The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 1.5T GLS was launched in July and it offers one of the best sub-R500,000 feature sets on the market.
At a South African price of R495,200, the Toyota RAV4 2.0 GX Auto competes directly against the new Mitsubishi in the value-for-money SUV segment.
Below, we pin these mid-size SUVs against each other to see which one justifies its price tag the best.
Both the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Toyota RAV4 come extensively equipped with standard features.
This includes multifunction steering wheels, cruise control, daytime running lights, fog lamps, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay infotainment systems.
After this, however, the differences start to become apparent – with the Mitsubishi providing a more premium aesthetic at this price point.
At R500,000, the Eclipse Cross sports features that the RAV4 does not offer – such as automatic LED headlights and rain-sensing wipers.
The Mitsubishi also boasts a luxurious cabin with leather seats, electrically-adjustable and heated front seats, keyless entry and start, climate control, a heads-up display, paddle shifters, foldaway wing mirrors, and an 8-inch central display.
The RAV4 provides cloth upholstery, manual seating adjustments, manual air conditioning, a semi-digital instrument cluster, and a 7-inch screen at the R500,000 mark.
Despite the unfair fight in the feature department, the RAV4 and Eclipse Cross score 5-star safety ratings from separate branches of the NCAP organisation – and they are fitted with class-leading safety systems.
They both even get full-size spare wheels so that you never have to drive around on a biscuit.
In the Toyota, passenger protection is taken care of by ABS with traction control, rear parking sensors, hill start assist, trailer sway control, and seven airbags.
The Eclipse Cross includes ABS with brake assist, traction control, hill start assist, all-round parking sensors, a rearview camera, and seven airbags.
The range-topping Eclipse Cross is powered by a 1.5-litre, turbo-petrol motor that puts out 110kW and 250Nm.
This is good for a 0-100km/h acceleration in 8.9 seconds and a combined fuel consumption of 7.7l/100km.
Providing drive in the RAV4 is a 2.0-litre, normally-aspirated petrol engine generating 127kW and 203Nm.
Combined fuel consumption for this unit is rated at 6.5l/100km and 100km/h is reached in roughly 10 seconds.
Drive in both SUVs is handled by a CVT transmission and sent to the front wheels – while the Eclipse Cross adds an “eight-step” gear changing feature in sports mode.
The RAV4, in the GX specification, does not have any customisable drive mode settings.
Thanks to the additional torque in the Mitsubishi, it beats the Toyota in maximum braked towing capacity, too.
The Eclipse Cross can tow up to 1,600kg whereas the RAV4 manages a respectable 1,000kg.
Due to its longer and taller dimensions, however, the RAV4 pulls ahead in luggage capacity – with 698 litres in five-seater mode, compared to the 437 litres in the Mitsubishi.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 1.5T GLS has a South African price of R499,995 – which includes a 3-year/100,000km warranty, a 5-year/90,000km service plan, and five-year/unlimited kilometre roadside assistance.
The Toyota RAV4 2.0 GX Auto has a South African price of R495,200 – which includes a 3-year/100,000km warranty and a 6-services/90,000km service plan