Should I buy a Honda HR-V or a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross?

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Should I buy a Honda HR-V or a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross? We compare an all-new, closed-loop hybrid with a popular plug-in hybrid to understand the differences.

The Honda HR-V is a well-executed small SUV. It’s spacious for passengers, features clever storage solutions, is powered by a frugal hybrid powertrain, and keeps occupants comfy on all types of journeys. It’s also affordable to run.

But it only seats four people, the boot is smaller than many rivals, and the engine is not particularly powerful – although it is economical.

Then there’s the price, which at $45,000 drive-away, is more than you traditionally pay for a small SUV. 



But we need to remember that the HR-V is a hybrid car, and that hybrid badge has value with customers. 

To find out how the HR-V’s value equation stacks up, we’ve grabbed another popular hybrid in the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. 

Now this is not a pure apples versus apples comparison. Or maybe it’s a Red Delicious apple versus a Granny Smith apple because both are hybrids combining petrol power and electric power. But the way in which they get their electricity can differ. 



The Honda is what’s known as a closed-loop hybrid: all electricity generation is contained within the car and done on the move. 

For the Mitsubishi Eclipse, though, electricity recharging can also be done by plugging it into a domestic power point. 

How much is that extra functionality worth in the real world, and does it come with any downsides?



Let’s find out.

How much does the Honda HR-V cost in Australia?

The Honda HR-V has long flown under the radar as a surprisingly unique small SUV. But until this latest generation, a long period in between new HR-V products has allowed up-and-coming rival small SUVs such as the MG ZS and Kia Seltos to run away with a large chunk of small SUV segment sales.

With the 2022 Honda HR-V, the Japanese carmaker has made great strides in updating its predecessor’s ageing infotainment system and dated style.



It’s also added a hybrid variant to the model line-up – one of the few options in the segment to do so. But, with all this added equipment, prices are higher than you might expect. The range starts at $36,700 drive-away for the HR-V Vi X. The top-spec HR-V e:HEV L we spent time in costs $45,000 drive-away.

For context, that’s about what you will pay on the road for mid-spec variants of bigger and sometimes more powerful medium-sized SUVs.

Honda national standardised drive-away pricing means there is no haggling or discounting – the price is the price. That may appeal to some buyers chasing a fuss-free purchasing experience.



However, we’re most interested in what the car is like. I sat in a top-spec HR-V e:HEV L, with the hybrid-assisted 1.5-litre non-turbo engine, to see whether the experience matches the higher price.

How much does the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross cost in Australia?

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross five-seat, five-door SUV has been a long-time favourite of Australian new car buyers that prioritise value and peace of mind over frills and thrills. 

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Honda HR-V

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

This small SUV competes for consumer attention with the likes of the MG ZS, Mazda CX-30, Subaru XV, Hyundai Kona, Toyota C-HR and 19 other small SUVs. 

The reason the small-SUV market is so crowded is because Australians love them. Well, we love dual-cab utes and medium SUVs more, but small SUVs are the third most popular vehicle genre in 2021. 

So, with so much competition, you might think that the newest offering would have an advantage. If that’s true, then this 2022 Eclipse Cross range update, which brings fresh styling inside and out, more technology and more room, should be a winner.  

The one we’re testing today is one of the more expensive Eclipse Cross variants, priced from $49,990, but there’s a very good reason for that hefty price tag: it’s a plug-in hybrid EV. Before we dive into this PHEV in detail, it’s worth understanding where the Eclipse Cross sits in Mitsubishi’s range. 

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross fills a gap between the ASX city-SUV and the Outlander mid-size SUV. There are nine different Eclipse Cross variants on sale at the moment, priced from $30,990 for the ES 2WD 1.5 CVT up to $53,990 for the Exceed PHEV – both before on-road costs. 

The core mechanical package at the lower end of the range is a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a continuously variable transmission and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. At the top of the price range sit three plug-in hybrid variants that – as the name suggests – combine a less powerful 2.4-litre non-turbocharged petrol engine with rechargeable electric propulsion to drive all four wheels. 



