2018 Kia Niro vs Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

2018 Kia Niro vs Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Everyone loves a great deal. The all-new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross might attract bargain-shoppers but is it really the most affordable SUV? In this head-to-head comparison, we take a look at what you get with two cars–the 2018 Kia Niro and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross–and demonstrate which one really saves you more of your hard-earned money.

Fuel Economy

You’ll notice right away when comparing numbers: there is something different about the Kia Niro. It’s only a hundred pounds lighter than the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross but has much better gas mileage. It’s not even close. The Niro gets 52 city and 49 highway miles per gallon, while the Eclipse trails with 26 city and 29 highway miles per gallon. What’s going on here?

The Niro is a hybrid. The city miles per gallon being better than the highway is the first hint. That’s because hybrids take energy normally wasted in other vehicles, such as the energy expended when braking for a red light, and stores it in a battery pack for reuse. That stop-and-go traffic is charging your battery. Of course, the second hint is that it’s so dang fuel efficient.

And we haven’t even talked about the Niro PHEV, or plug-in-hybrid. It’s exactly like a hybrid, only you can charge its battery pack by plugging it into an outlet in your own garage. After that, it doesn’t even touch the gasoline in the fuel tank until it’s first gone 34 miles, blissfully electric-only.


At first glance, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross seems more affordable. And it might be if you only want the basics. Its starting price is $23,000, compared to the Niro’s $24,280 starting price. But if you go up a trim or two be prepared for a shift. By time you arrive at the uppermost trim with all the options, the Niro is $32,600 while the Eclipse with all the boxes checked is $38,000.

The best trim in either vehicle is the middle tier, which is the Niro EX and the Eclipse Cross SE. These two versions start at virtually the same price.


True value is owning a car that lasts and lasts. The Kia Niro doesn’t yet have a reliability score for 2018, but it earned an ‘average’ score from JD Power & Associates last year. Being all-new, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has no reliability rating, but the Mitsubishi brand in general has faltered in reliability in recent years. Their aging fleet is partly to blame. Will the Eclipse Cross raise the bar? Only time will tell.

What may seem like a good deal at first turns out not to be. With superior gas mileage, competitive pricing through all its trims and a better reputation for reliability, the 2018 Kia Niro will save you money over the long haul.