Mitsubishi has been ranked in the top 10 vehicle manufacturers in the latest National Franchised Dealers Association Dealer attitude survey.

The last time this survey was done Mitsubishi came in at No 21 so a place in the top ten now is something worth shouting about.

It also means that Mitsubishi are one of the most improved manufacturers in terms of various results and being the most improved manufacturer in a number of areas.

Dealers were asked a series of questions covering a range of business aspects and their impact on the relationship with the manufacturers.

Rob Lindley, MD of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK said: “We had an outstanding 98 per cent participation rate from our dealer partners, the highest of any brand, and we saw the biggest improvement in total scores since the last survey.”

Sue Robinson, director of the NFDA, said: “It is positive to see that the response rate from the Mitsubishi dealer network has hugely increased, which is reflected in their overall improvement across the survey. “ It is not difficult to see how Mitsubishi has improved their products over the last ten years. Each of their products has got better and better.

From what was something of just an average vehicle it has become a bit of a class act, something you couldn’t say a few years ago.

Since the Mitsubishi group produced its first car more than a century ago, they have demonstrated an ambitious and often distinctive approach, developing new vehicles and pioneering cutting-edge technologies.

Mitsubishi Motors has introduced its “Drive your Ambition” a tagline which is a combination of personal drive and forward attitude, and a reflection of dialogue between the brand and its customers.

One shining example is their Eclipse Cross 4x4 model which comes in around £20,700 going through to £27,600 as the model gets more kit on it.

The Eclipse comes in between the Misubishi ASX and the Outlander with the Shogun as the big daddy.

Rivals are the Nissan Qashqai and the Toyota RAV4 and funnily enough it was a Nissan designer who joined Mitsubishi three years ago. Now of course Nissan is a major shareholder of Mistsubishi so that’s probably where the class comes from.

But I’ve always been a bit of a fan of Mitsubishi, with the Shogun being my favourite. I always like to drive one during the year, preferably when weather conditions are poor!

The Eclipse is quite a harsh ride, like all Mitsubishis, but a trip to London and back on a various roads was a pretty good journey.

I had the model with the new lightweight 1.5 turbo petrol engine with the CVT auto transmission and that was squeaky clean.

Drive at an average of 60mph and you’ll get close to the 50 miles to the gallon. Make that 80mph but then your mpg drops quickly below the 40 mark.

The turbo petrol engine responds pretty well and if you are on the urban route the auto CVT is smooth. Steering is predictable and comfortable.

Dials and screens are quite and the top model has a head-up display. Infotainment is in the charge of a touchscreen or well-designed trackpad controller down in the centre console.

Standard or optional are most of the safety and driver-assist features you’d expect: collision warning, active cruise including stop-and-go, blind-sport warning with cross-traffic assist, and all-round parking cameras. It’s only lane-departure warning, though, not lane-keeping assistance.

Also you’ll have to pay for a sat nav. That doesn’t come standard, which is a pity.

Mitsubishi’s UK warranty is for five years or 62,500 miles which isn’t bad and the Eclipse also picked up a Good Design award.