The exact variant we’re dealing with here is the Aspire middle child of Mitsubishi’s three Eclipse Cross PHEV variants, which is priced at $49,990 plus on-road costs. If you want to read more about the most expensive PHEV Exceed, we’ve got that covered here too. 

From the outside, there’s little to distinguish the plug-in hybrid Eclipse Cross from its regular petrol siblings, apart from a ‘Plug-in Hybrid EV’ badge on its rump and doors, and a unique 18-inch wheel design. 

Standard equipment across the Eclipse Cross range is plentiful. Highlights include 18-inch alloy wheels, an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, DAB radio, LED daytime running lights, dual-zone climate control, a rear-view camera, a rear-mounted roof spoiler, autonomous emergency braking and lane-departure warning.

The mid-spec Aspire variant adds LED headlights, active safety tech (adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, surround-view cameras, and lane-changing assist), as well as some interior niceties like a power-adjustable driver’s seat, suede/synthetic leather seat trim, an eight-speaker sound system, heated front seats, and synthetic leather door inserts.

Key details2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Aspire PHEV
Price (MSRP)$45,000 drive-away$49,990 plus on-road costs
Colour of test carMeteoroid Grey metallicWhite Diamond
OptionsNonePremium paint – $940

Carpet floor mats – $144
Price as tested$45,000 drive-away$51,074 plus on-road costs

How much space does the Honda HR-V have inside?

Having spent time in previous Honda HR-Vs, I was expecting a thoughtfully designed and roomy cabin. I was not disappointed – both these experiences have been translated over to the new-generation car, which makes for a nice cabin ambience and pleasing overall lift in presentation.

It’s one of the few small SUVs that focuses strongly on passenger comfort and practical prowess, with ingenious details like the Magic Seats and an ergonomic cabin layout. The metallic doorhandles feel much more upmarket than they should, and the switchgear and dials look and feel premium too.



Some features I came to appreciate in the e:HEV variant – over and above the entry-level specification – include its heated seats, heated steering wheel, auto-dimming rear-vision mirror, power tailgate, and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

It’s great to see the Honda E’s next-generation infotainment design spreading across the wider Honda range as well. I’ll go into more detail about the system in the next section.

Driver space is good, making for a comfortable, cosy place to spend time, and everything is conveniently placed within the driver’s reach. There is not a huge amount of space for the legs of taller drivers, which becomes apparent when you slide in underneath the steering wheel and into the seat. But once ensconced, there are no huge complaints.

Storage in the first row is plentiful, with a sizeable cubby in front of the gearshifter and a secret little slot above that too. It is odd to not find a wireless phone charger in one of those spots in this high-spec model.

The door pockets contain a good amount of room for drink bottles, but the plastic moulding feels of a lower quality compared to the rest of the cabin’s upmarket materials. The plastic of the centre console appears similarly average.

The second row is accommodating for adults partly because of the HRV’s longer wheelbase and also because Honda has only provided two seats in the second row. At first it might seem the lack of middle seating is an omission given this car’s otherwise spacious cabin, but actually, there is a reason, albeit an unusual one.



Given most occasions will only see two passengers at most in the second row of a small SUV, this isn’t a huge slip-up, but buyers will have to gauge for themselves whether it’s a negative.

There is plenty of legroom and headroom for taller people, while the Magic Seats can fold in all manner of ways to accommodate cumbersome items.

That extra available space is welcome because the HR-V’s boot isn’t big for the class – it is rated at 304L with the seats up. This is down on rivals such as the Mitsubishi ASX (393L), Hyundai Kona (374L), and 2023 Nissan Qashqai (418–429L).

How much space does the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross have inside?

To anyone familiar with non-hybrid Eclipse Cross variants, there’s little to distinguish the PHEV beyond a unique gear selector that takes some getting used to, and various hybrid-related information pages on the infotainment screen and instrument binnacle. 

