2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT
The Good :)
Concept Car Looks Inside and Out. Powerful V6 Engine. Great 6-speed
Transmission. Powered Convertible Top.
The Bad :(
Non Aggressive Front-end Design. Small Rear Seats. Should be a rear wheel
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Mitsubishi, a company in a downward spiral
until recently, has produced a hot sports car just in time for summer. The
Eclipse Spyder combines thrilling design and performance with an advance
power convertible top at a very low price point. Just hitting dealerships
this month (April), the car is turning heads everywhere we take it.
With sales just now increasing rather than
decreasing, Mitsubishi is delivering some great new products. "The new
Eclipse Spyder captures the essence of Mitsubishi by offering customers a
stand-out design and performance at an affordable price," said Rich
Gilligan, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America. "Its
high-quality automatic top makes Eclipse Spyder a convertible for all
seasons and is more like a top you would expect to see on a $40,000 car than
one that starts at under $26,000."
The Eclipse is available in either GS trim,
which offers a 2.4 liter four cylinder, or the as tested GT trim, with a V6
engine. Exterior styling is reminiscent of previous versions from the front
angle however the rear end is totally concept car curvaceous. The fit and
finish of the vehicle is very good. The use of modern and unique design
features in the headlights and taillights is quite impressive. The
headlights have a lens in front of the main bulb which changes colors as you
walk around it. The taillights have a purplish bulb which also looks great
even when not turned on. The bulleted fog lamps are large and add a concept
car look. The silver mirror like lip of the wing on the trunk looks as if
it is a lighted brake light but we were disappointed to find only a small
square brake lamp in back. We suppose this is left to the aftermarket. It
appears that designers could have gone further with the front end, giving
the eclipse a more aggressive design. The flow overall is quite nice and we
especially liked the rear end.
The interior is colorful and
bold, designed much like a concept car. We were very surprised to see high
attention to detail. Door pulls are styled very nicely and have dotted lock
knobs which also light up. The large grab handles on the doors are in an
ergonomic position and required in any sports car. Seats are colored to
bring the outside color inside, with our orange color found in many interior
panels and on the seats themselves. While seats look extremely bolstered,
they are actually quite soft and comfortable, making getting in and out
easy. The aggressively styled seats are wonderful because you have shoulder
support and a mesh behind your head for some wind. They look great and feel
nice with leather like interior portions and suede like side bolsters.
The dash is stylish with soft
leather like material for the main colored portion. Most buttons and dials
feel nice to the touch. The steering wheel feels nice with its large grips
and thick stitching which was carried over nicely to the shift knob. The
small instrument cluster has a warm glow with a blue tint providing ambient
lighting to the interior cabin. It was really a cool feeling behind the
wheel at night. We just had trouble seeing if the air conditioner was on or
off in the day time as the switch was not bright enough to be seen. Pedals
are trimmed in buttoned metal for a high end feel.
The climate control system is
a fully automatic and worked well in convertible mode as well as top-up
mode. Dual heated seats are optional but great for winter driving days or
when you feel tired after a long day. A small pod on top of the dash shows
you stereo selection, compass, as well as time and outside temperature. The
location of this screen was far from the stereo dials and so not the best
place to have this information. It also lacked the coolness of the interior
color scheme because it is done in black digital text display, something
more like a color cell phone display would have been better suited.
The audio system is a powerful
piece of work. A powerful premium stereo system is offered in the Eclipse.
Rockford Fosgate has been making aftermarket car audio systems for 25
years. A total of 650 watts are sent through nine speakers including a
10-inch long throw subwoofer in a fiberglass reinforced bass reflex
enclosure. The six disc in-dash CD changer also plays MP3 files. The
system offers DSP with live, hall, and normal settings and serious bass.
The system offers sound compensation for when the car's top is down and
speed is increased. We can see many young adults opting for this car
because of this stereo system, which is standard. Lacking is an input
auxiliary jack for your iPod, something that would have appealed to the
The rear seats are big enough for an adult
to sit in for a short ride. There is also enough room for a pet but the
wind blowing around in back is just way too much for a comfortable ride.
Only the driver's seat is height adjustable for a better view out the front
windshield. It is powered as well for easier movement. The passenger seat
is set to a low position for a sporty feeling and is manually adjustable.
