2018 Kia Sportage vs Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

2018 Kia Sportage vs Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Sport utility vehicles should be fun. There’s a reason they’ve replaced the four-door sedan as the most popular five- to seven-seat vehicle. With higher ground clearance and seating, off-roading inclinations, and ever-expanding options, the SUV has become incredibly popular surpassing the sedan in sales. Manufacturers have taken note and much of their innovation is being poured into the relatively new crossover class.

Mitsubishi has tossed its hat in the ring with the all-new Eclipse Cross. Don’t let the name fool you. This isn’t the resurrected Eclipse sports car that was discontinued in 2011. Today’s Eclipse is a compact sport utility vehicle. In today’s comparison, we’ve paired the Eclipse with the tried-and-true 2018 Kia Sportage to see if the Eclipse can pass up its rival or is, well, eclipsed itself.

Sportiness and Drivability: Kia Sportage

Sportage Sportiness

If you’re looking for something sporty, the Eclipse Cross might disappoint. It can be peppy but suffers from mushy steering and noticeable body roll when turning. That might not be a problem for leisurely drivers but those looking to zip around corners might complain. The Kia Sportage largely avoids these problems.

The Sportage also wins out in acceleration and performance. With 181 horsepower, it goes from zero to sixty in 8.6 seconds. Get the turbo-charged engine and the horsepower increases to 240 and hits sixty in 6.7 seconds. The Eclipse has just 152 horsepower and all trims come with continuously variable transmission (CVT). The result is a spring in its step out of the gate but not much muscle after that.

Options and Customizability: Kia Sportage

Sportage Customizability

The Kia Sportage gives you more standard features and more options. With these building blocks, you can build a customized SUV by checking the boxes for features you want. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross just doesn’t provide as much. Take the base trim, for example. With the Kia Sportage, you can add a luggage rack, remote engine start, power folding mirrors, satellite radio, smart device integration, dual zone A/C, heated front seats, blind spot monitor, lane departure warning, and cross-traffic alert. None of these features are even options on the base trim of the Eclipse.

And as you go up the trims, you’ll notice that some features available on the Sportage never become options on the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, no matter the money you have to spend. That might change in future years, but it’s limiting if there’s a feature you really want today. Even on the top-of-the-line SEL trim, you won’t find hands-free power liftgate, remote engine start, navigation system, ventilated driver seat, front seat lumbar support, or power passenger seat.

The difference in available options persists, despite comparable pricing between the two models. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is a decent showing. But if you want a sporty SUV built your way, the Kia Sportage is still the better option.