Bold styling. Forget the bland Outlander and Outlander Sport. The 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, the brand's latest entry that was introduced last year, marches to a different drummer.

It looks best from the side, sporting a racy roofline, deeply sculpted upper character line, sharp creases around the wheels, and a lower swage line that kicks up just forward of the rear wheel well. The front fascia offers a bold interpretation of the brand's "dynamic shield" grill and, though busy, you won't have a problem finding it amid the expanding sea of look-alike small crossovers.

But that style comes at a price. Head room – especially in sunroof-equipped models – is tight, particularly in back, where only two adults can ride in comfort. Cargo space, at 22.6 cubic feet, is only middling and falls short of the Honda HR-V and Nissan Kicks. In addition, the Pontiac Aztek/Toyota Prius-inspired split rear window looks cool, but it hinders the rear sight line, with the lower glass nearly useless in rain and snow.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Value and warranty. At $24,775, the entry-level Eclipse Cross ES offers the usual power features plus alloy wheels, fog lights, LED taillights and running lights, heated outside mirrors, automatic climate control, keyless push-button start, and heated front seats.

It's all covered by a five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. But rivals cost roughly the same, while advanced safety features are missing on the entry-level trim and you have to opt for the top-trim SEL with a pricey option package to get them all.

Smartphone compatibility. The bad news? The infotainment system lacks a volume knob, the infotainment software is unintuitive, and the redundant trackpad is kludgy and distracting. The good news? A 7-inch touchscreen and satellite radio are standard, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability offset a number of the system's weaknesses.

Decent turbo, lackluster CVT. On paper, the 152-horsepower, 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine equals or betters a number of rivals. In the real world, however, it's hampered by portly all-wheel-drive models and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that hesitates when you least need it to.

Final thoughts. The 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross offers a value proposition (at least in entry trim), a strong warranty, and a dose of style to the small crossover class. But its design comes with compromises: the infotainment system is exasperatingly unintuitive, while the CVT doesn't always play well with the turbo-four.

Looking at the competition, the Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR come with a wider range of standard safety features. The Jeep Renegade, Ford EcoSport, and HR-V, among others, offer more passenger space, while the EcoSport, HR-V, and Kicks feature more cargo space. Finally, if you're interested in style, the Mazda CX-3 is stunning and engaging from any angle.

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