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2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Review
Stylish and comfortable.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder was introduced in 1996 as the convertible version of the Eclipse hatchback. It is a member of the second generation and is available in the GS or GT trim. The Spyder has a nice ragtop with good insulation, and the GS offers a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. The GT has a 3.0-liter, V-6 engine. Both engines are paired with a five-speed manual transmission. In 1997, all Eclipse models, including the Spyder, got a facelift with new front fascia, a deeper air dam, and restyled front fog lights that resemble projectors. It also got a restyled rear spoiler. The Spyder disappeared in 2000 and reappeared in 2001 as GS and GT versions. Standard features include a power convertible roof and a rear split-folding seat. If buyers get the optional four-speed automatic transmission, they can get the optional Premium Package with traction control.
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS, Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT
The 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder added two new paint colors: Fire Blue and Titanium. It also gets new triple-diamond chrome Mitsubishi emblem, upgraded vanity mirrors, and a glove box lamp.
Exterior features for the 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder include 16-inch alloy wheels, variable intermittent windshield wipers, power convertible roof, rear defogger, remote power locks, power windows, and a rear spoiler. The GT trim replaces the 16-inch alloy wheels with 17-inch alloy wheels. The optional Premium Package will add a power sunroof, anti-lock brakes, front-side airbags, and traction control. It has a coupe-like roofline that flows down a smooth body line into a sleek, low hood with a chiseled nose and headlights that has the appearance of dual projectors. The fenders have a strong, prominent arch, and the doors have a ribbed effect. The cargo area has a high lift over that makes loading and unloading this small cargo space strenuous. The power convertible top is easy to operate; push two buttons on the latches to release it, and the motor does the rest. The hooks of the latch stick out when the top is inside the well to make the area look more tailored when it is covered with the soft tonneau cover.
The interior standard features for the 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS include cloth upholstery, front bucket seats, driver’s seat with manual lumbar and height adjustments, cruise control, speed-sensitive power steering, tilting steering wheel, air-conditioning, split-folding rear seat, and a seven-speaker in-dash CD stereo system. The GT trim has upgraded cloth upholstery. The optional Premium Package adds a premium audio system with a four-CD changer, leather upholstery, power bucket front seats. It has a symmetrical cockpit that is set in a dashboard that uses a lot of low-grade materials and plastics. The overall design is uninspiring and boring. The audio system has a top-mounted display with the intent of keeping eyes on the road. However, buyers will still need to fiddle with the small buttons. The seats are nicely padded, but the front seats have very little side support. The rear seating area is cramped and uncomfortable, even for short drives. Rear visibility is hampered when the top is up because the rear windows are small.
Performance & Handling
The 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS model is equipped with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 147 horsepower and 158 lb-ft of torque. The GT is powered by a supercharged, 3.0-liter, V-6 engine that makes 200 horsepower and 205 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated with a five-speed manual transmission and front drive. Buyers can get the optional four-speed automatic transmission, which will drop your horsepower from the 2.4-liter engine down to 140 horses. The automatic has Sportronic features that will allow them to shift manually. Takeoff speed is good. Although the body is rigid, it shakes when traversing rough pavement. The steering is responsive and quick. With a turning circle of 40 feet, it is not easy to maneuver. Braking is decent; anti-lock braking system (ABS) is available on the GT. Traction control is only available on models that have automatic transmission and only as part of the optional Premium Package. With the windows up, wind noise is nicely muffled for front seat passengers.
The 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is outfitted with anti-theft alarm system, ventilated front disc/rear drum brakes, and electronic brake force distribution. It also has front fog lights and an engine immobilizer. Other safety features includes a panic alarm and a center high-mounted stop light. ABS is available for the GT and as part of the optional Premium Package. If you have automatic transmission, you can get traction control with the package. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave four stars for frontal driver and passenger crash protection and five stars for rollover and driver side crash protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT: 18/26 mpg city/highway
- Distinctive styling
- GT has V-6 engine
- Convertible top is easy to use
- Minimum wind buffeting
You Won't Like
- Boring interior design
- Extremely limited rear seat room
- Traction control only available as part of an expensive package
Stylish and comfortable.
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