The Aspire’s seats are a combination of suede-look inserts and synthetic leather bolsters. The driver’s seat electrically adjusts for slide and recline, but the passenger’s seat retains manual adjustment, and the steering wheel also adjusts for reach and rake, making for a relatively comfortable driving position. 

The cabin is best described as functional rather than fancy, and makes no real attempt to impress. For an example of what I mean, you only have to hear the loud, plasticky ‘clunk’ every time you activate the indicator stalk.



There are splashes of piano black, brushed alloy and faux carbon fibre to break up the otherwise black cabin, but it comes off feeling piecemeal.

The centre stack is topped by a smallish 8.0-inch touchscreen that houses phone connectivity (Bluetooth or Apple CarPlay or Android Auto), DAB radio and other functions, but there’s no satellite navigation in this $50,000 car. 

Below that are the dual-zone climate controls, which pleasingly are old-school dials and buttons, and therefore second nature to adjust quickly while driving. 

Front-seat occupants have two cupholders between them and bottle holders in each door. There’s a tiny oddments bin below the centre stack that doesn’t fit much beyond the car’s key. Back-seat occupants are well catered for in terms of legroom – the new Eclipse Cross is 140mm longer overall than the old one, which frees up some extra rear seat space – and headroom, and there are two cupholders in the fold-down leather armrest (otherwise known as the middle-seat backrest), but there are no air vents or USB ports. Just a solitary 12V port.

Because this is a hybrid vehicle, the cargo area is smaller compared to its petrol-powered siblings. Mitsubishi claims 359L of storage (compared to 405L in the petrol-only Eclipse Cross, but just larger than the 341L boot of the old petrol Eclipse Cross), but it feels smaller than that because of the high floor that offers no storage underneath – except for a bin taken over by one of the two recharging cables.

The other cable lives in a large briefcase that seems to have no home in the boot, meaning it slides all over the place during driving. If Mitsubishi had made the case slightly smaller, it could have fit snugly in one of the pockets on either side of the boot floor. Or Mitsubishi could have put Velcro on one side of the case so it ‘sticks’ to the boot floor, like some other manufacturers do. 



The back seat folds 60/40 to liberate more cargo space when needed. There are two ISOFIX anchor points in the outboard seats, and all three back seats have top-tether anchor points. 

The Eclipse Cross Aspire PHEV does not have a spare tyre of any kind.

2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Aspire PHEV
SeatsFourFive
Boot volume304L seats up

1274L seats folded
359L seats up
Length4335mm4545mm
Width1790mm1805mm
Height1590mm1685mm
Wheelbase2610mm2670mm

Does the Honda HR-V have Apple CarPlay?

A new infotainment system made its Australian debut on the current-generation Honda Civic and is employed in this HR-V. It’s a great system dominated by a simple home screen with easily viewed tiles. Shortcuts along the bottom of the 9.0-inch touchscreen allow you to easily skip between the functions.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto are present, or you can make do with the system’s own functionality with things like digital radio and native satellite navigation.

Graphics and displays show in an appealing fashion, while navigation throughout the various menu systems is responsive and intuitive.

Does the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross have Apple CarPlay?

As mentioned above, the heart of the Eclipse Cross’s infotainment system is a basic 8.0-inch touchscreen that houses phone connectivity controls, DAB radio and media playback, and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity. Satellite navigation is not standard on the Aspire variant.



The Eclipse Cross’s sound system is a basic eight-speaker system that does the job but won’t impress those with a fine ear for sound.

In the instrument binnacle, there are two dials – one for vehicle speed and the other telling you where your power is coming from (instead of a tachometer). This dial swings wildly around during driving as it tries to keep up with battery drain/charge and petrol engine assistance, and can be distracting. 

In between these two sits a small and basic screen for displaying trip data, driving range, fuel reserve and battery charge, and digital speedo.

Is the Honda HR-V a safe car?

