2020 Kia Sportage vs. 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Sportage’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Sportage and the Eclipse Cross have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sportage the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Eclipse Cross has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

There are over 2 times as many Kia dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sportage’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Sportage has a standard 600-amp battery. The Eclipse Cross’ 520-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage first among small SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Eclipse Cross isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 51 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

Engine

The Sportage’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 29 more horsepower (181 vs. 152) than the Eclipse Cross’ 1.5 turbo 4-cyl. The Sportage SX Turbo AWD’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 85 more horsepower (237 vs. 152) and 76 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 184) than the Eclipse Cross’ 1.5 turbo 4-cyl. The Sportage SX Turbo FWD’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 88 more horsepower (240 vs. 152) and 76 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 184) than the Eclipse Cross’ 1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Sportage 2.4 4-cylinder is faster than the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross:

Sportage

Eclipse Cross

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.4 MPH

78.9 MPH

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Sportage’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Eclipse Cross:

Sportage LX/S/EX

Sportage SX Turbo

Eclipse Cross

Front Rotors

12 inches

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

The Sportage stops much shorter than the Eclipse Cross:

Sportage

Eclipse Cross

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

134 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sportage has larger standard tires than the Eclipse Cross (225/60R17 vs. 215/70R16). The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Eclipse Cross (245/45R19 vs. 225/55R18).

The Sportage LX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Eclipse Cross ES’ standard 70 series tires. The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Eclipse Cross LE/SE/SEL’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sportage LX has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Eclipse Cross ES. The Sportage SX Turbo’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Eclipse Cross LE/SE/SEL.

Suspension and Handling

The Sportage has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Eclipse Cross’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 3.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Eclipse Cross.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Eclipse Cross SE AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the Eclipse Cross SEL AWD (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Sportage has 4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Eclipse Cross (98.6 vs. 94.6).

The Sportage has .6 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.8 inches more rear headroom and 2.9 inches more rear legroom than the Eclipse Cross.

Cargo Capacity

The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Eclipse Cross with its rear seat up (30.7 vs. 22.6 cubic feet). The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Eclipse Cross with its rear seat folded (60.1 vs. 48.9 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Sportage EX/SX Turbo’s power liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The Sportage’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

The Sportage’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Eclipse Cross’ (2000 vs. 1500 pounds).

Ergonomics

The Sportage offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Sportage to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Sportage has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Eclipse Cross only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the Sportage’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Eclipse Cross’ headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The Sportage has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Eclipse Cross has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/SEL.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Sportage (except S/LX) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Both the Sportage and the Eclipse Cross offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Sportage has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Sportage (except S/LX)’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Eclipse Cross’ available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Kia Sportage, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage third among small SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Eclipse Cross isn’t in the top three.

The Kia Sportage outsold the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross by almost 9 to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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