The 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse represents the carmaker’s very successful attempt to create a budget sports car. The Eclipse offers excellent speed, maneuverability, reliable braking, and a price that makes it attainable to far more people than the more expensive 3000 GT. The higher-end GS, GS-T, and GSX models also offer impressively comfortable interiors with some luxury accessories on top of that.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse targets drivers who want a sports car, but normally would not be able to afford the luxury of one. The Eclipse also functions quite well as a day to day vehicle for anyone not overly concerned with rear passenger room. In those situations, the Eclipse turns the idea of owning a sports car from a major luxury into a minor price increase over a typical vehicle.
Body Styles: hatchback, convertible
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Mitsubishi Eclipse, Mitsubishi Eclipse RS, Mitsubishi Eclipse GS, Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T, Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX, Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS-T, Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GSX
The 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse receives extensive restyling to the exterior and interior. A CD player joins the list of standard equipment. Anti-lock brakes provide an option for the Eclipse GS.
The 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse sells as a sleek, stylish hatchback or convertible. The graceful curves mark the Eclipse solidly as a Mitsubishi sports car. A rear spoiler comes standard on all models, while alloy wheels enhance the upper-level models. The GSX includes standard keyless entry and a power moonroof.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse has a fairly small interior, especially the rear seat, but otherwise it feels comfortable. Features vary substantially between the models. The base includes an AM/FM radio as standard equipment and a cassette player, CD player, air-conditioning, a rear window defroster, and a CD changer as optional equipment. The upscale Eclipse GSX feels more luxurious with leather trim, cruise control, air-conditioning, a cassette player, and a CD player as standard equipment and a CD changer, leather seating, and power seats available as options. While the base 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse might sound less impressive in comparison, it actually remains quite typical for a sports car, while the GSX comes far better equipped than most similar vehicles.
Performance & Handling
Performance is the calling card of the 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse. Almost nothing in the same price range can match the Eclipse for speed, power, and maneuverability. Even the weaker engines in the Eclipse and Eclipse RS offer impressive turns of speed. The standard power brakes seem quite good, but drivers should upgrade to the anti-lock brakes in the higher-end models if given the choice. More expensive sports cars and truly top-of-the-line luxury sedans provide the only things that can really compete with the Eclipse, even in higher price ranges.
The 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse comes equipped with dual front airbags. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes remain an optional feature for the Eclipse GX, GX-T, and GSX. All Eclipse models have enough maneuverability to help steer clear from accidents. Solid acceleration also helps avoid accidents, although the more powerful GX, GX-T, and GSX come better equipped for those situations.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mitsubishi Eclipse 2.0-liter four-speed automatic: 18/28 mpg city/highway
Mitsubishi Eclipse 2.0-liter five-speed manual: 19/26 mpg city/highway
Mitsubishi Eclipse 2.4-liter four-speed automatic: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Mitsubishi Eclipse 2.4-liter five-speed manual: 19/27 mpg city/highway
- Stylish design
- Excellent performance
- Low price for a sports car
You Won't Like
- Anti-lock brakes optional or unavailable on less expensive models
- Tiny rear seat
Sports car performance without a sports car price.
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