Standard active safety kit across the range includes items such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, front and rear parking sensors, traffic sign recognition, and autonomous emergency braking. This equipment comes as part of the branded Honda Sensing safety suite.

Specific to the e:HEV L model grade are additions such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

The HR-V comes with front, side, and full-length curtain airbags.



No ANCAP safety rating is listed for the Honda HR-V. The comparable Euro NCAP test returned a four-star result; however, official results for the Australian market are yet to be published.

Is the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross a safe car?

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross range was deemed a five-star car in 2017, and earlier this year that was updated to cover PHEV variants as well. 

ANCAP scored the Eclipse Cross 97 per cent for adult occupant protection, 78 per cent for child occupant protection and 80 per cent for vulnerable road user protection.

Not all variants, however, are fitted with the full complement of safety technologies. The entry-level ES PHEV is fitted with autonomous emergency braking and lane-departure warning only, while cruise control is of the static, non-adaptive, variety.

The mid-range Aspire brings added features like adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, front and parking sensors, surround-view camera, as well as lane-changing assist.

A near full complement of airbags covers both rows of occupants, although the second row misses out on side chest protection ’bags.



At a glance2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Aspire PHEV
ANCAP rating & year testedUntestedFive stars (tested 2017)
Safety reportN/AANCAP report

Is the Honda HR-V cheap to own, and reliable?

The price tag has headed north for the current-generation Honda HR-V, pushing it as a pricey small SUV option against rivals such as the new Kia Seltos GT-Line Limited Edition ($41,690 drive-away in Sydney), Ford Puma ST-Line ($40,045 drive-away), Hyundai Kona Highlander ($42,267 drive-away), and Skoda Kamiq Signature ($42,990 drive-away).

Drilling down further, the HR-V can’t boast features like the Hyundai Kona’s fully digital 10.25-inch instrument cluster, or the sunroof and Bose sound system of the Kia Seltos GT-Line. The Kia and Hyundai are covered by lengthy eight- and 10-year roadside assistance plans respectively, which the Honda can’t match.

The value-for-money battle isn’t just won and lost in the equipment lists either. The Honda’s power figure (96kW) can’t match the 110kW outputs offered by each of the Kia Seltos GT-Line, Skoda Kamiq, or Hyundai Kona. Its torque figure bolstered by the electric battery fares better, with the 253Nm figure beating out all those rivals.

On the plus side, the Honda claws back some points when it comes to fuel economy. The Honda HR-V’s 4.3L/100km claim is far better than the Skoda Kamiq (5.6L/100km), Kia Seltos (6.8L/100km), and Hyundai Kona (6.2L/100km).

Running costs are kept to a minimum – some of the most affordable on the market, even. Each of the first five services costs a low $125 and must be completed every 12 months or 10,000km.

As well, Honda throws in a five-year warranty (with unlimited kilometres) and a five-year premium roadside assistance plan. We searched for an insurance quote at the NRMA’s website for the HR-V e:HEV L based on a 35-year-old Sydney man with a clean driving record and received a $1952 quote. This compares with a $1292 quote for the Hyundai Kona Highlander FWD, $1237 quote for the Skoda Kamiq Signature, and a $1313 quote for the Kia Seltos GT-Line LE.

Honda has improved the fuel efficiency of the new HR-V over its predecessor. A fuel efficiency of 4.3L/100km compares with 6.7L/100km of the old model. It need only be filled with 91-octane petrol, which should keep running costs low.

Few other hybrids are offered in the small SUV category, though the Toyota C-HR is a comparable hybrid that uses an identical 4.3L/100km of fuel. On actual tests, our time with a hybrid C-HR returned a 5.1L/100km rating, which is higher than what we got with the HR-V e:HEV L (4.7L/100km) this time around.

Is the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross cheap to own, and reliable?

According to Mitsubishi, owners of the larger Outlander plug-in hybrid (which has been on sale here since 2014) spend up to 84 per cent of their time driving in pure electric mode. That can be interpreted to mean that four out of five round trips are less than the Outlander’s 55km pure EV range. 

