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Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross earns IIHS Top Safety Pick, but only with certain equipment

It depends on whether or not the car is equipped with automatic braking and better headlights.

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
It may crash well regardless of trim level, but if you want the kit that helped it earn Top Safety Pick, you'll have to shell out for more than just the base model.
Sam Bendall/Roadshow

You might not agree with Mitsubishi's use of the Eclipse name on its latest crossover, but a quick look at hard data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety makes it hard to disagree with how safe the SUV is, no matter the name.

The IIHS announced this week that the 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross utility vehicle has earned its second-highest accolade, Top Safety Pick. In order to achieve this, the car must pass a battery of crash tests with flying colors, in addition to scoring well on evaluations of its crash-avoidance systems and headlights.

When it came to crashing, the Eclipse Cross performed admirably. It received the top rating of Good in all six of the IIHS crash tests, including the recently implemented small overlap passenger-side test, which was added to the rubric this year to ensure automakers were adequately protecting both front occupants and not just the driver.

Things get a little complicated on the evaluation side. While the Eclipse Cross did receive the second-best Superior rating for its crash-avoidance technology, it's not actually standard -- instead, it's part of a $2,500 Touring package, which is a letdown given how many other automakers bundle the tech as standard. It's the same story for its headlights -- the base halogens were rated Poor, only rising to the Acceptable rating when swapped out with the LED headlights available in the SEL trim's Touring package. Had just one set of headlights received a Good rating, the Eclipse Cross would have earned Top Safety Pick+.

The IIHS regularly tests a number of new and revised vehicles for Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ consideration. As of this writing, the Eclipse Cross is the second Mitsubishi vehicle to earn one of these awards for 2019, the other being the full-size Outlander SUV.

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