IT’S reassuring when expectations are fulfilled.

I was once the proud owner of a fifth-generation Mitsubishi Galant of the late 1980s, a spacious four-door saloon that was as quiet and smooth as could be, with a level of fit and finish that was exemplary.

Fast forward a decade or three and all those qualities remain evident in the Japanese company’s latest SUV, the Eclipse Cross.

I have driven several Mitsubishi models in the intervening years, including the mighty Shogun and advanced Outlander PHEV, and always been impressed by the quality of the cars’ manufacture.

The Eclipse Cross, a contender in the hotly-contested sector including the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and many more, exhibits those qualities, but with a level of technology that would have been but a dream in my old Galant, which was very well kitted-out for its time.

The new car is extremely well specified, with even the entry-level ‘2’ version offering features such as a touch-pad controller, smartphone display audio, rear-view camera, cruise control, climate control air conditioning, LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth connectivity and heated door mirrors.

The Weekend Wheels test car was the flagship ‘4’ version which boasted leather trim, electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, electric opening panoramic roof, a premium sound system with nine speakers, LED headlamps, 360˚parking camera, a head-up display, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, electrically-folding door mirrors and automatic rain-sensing wipers.

Safety kit included blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-change assist.

Roomy and comfortable, the Eclipse Cross also ticks the practicality box with a capacious load bay and slide-and-recline adjustment for the 60/40-split rear seat - the seat-back has eight different recline settings and the base has up to 200mm of travel.

Our car was a 161bhp 1.5-litre petrol-engine model with two-wheel drive (there’s a 4WD version too) and six-speed manual gearbox. Top speed is 127mph, with 42.8mpg on the combined cycle (manufacturer’s figures).

The sweet-sounding engine is eager and the gear-change smooth and positive. Ride majors on comfort, while handling is assured and the driving environment pleasant and positive.

Prices start at £21,920 and our car was £25,240 plus £450 for metallic paint.