Or, to spin that data another way: 10,500 of the 12,500km the supposedly average Australian drives each year could be conducted on electric power alone. So, if you have a solar array, that adds up to hundreds of litres of fuel you don’t have to buy each year. 

For the record, Mitsubishi claims the Eclipse Cross will do 55km in pure EV mode fully charged. Charging the 13.8kWh battery takes seven hours on a domestic plug or as little as 25 minutes via a CHAdeMO Mode 4 DC charger. 

The Eclipse Cross also has Vehicle to Everything (V2X) capabilities, which means it can be used as a power source to charge other cars or feed electricity into your dwelling. This might come in handy during a blackout, but other than that, I don’t see a lot of point. 

The Eclipse Cross’s official fuel-consumption rating is 1.9L/100km on the urban/country combined cycle. During our test week, we covered 250km and charged it each night, so the fuel tank indicator hardly moved. I won’t be able to say the same for my electricity bill, though, because I don’t have solar.

All Mitsubishi models come with a conditional warranty of up to 10-years or 200,000km, when serviced through the Mitsubishi network. Outside those conditions, the warranty may only cover a more industry-standard five years (or 100,000km). There’s an eight-year/160,000km warranty on the EV drive system and battery. 

Servicing intervals are 12 months or 15,000km, and Mitsubishi’s Diamond Advantage capped-price servicing plan says you’ll pay $1695 for the first five years’ servicing. The next five years, however, will cost $3095 for a total of $4790 over the 10-year warranty period.

At a glance2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Aspire PHEV
WarrantyFive years, unlimited kmTen years, 200,000

(conditional on servicing at Mitsubishi dealers)
Service intervals12 months or 10,000km12 months or 15,000km
Servicing costs$375 (3 years), $625 (5 years)$997 (3 years), $1695 (5 years), $4790 (10 years)
Fuel cons. (claimed)4.3L/100km1.9L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test)4.7L/100km2.0L/100km
Fuel type91-octane regular unleaded91-octane regular unleaded
Fuel tank size40L45L

What is the Honda HR-V like to drive?

Tapping the public’s thirst for hybridised models, our top-spec Honda HR-V is powered by a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine that has 96kW and 253Nm. While these numbers are down on the outgoing HR-V, fuel consumption is a much more frugal 4.3L/100km combined (Honda’s claim) compared to before. On test in a mainly urban environment, we managed 4.7L/100km.

In terms of how the HR-V performs on-road, there is a willingness to use that power, but it can feel a bit underpowered in high-demand situations like overtaking. This may not be ideal for rural buyers, but city drivers will rarely notice a lack of power.

The continuously variable transmission paired to the powertrain is responsive to throttle prods and changing speeds, and doesn’t exhibit that typical CVT annoyance of being overly droney or loud.  

The driving position is comfortable and provides decent all-round visibility, which helps when manoeuvring the car around suburban streets. The light, direct steering feel is welcome in a small SUV, which makes it an entertaining thing to zip around in, and even impresses when sniffing out a set of twisty roads.

A small array of drive modes are available, such as Econ, which prioritises the hybrid powertrain to run the car in electric mode for a short amount of time, or you can lean more heavily on the petrol engine in Sport mode. If left in Normal, the HR-V does a good job of shifting between power sources without fussing the driver, and you can even get up to cruising speeds using electricity (and a light throttle pressure).

The car remains mostly quiet when running around the city, though there is some road noise on the coarser-chip bitumen typical of country B-roads.

Ride quality is a highlight of the HR-V, with a compliant and soft suspension tune that commendably shields people inside the cabin from large bumps and small undulations. It’s an impressively well-controlled suspension system for a small SUV.

I am not a fan of the Honda’s adaptive cruise-control technology, which brakes fairly aggressively to maintain a minimum distance to the car in front, and struggles at times to latch onto the right car.

