Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is a convertible version of the Eclipse sport coupe. The convertible was first introduced in 1996 during the coup's second generation. The Spyder drew attention for its sleek exterior and powerful, V-6 engine, which came as an option. Since it offered enough room for four people, many consumers considered it a family-friendly convertible that was fun to drive but safe enough to prevent any worries on the road.

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About the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder

The 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder comes in three trim levels: GS-Sport, SE, and GT. The Spyder GS Sport and SE models come with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that offers 162 hp with 162 lb-ft of torque. The GT comes with a heftier 3.6-liter V-6 that offers a superior 265 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Given that many cars in this class offer 300 hp, neither of these engines meets the performance demands of today's drivers.

Taking a step up to the SE model does not add much to the comfort or performance of the vehicle. The only significant differences are cosmetic: the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder SE has black mirrors and panel graphics that definitely look more stylish.

Buyers expecting a big jump between the features offered by the SE and GT will be disappointed. The GT offers the improved V-6 engine, bigger rear brakes, and an improved suspension, but few upgrades in the cabin except for auto climate control.

When it comes to driving impressions, experts complain that the engine does not offer enough power. They also complain about its poor turning radius, although the car's handling is quite competent. Overall, it simply is not the kind of experience that most drivers want from a convertible, especially one with such a sporty look.

Over time, though, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder lost its luster. As other coupes and convertibles improved, the Eclipse could not keep up with the competition. What had once seemed like a powerful, fun engine now looks boring with terrible fuel efficiency. Unable to keep up with other vehicles in its class, Mitsubishi decided to end the Spyder line in 2011 with the 2012 production model.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Features

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is known for its sporty exterior. It once received attention from some critics as one of the most enjoyable rides in its class, but the car failed to keep up with its competitors. Today, some people might fondly recall the car's heyday, but they can also easily complain about the low quality of recent versions.

Unfortunately, less power does not equal better fuel efficiency. This is another area where the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder fails. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder gets 20/28 mpg city/highway. The V-6 gets 17/25 mpg city/highway. Again, these numbers looked fine in the mid-1990s when the Spyder was introduced, but it falls short of what contemporary drivers expect. The Camaro V-6, Mustang V-6, and Hyundai Genesis, for instance, are more attractive. Other vehicles like the Kia Forte Koup and Scion tC get much better fuel efficiency than the Eclipse coupe or Spyder.

That's not to say that the Spyder doesn't have its good points. Even the GS Sport has some standard features that will draw attention from casual buyers, such as heated front seats, xenon lights, leather upholstery, keyless entry, and a six-speaker stereo system that comes with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Evolution

Buyers looking at past Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder versions will likely find that their impressions do not match those of the critics. The first generation, for instance, could be equipped with a turbocharged engine that offered 205 hp. This number impressed drivers in the 1990s, but it does not come close to the performance of today's engines.

The convertible received some cosmetic and engineering changes over the years, but none of these modifications turned it into a truly appealing car. In fact, the first generation benefitted from a smaller size that made the cars lighter than the current versions.

Buyers looking at used Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyders should also know that the convertible received numerous complaints for its average reliability. If you plan to buy used, make sure that it has received proper maintenance throughout its life or you could find yourself facing some expensive repairs.

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