The manufacturer marks a new beginning for the 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder. Mitsubishi has redone a significant amount of the interior and exterior. The company also drops the turbocharged engine in favor of a more refined V-6. This shows a clear attempt to capture a larger number of middle-market buyers, which angers die-hard Eclipse Spyder fans. Still, it makes a smart move for the company that most people appreciate.
The average buyer, however, probably feels a bit turned off by some of Mitsubishi's choices. Traction control, for instance, only pairs with the automatic. Some of the most advanced safety features only come as options with the GT. This hints that Mitsubishi has some problems letting go of the Spyder's original market. Yes, the 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder now appeals to a wider market, but it requires buyers to pay more for the top trim level if they want to get the most sought-after features. Despite this, it offers a good value.
Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed Sportronic automanual
Models: Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS, Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT
For 2001, Mitsubishi drops the Eclipse Spyder's turbocharged engine. The car gets a total makeover based on the Eclipse Coupe's aesthetics. It now promotes a more youthful image.
The 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder has a style that Mitsubishi calls ""geomechanical."" This apparently means that it has a swell in the hood, ribbed contours that run along the doors, and a lateral accent line. Despite this weird word, the car looks cool enough that we can forgive them for avoiding ""sporty."" If you work for a car manufacturer like Mitsubishi, you probably get sick of everyone using the word ""sporty.""
The 2001 Eclipse Spyder has a rather nice interior that impresses most buyers as long as they don't focus on the cheap-looking, titanium-finish details. The convertible's twin-cockpit design gives it a symmetry that feels relaxed and comfortable. A height-adjustable driver’s seat emphasizes that comfort. The twin-cockpit also has a futuristic sense of aesthetics that a lot of potential buyers enjoy.
The 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder includes quite a few luxury features of note. It comes standard with a micro-filtered air-conditioning system, lumbar support, power accessories, cruise control, and two power outlets.
Performance & Handling
Performance largely depends on which 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder you choose. The GS comes with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that offers 147 hp. That shows a slight bump up from the previous four-cylinder engine. If you choose the GT, then you get a 3.0-liter V-6 that kicks out 200 hp.
Some Eclipse enthusiasts bemoan the loss of the turbocharged engine, but the V-6 definitely makes a more refined machine that offers plenty of power. Given the car's small size and light weight, 200 hp provides more than enough.
The 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder offers good handling as well, but the road noise dampens anyone's enjoyment of zooming along in this sporty convertible. The five-speed manual transmission appeals to drivers who like to feel more in control of the vehicle. Those who feel more accustomed to automatic transmissions, however, still get many of the benefits of driving a manual without the annoyance of using the clutch. The Sportronic automanual transmission does a good job of combining the advantages of both.
Oddly, traction control only comes with the Sportronic transmission. That disappoints buyers who enjoy shifting gears but still expect good safety and handling features from their cars.
Mitsubishi makes some strange choices for the 2001 Eclipse Spyder's safety features. ABS serves as a prime example of a choice that just doesn't make sense. If you want anti-lock brakes (who doesn't?), then you have to buy the GT. Apparently you don't deserve good brakes unless you have enough money for the pricier trim level.
That said, the 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder does have some features worth noting. Seat-mounted side airbags provide an option (again, only for the GT). Electronic brake force distribution comes standard. Unlike previous versions, the 2001 Spyder utilizes front-seat force-limiter seat belts.
Also consider that the NHTSA gives the 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder five stars for front side-impact crash tests. You might need that extra protection if you don't opt for improved safety features in the GT.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS: 20/27 mpg city/highway
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT: 17/25 mpg city/highway
- Nice style
- Powerful engine
You Won't Like
- Cheap materials
- No ABS in GS
- No turbo motor
- Road noise
Offers plenty of power and features at a fair price, but the company makes choices that turn off some buyers.
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