What is the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross like to drive?

First up, the plug-in hybrid Eclipse Cross has the same driving controls as a conventional petrol- or diesel-powered car, so it’s easy to just jump in and drive. But if you want to make the most of your EV, you’ll need to learn how to extract the best from the drivetrain. 

For starters, there’s an EV mode switch that tells the petrol engine to take a holiday and leaves the battery and motors to do all the moving (as long as you stay under 135km/h). Next to that is a ‘save charge’ button that does the opposite. This button is handy in Europe where owners need to safeguard their electrons for use in EV-only built-up areas, but not so handy in Australia unless you’d prefer to consume fuel.

In between those two buttons is the most confusing part of driving the Eclipse Cross PHEV, but it doesn’t take much to master.

Instead of a conventional automatic gear selector, this car’s selector needs to be pulled right before going down into drive or up into reverse. And, once you’re in drive, you can pull it down to go into B mode. 

B mode allows you to adjust the regenerative braking function, which basically captures kinetic energy that’s usually lost during deceleration and braking, and channels it back into the battery to be deployed the next time you accelerate. 

B mode has six sensitivity settings from 0 to 5, the latter being the most aggressive, which can be changed using the gear selector paddles mounted on the steering wheel. Confusingly, you use the minus paddle to go up the numbers, and the plus paddle to go down. 

During our test drive, we left it in ‘5’ to recapture the most energy. But, even in ‘5’ the ‘braking’ effect is not very strong. This is not a car you can drive on a single pedal like some other EVs.  

Apart from all that, the Eclipse Cross is competent to drive, though it does suffer from a little wind noise kicked up by those big wing mirrors. 

At times the suspension is harsh, and the steering wheel can load up during fast three-point turns, but in general, it’s hard to fault this little Mitsubishi. Probably the most interesting thing about the way it drives is the spaceship-like electric whoosh it makes as it drives by.

But hey, not everyone wants cars that put a smile on their dial. Some want transport that gets them reliably, safely and comfortably from A to B, and back to A. The Eclipse Cross does most of that.

Key details2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Aspire PHEV
Engine1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol-hybrid2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol-hybrid
Power78kW @ 6400rpm petrol

96kW @ 4000–8000rpm combined
94kW @ 4500rpm petrol

60kW front electric motor

70kW rear electric motor
Torque131Nm @ 3500rpm petrol

253Nm @ 0–3500rpm combined
199Nm @ 4500rpm petrol

137Nm front electric motor

195Nm rear electric motor
Drive typeFront-wheel driveAll-wheel drive on-demand
TransmissionContinuously variable automatic transmissionMulti-mode front transaxle (petrol),

Single-speed (electric) automatic
Power to weight ratio69kW/t48.7kW/t
Weight1382kg1895kg

CarIcon

Doors & Seats

EngineIcon

Engine

EnginePowerIcon

Power & Torque

TransmissionIcon

Transmission

DrivetrainIcon

Drivetrain

FuelIcon

Fuel

WarrantyIcon

Warranty

AncapSafetyIcon

Safety

2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L Wagon

Doors & Seats

5 Doors, 4 Seats

Power & Torque

78 kW, 131 Nm

Transmission

1 Speed, Auto (CVT)

Drivetrain

Front Wheel Drive

Fuel

Petrol (91), 4.3L/100KM

Compare All SpecsLinkIcon

Should I buy a Honda HR-V or a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross?

Forget what these two cars have or how spacious they are. This comparison is a fight for philosophical supremacy between closed-loop hybrids and plug-in hybrids rather than a head-to-head. 

To recap, a closed loop hybrid contains everything it needs to create and capture electrical energy within the car itself. A plug-in hybrid can do that, too, and it can be plugged into your house to recharge. 

So, which one is worth your money and which one isn’t? 

When we first tested the new Honda HR-V we found its value equation to be a more expensive than mainstream rivals, despite Honda’s no-haggle purchase price and bargain basement servicing costs. Some of those rivals are not hybrids, which may seem like we’re unfairly penalising a more advanced drivetrain for being more expensive. 

