Indeed this sharply-dressed SUV has cleverly designed door sills – enhanced by protective covers on the bottom of the doors themselves – that stop you getting your trousers or legs dirty when you step in or out.
I drove the nifty all-wheel-drive 1.5 litre direct injection turbo-charged petrol Eclipse Cross 4 – linked to an agile 8-speed continuously variable (CVT) gearbox with paddles for manual override.
Across swathes of twisty country lanes and motorway around Berkshire and Wiltshire I found it a comfortable, distinctive and at times feisty new addition to the growing school-run and country casuals SUV market.
Hot stuff: The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross promises an average 40.4mpg fuel economy
Priced from £27,900 with a top speed of 127mph and acceleration from rest to 62mph of 9.8 seconds, it promises an average 40.4mpg fuel economy. It’s got stand-out styling. Steering is light but precise, it’s long-legged on highways and nimble on corners.
Lots of kit as standard including a powered panoramic sunroof and lots of practical and safety aids including head-up display, 360-degree parking cameras, a forward collision mitigation system, blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.
There are three drive settings; auto, snow and gravel and it scored the maximum five stars in the EuroNCAP crash tests.
Good rear vision thanks to a two-part glass hatchback door, a fair sized boot and flexible rear seating which has eight ‘slide and recline’ settings.
State of the art: The smart interior is more Germanic than Japanese, with a fingertip touch-pad controller
The smart interior is more Germanic than Japanese, with a fingertip touch-pad controller, a seven-inch touch screen, and links for iPhone’s Apple CarPlay with voice-controlled ‘Siri’, and the rival Android Auto.
The full Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross range – which includes a six-speed manual two-wheel drive petrol – costs from £21,275 up to £29,750 for the limited ‘First Edition’ run of 250.
Automatics will account for around seven out of ten of this year’s predicted UK sales of between 6,500 and 10,000.
‘Fire up the Quattro’: Gene Hunt’s named his list of favourite getaway cars
‘Fire up the Quattro’, as petrolhead actor Philip Glenister – DCI Gene Hunt in TVs Life On Mars – would say.
He’s put together his favourite getaway cars for the London Classic Car Show which begins next week.
In the fast lane: Philip Glenister has put together his favourite getaway cars for the London Classic Car Show
It includes the Lotus Cortina Mk I used by Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds who was caught when police took plaster casts of the tyre tracks found around the crime scenes and made the match.
Never been seen before at a public event, it was in a lock-up for 30 years, and has just 3,000 miles on the clock.
Caught in the act: The Lotus Cortina Mk I used by Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds
Others include a Mini Cooper S from The Italian Job, the Audi S8 driven by Jean Reno in the film Ronin, and the Ford Transit Mk I which police said was once the vehicle of choice for bank robbers.
Glenister said: ‘I’m really excited about the Getaway showcase. There are some brilliant motors.’
More details thelondonclassiccarshow.co.uk (February 15-18 at the ExCeL)
Changing face of motoring
If you want evidence of just how radically the traditional motor and oil industries are gearing up for the not too distant future, consider these recent announcements.
Oil giant BP is getting into the electric car business by investing in the charging group FreeWire and installing high speed charging points at UK filling stations; a subsidiary of Shell – FarePilot – has applied to run Uber-style mini-cabs in London; and car giant Ford announced it is to run four mini-bus services in London.
How times change.