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The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a front-wheel-drive hatchback Coupe or convertible Spyder that's been around in its current form since the 2006 model year.
Though it's not very refined and is quite large for a sporty car--unlike the first Eclipse that bowed in 1989--the current Mitsu Eclipse can be entertaining to drive, particularly when it's equipped with the V-6 engine, in either body style.
The Eclipse's soft, organic styling hasn't held up as well in the field of crisply drawn coupes, but it has been touched up over the years with new front and rear ends. Last year, even the GS versions of the Eclipse took on some of the GT's deeper dams and skirts. The interior is a bit more straightforward, and it's well fitted if a little plain.
There's a base four-cylinder engine with 162 horsepower in the Eclipse GS and GS Sport, but it's overtaxed by the car's hefty curb weight, particularly in the apple-bottomed Spyder. The 265-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 found in the GT models is what you'd expect from an Eclipse, with ample torque giving it an almost musclecar flavor. The four-cylinder GS comes with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, but the GS Sport paradoxically only offers the four-speed automatic. The V-6 coupes come only with a five-speed automatic nowadays. The Spyder is offered with either engine, but only with four- or five-speed automatic transmissions. Fuel economy for the four-cylinder model ranges up to 20 mpg city, 28 highway, but the V-6 rates at just 16/24 mpg with automatic in the Spyder.
Since it's based on the same platform as the Galant sedan and Endeavor crossover, the Eclipse can feel a bit big and clumsy compared to its true sports car rivals. On the upside, the Eclipse exhibits excellent ride quality.
Though it's constructed to above-average standards, the interior doesn't have as much vertical space as you might need, and the rear seats are simply too small for adults.
Stability control is standard on the Eclipse, as are anti-lock disc brakes, side impact airbags, and side-curtain bags (except on the roofless Spyder).
For the 2011 model year, the coupe models can be specified with a blacked-out roof; the ride height has been lowered by more than a half an inch, and 18-inch wheels are now available. The Spyder adds standard leather seating, heated front seats and side mirrors, and a power driver seat.
For more information on this coupe and convertible duo, read our most recent full review of the Mitsubishi Eclipse and Eclipse Spyder.