At Drive, we look at electrification two ways: The first is as a new technology, and as we all know, new technologies cost more. So, if you’re keen to embrace new tech, the extra cost may sit within your expectations. 

Second, from a pragmatic perspective. That is: don’t worry about what technology it has, what benefit does it deliver to the end user? This is where the HR-V falls back from the mainstream pack, because its premium price won’t save you money in the long run. Yes, you will use 1-3 litres less fuel per 100km, but that’s at best a $600 per year saving with which you’re trying to amortise a $5K higher purchase price.  

Weirdly, this economical anomaly is what helps the Honda HR-V to win this particular comparison, because it represents better value – and a better investment – than the plug-in Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. 

The Eclipse Cross Aspire we’ve tested here costs $54,490 drive-away, which is almost $10,000 more than the Honda HR-V’s drive-away price. 

If we take into consideration the less expensive Eclipse Cross ES, the driveaway price becomes $50,490, which is still $5490 more than the HR-V. 

So, if you want to make that money back against the already economical HR-V, you’d need to drive every one of 15,000km every year using electricity alone. For four years. 

If you only remember to plug in half the time, then it will take eight years. 

Put simply, plug-in hybrids only make sense if you plug them in often enough to drive electrically most of the time. Otherwise, you’re paying for – and carrying around – excess technology that you’re not taking proper advantage of.

Of course, this simple cost-of-ownership formula assumes you have solar power so you’re not paying an electricity company for every kW you’re feeding your plug-in hybrid. If that’s not the case, then the financial break-even point just receded to sometime beyond your newborn son’s high school graduation party.  

Now, if you’re actually shopping the Honda HR-V against the Eclipse Cross, then we recommend the HR-V. Sure, it only has four seats, but who buys a small SUV to carry five adults? Better to carry four in comfort than five in a sardine can.

The HR-V’s refinement and interior styling are both more upmarket than the Eclipse Cross’s. The HR-V also is easier to drive, more agile and more economical. 

It’s also cheaper to buy, cheaper to run and cheaper to service. But it is considerably more expensive to insure ($1952 v $1202 per year), which wipes out the servicing and fuel economy savings.  

Still, those advantages outweigh the negatives, which is why we pick the Honda HR-V.

Overall Ratings

Drive’s Pick

2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L Wagon

7.9/ 10

7.9/ 10

2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV Aspire Wagon

7.9/ 10

7.9/ 10

Ratings Breakdown

Performance
2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L Wagon
2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV Aspire Wagon
Ride Quality
2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L Wagon
2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV Aspire Wagon
Handling & Dynamics
2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L Wagon
2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV Aspire Wagon
Driver Technology
2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L Wagon
2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV Aspire Wagon
Interior Comfort + Packaging
2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L Wagon
2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV Aspire Wagon
Safety
2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L Wagon
2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV Aspire Wagon
Infotainment & Connectivity
2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L Wagon
2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV Aspire Wagon
Fuel Efficiency
2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L Wagon
2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV Aspire Wagon
Value
2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L Wagon
2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV Aspire Wagon
Fit for Purpose
2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L Wagon
2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV Aspire Wagon

Glenn Butler

Glenn Butler is one of Australia’s best-known motoring journalists having spent the last 25 years reporting on cars on radio, TV, web and print. He’s a former editor of Wheels, Australia’s most respected car magazine, and was deputy editor of Drive.com.au before that. Glenn’s also worked at an executive level for two of Australia’s most prominent car companies, so he understands how much care and consideration goes into designing and developing new cars. As a journalist, he’s driven everything from Ferraris to Fiats on all continents except Antarctica (which he one day hopes to achieve) and loves discovering each car’s unique personality and strengths. Glenn knows a car’s price isn’t indicative of its competence, and even the cheapest car can enhance your life and expand your horizons. 

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