-ft of torque from 2000 to 3500 rpm. (The Euro-spec Eclipse Cross we drove over the summer had nine more horsepower but the same torque figure.) It’s happy on a diet of regular unleaded, although EPA fuel-economy ratings are not yet available.\n\nThe engine is smooth and sounds pleasant, pulling without complaint from about 1500 rpm and really coming to life by 2500 rpm—although it’s pointless to rev it past 5000, where the power trails off (the engine redlines at 6000 rpm). Moving the shift lever over to the left into its manual gate gives the ability to lock in one of eight preset ratios, allowing you to keep the turbo on boil and deliver on forced induction’s promise as a substitution for a larger, naturally aspirated engine. But left to its own devices, the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) mutes the engine’s sharpness and torque rather than showcasing them. It’s less of a bummer in relaxed city cruising, so long as you don’t mind the accompanying slurred revs. An Eco mode button further softens accelerator inputs and amplifies the CVT’s unease in any attempt to keep up with speedier traffic. Freeway driving brings out a restlessness in the transmission, as it raises the revs far higher than necessary when gently adding speed and hunts around with its ratio choices on slight uphill grades.\n\nInterestingly, Mitsubishi fits big, satisfying shift paddles worthy of a sports car on the Eclipse Cross’s steering column, where they should be. Yank the left one entering a tight hairpin turn and the revs rise lazily, yet there’s not much forward thrust when you get back on the accelerator. Mass may be part of the problem. Mitsubishi’s stated weight for a fully loaded Eclipse Cross SEL AWD—3516 pounds—is nearly 250 pounds heavier than the last Outlander Sport we tested, a 2.0 AWD model. So, we’re not expecting this model to lop much if anything from that vehicle’s 9.5-second zero-to-60-mph time.
Nissan entered austerity mode
Nissan Motor Co instructs its managers to cut nonessential costs as automaker grapples with slumping car sales and falling profits.
In particular, the manager was told to end unnecessary travel and promotional activities in order to «save every yen».
Working meetings, which were previously attended by three – four employees are now limited to a single Nissan representative. Part of the meeting and dinners were completely canceled or replaced by video conferencing.
The massive cost cuts come with the automaker’s decision to send its US employees on two-day January vacation. The travel ban also extends to U.S. personnel, where the drop in sales is even greater.
Nissan’s crisis is not financial, problems associated with the departure of several top managers and strained relationship with alliance partner Renault SA.
In April, the automaker launched an ambitious plan to revive sales and increase profits, but the business outlook deteriorated more than expected. In November, the automaker reported a 70% drop in operating profit in the second quarter and cut its full-year forecast to an 11-year low..
The automaker has good lines of credit and plenty of cash, including money in China that has accumulated in joint ventures over the years, a Nissan spokesman said..
Nissan shares slipped to their lowest since September 2011 this week after Jun Seki, chief operating officer and former CEO contender, said he was leaving Nidec Corp..