The 1997 Eagle Talon provides an inexpensive all-wheel and front drive sport coupe. It looks mechanically identical to the better-selling Mitsubishi Eclipse. The Talon appears sporty with very distinctive visual characteristics. It comes in a base, ESi, TSi Turbo, and all-wheel-drive TSi Turbo trim.
Body Styles: two-door liftback
Engines: 140-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 210-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Eagle Talon, Eagle Talon ESi, Eagle Talon TSi Turbo, Eagle Talon TSi Turbo all-wheel drive
The 1997 Eagle Talon shows off a new bold appearance. Modifications include new front and back fasciae, additional body side cladding, a giant emblem on the hood, lively new paint colors, and new sparkle wheels and wheel covers.
The Talon has taken on a much bolder and sportier look this model year. It definitely gets attention. All 1997 Eagle Talons ride a 98.9-inch wheelbase and reach an overall length of 174.8 inches. The base, ESi, and TSi Turbo each have a height of 49.8 inches, however the all-wheel-drive TSi Turbo stands 50.5 inches tall. The base model has a width of 68.3 inches, while the ESi and both Turbos measure 69.9 inches wide.
Each model has rack and pinion steering and front and back independent suspensions. The base and ESi come standard with 14-inch tires, while the front-drive Turbo TSi features 16-inch tires, and the all-wheel-drive TSi uses 17-inch tires. Rear spoilers enhance the ESi and TSi. Alloy wheels also provide an option, but for the TSi only.
The Eagle Talon seats four people. The front headroom totals 37.9 inches, with rear headroom measuring in at 34.3 inches. Front legroom hits an ample 43.3 inches, while rear legroom remains very cramped at 28.4 inches—not at all comfortable on an extended ride for grown adults. The back seats in the 1997 Eagle Talon primarily exist for looks, although they work for small kids too. Thankfully they fold down to maximize cargo space in the trunk for anything from groceries to a bicycle.
The front uses bucket seats, while the back of the Talon comes standard with bench seats, with the option of a split-folding rear seat in the TSi. Cloth upholstery comes standard, but leather seating provides an option for the TSi. The interior keeps things rather basic, but not cheap looking.
The only standards across all models include the tilt steering wheel, a tachometer, dual front-impact airbags, and speed-sensitive steering. Air-conditioning remains available as an option.
Performance & Handling
The Eagle Talon’s handling and road feel are astounding. Off-the-line acceleration proves adequate; however switching though the gears feels absolutely exhilarating. Within a blink of the eye, the 1997 Eagle Talon accelerates from 25 to 85 mph. This makes it particularly great for passing slowpokes on the highway. The ride feels smooth, with minimal shake or vibration. The wide tires and engine get a little noisy at high speeds.
The 1997 Eagle Talon comes standard with driver and passenger front airbags. Fog lights come standard on the TSi. Anti-lock brakes remain optional. NHTSA crash test results award the Talon four stars for both driver and passenger safety in frontal-onset crashes.
EPA Fuel Economy
Eagle Talon: 22/33 mpg city/highway
Eagle Talon ESi: 22/33 mpg city/highway
Eagle Talon TSi Turbo front-wheel drive: 23/31 mpg city/highway
Eagle Talon TSi Turbo all-wheel drive: 21/28 mpg city/highway
- Sporty and inexpensive
- Amazing looks
- Astounding handling and performance
- Incredibly fun to drive
You Won't Like
- Small back seat
- Huge emblem on grille
Buttery smooth performance, inexpensive, and so appealing.
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