IMHO (God knows I've shared my unabated thoughts on this vehicle), as a pure passenger / commuter vehicle, the EC is a VERY comfortable ride. Even in terms of safety and average performance, it can mete out with so-called "best-in class" competitors that established industry leaders can produce. (e.g., RAV-4, CRV, Rogue, CX3, etc.)
The two criticisms I share with most in the automotive press are:
- The CVT really is underwhelming, and
- There is no lane-keeping driver assist feature that most drivers (at least in this 2018-2019 MY lineup).
- The turbocharger is a weird anomaly of purpose: You drop displacement from 2+ Liters to a mere 1.5 ... and bring power output and fuel consumption to par with the N/A 2.4L ... by adding a turbo that you can't even hear nor feel?
Then, also, my addition to this list --- the Mitsubishi Connect app just plain out SUCKS!
Really bad from a reliability and usability point of view.
Other than those, I should say that my opinions regarding sluggish acceleration (again, thanks to that stupid CVT) and dire performance upgrade options (ibidem, stupid CVT) are because I know Mitsubishi can do much better. (Other than the EC, I own Evolutions and Eclipses, so there.)
Beyond the criticisms, I maintain that the EC has an AWD system that's really well above average. It's quite good. (And believe me, I've driven many an SUV as well as I travel a lot for work.)
The engine is competent enough, and limited only by the transmission. From a roll, it has acceleration enough to pass without feeling like it'll break anything, and is comfortable everywhere else. The wife and I will take it on road trips over the Evo.
It's definitely a looker.
Final thought - I am also in agreement with the confusion some in the media have about the positioning of the Cross in Mitsubishi's product linup. the 2020 Outlander Sport (RVR) isn't getting smaller (as they originally announced when they introduced the Cross. From a performance standpoint, having S-AWC and a turbocharged engine makes the Cross a selling point compared to the Sport. But, I think if Mitsubishi had the right sense about them to entice the market, they'd create a variant of the vehicle that actually makes the Cross a lot sportier in terms of performance - and it really is simple:
- Drop that CVT in lieu of an MHI or Getrag transmission
- Put an older (and larger) MHI turbo in there instead of an IHI
- Make the suspension slightly stiffer.
And I'm sure it'll make a lot of people happy. And I'm not just talking about people looking for grocery getters.