The 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse has a reputation for styling and power that primarily appeals to young people looking for a rush on the road. Mitsubishi make a gutsy decision by going against that reputation and turning the Eclipse into a hatchback that appeals to a much larger audience.
Drivers quickly notice that the 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse doesn't have the turbo engine that previous owners loved. Instead, you get a much more refined V-6 (or a four-cylinder). It doesn't offer as much get-up-and-go pep, but it proves reliable and powerful enough to suit anyone's needs. If you don’t treat the highway like a race track, you might actually appreciate Mitsubishi's decision.
Mitsubishi does, however, make some questionable choices for the new Eclipse. Perhaps most perplexing is that only the GT gets anti-lock brakes. Also, you must buy an Eclipse with an automatic transmission to get traction control.
Overall, the 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse provides a decent car that appeals to some people. Mitsubishi probably loses some customers with these changes, but it potentially gains a much higher number.
Body Styles: hatchback
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed auto-manual
Models: Mitsubishi Eclipse RS, Mitsubishi Eclipse GS, Mitsubishi Eclipse GT
Mitsubishi made some dramatic changes to the Eclipse's exterior and interior style last year. Some of the highlight changes for 2001 include improved emissions that meet LEV standards, a cool spoiler that now comes standard, and tether anchors for child safety seats.
The 2001 Eclipse's exterior has a style that Mitsubishi tries to call ""geo-mechanical."" That unflattering word apparently means that the Eclipse has a swell in the hood that runs all the way across the upper fenders, ribbed contours built into the doors, and an unbroken roof arch that culminates in a huge spoiler. You can argue that it doesn't look great, but you can't deny that the 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse has a unique style.
A power sunroof comes standard on the GS, but upgrading to the GT makes it an option.
The 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse has an impressive interior with plenty of standard features to catch your eye. Every model comes with a microfiltered air-conditioning system, a height-adjustable driver's seat, and full power accessories. The higher up the ladder you go, the more features you get. The GS adds lumbar support, remote keyless entry, and a split-folding rear seat. Spring for the GT and get improved fabric. You also get the opportunity to add an audio or a premium package, both of which make the Eclipse much nicer.
Performance & Handling
The 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse RS and GS come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that offers 155 hp. The GT contains a 3.0-liter V-6 that offers a much more respectable 205 hp. Hardcore Eclipse fans find it hard to forgive Mitsubishi for dropping the turbocharged engine, but the V-6 actually makes for a more refined machine that definitely has its good points.
The 2001 Eclipse handles fairly well, but it doesn’t amaze anyone. It does, however, offer a smooth ride that impresses the typical hatchback driver. That improved ride quality comes from a longer wheelbase and a stiff sub-frame.
The Eclipse comes standard with a manual transmission. Unfortunately, you can't get traction control unless you ""upgrade"" to an automatic. In our eyes, that significantly decreases the fun.
The 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse offers some excellent safety features that make it an attractive family car as well as a fun ride. It comes standard with electronic brake force distribution and ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes. If you get the GT with the automatic transmission, then you can add traction control. For some reason, the manual doesn't have a similar option.
As far as crash tests go, the NHTSA gives it five out of five stars for side-impact front safety.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mitsubishi Eclipse RS: 20/27 mpg city/highway
Mitsubishi Eclipse GS: 20/27 mpg city/highway
Mitsubishi Eclipse GT: 18/26 mpg city/highway
- Powerful engine
- Pleasing style
You Won't Like
- Road noise
- Cheap materials
- No turbo available
- No ABS for the RS or GS
Loses some of the spunk that previous owners love, but also makes an exceptional move towards appealing to a wider audience.
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