Both seats manually slide forward for entry into the back, however getting
in back with seatbelts that are not attached to the seats themselves is
To increase driver and front
passenger room, the Eclipse's height was increased by nearly two inches, to
53.5 inches (or 53.8 inches when equipped with optional 18-inch wheels and
tires). Thanks to its wider track, overall passenger volume was also
increased by over two cubic feet to a generous 81.6 cu ft. offering room to
stretch during the drive and room for easier ingress and egress. The
Eclipse leads its class in front shoulder room, providing 54.2 inches of
shoulder space for front passengers.
The top opens easily, all you
have to do it touch two levers holding the top to the front windshield and
then press the open button on the lower dash and away it goes. The
mechanical top has a glass rear window for carefree maintenance for years.
It takes 19 seconds for the top to do its thing, leaving a clean flush
fitting rear end when in convertible mode. However, the rear window is a
bit small for the view in your rearview mirror. But who is looking back
anyways in a car like this. We found the top to be very quiet when up and
experienced no ballooning or movement.
Eclipse GS and GT models each offer an option package that enhances interior
comfort. The Leather Package for the Spyder GS combines leather seating
surfaces, heated front seats and heated exterior mirrors, along with the
outside temperature and compass displays that are standard on the GT. The
Eclipse Spyder GT's optional Premium Sport Package lives up to its "premium"
label by equipping this model with 18-inch alloy wheels and 235/45 R18
tires, a six-way power driver's seat, leather seating surfaces, aluminum
pedals, automatic climate control system, heated front seats and heated
The Eclipse GT offers a powerful 263
horsepower 3.8 liter V6 engine that produces 260 lbs.-ft of torque. The
engine is mated to a six speed manual or a five speed Sportronic automatic
transmission. Full torque is achieved at a high 4500 rpm compared with
German cars which can deliver full torque at around 1800 rpm. For
aesthetics it is dressed in a red cover with the MIVEC logo under the hood.
A 21mm rear stabilizer bar is standard on the GT while a 1 mm smaller bar is
found on the GS. Large brake discs measure 11.6 in front and 11.2 in back.
A high flow muffler produces a throaty exhaust note giving the Eclipse a
very sporty character.
The view from the steering wheel is good
with large windows in front and to the side. The arc curvaceous shape of
the body is exemplified in the shape of the side view windows. The ride is
firm and sporty. The Eclipse utilizes a MacPherson strut design front
suspension. The rear uses a multi-link configuration with trailing arms.
The wide track at 61.8 inches provides good stability and control. The
shift gate is short and quick with gravity towards the center so gear
changing is faster and easier. The powerful engine sending all its might to
the front wheels can be a drag when you want to go very fast. The Eclipse
looses its steering easily under full power, a fault with all front wheel
drive cars this light. However, this does make for easy wheel screeching
excitement in parking lots.
Body sway is minimal and while
the suspension could give more road feel to the driver, it is quite good for
a car in this price range. The powerful engine allows us to drive as fast
as we like and with relatively good stability on highways, the Eclipse is an
overall winner. A front strut tower bar decreases body roll and improves
performance. If power was sent to the rear wheels, we would feel more
comfortable pushing the pedal to the metal more often. You just never know
where the car is headed when you loose all steering feel trying to go fast.
There is little on the market with the
flair and roominess of the Eclipse Spyder at its price point. The exterior
is just beautiful and the interior equally wonderful. The Eclipse has
style, something lacking in many other cars. Furthermore, the GT model has
plenty of power to satisfy most drivers. The power convertible top further
enhances the Eclipse's desirability in this very competitive market
segment. After spending some time in the Eclipse, we feel that the
combination of style, performance, fun and affordability makes this a winner
in the entry level convertible segment.
Mitsubishi should be proud of
the Eclipse; it's a car with bold style that draws to the emotions of the
younger generation. The Eclipse should be a huge hit because it's so
different in every way and because it offers a sense that you are getting so
much more than what it costs. This is the only way for Mitsubishi to work
its way back for spiraling sales over the past few years. If they focus on
being bold and offering more, like they did with this Eclipse, the customers
will come in masses.