The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a four-person sports car sold as a coupe or Spyder convertible. It has front engine placement and front-wheel drive. The Eclipse is one of the last survivors in the inexpensive sports coupe class. Although it once was a desirable model, the Eclipse has experienced declining sales as consumers' tastes change. Mitsubishi redesigned the Eclipse for the 2007 model year and has refreshed the model multiple times since then.
The Eclipse has either a four-cylinder engine producing 162 horsepower or a V6 putting out 265 horsepower. The four-cylinder with an automatic transmission should make 20 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 on the highway. The V6 has a predicted fuel economy of 16 in the city and 24 on the highway. The Eclipse seats four people. Mitsubishi designs and manufactures the Eclipse primarily in Japan.
The Eclipse began sales during 1990. The first generation ran until 1994. The second generation was produced from 1995 to 1999. The two initial generations were heavily related to the Eagle Talon and Plymouth Laser. All three cars shared some design elements and parts. Mitsubishi completely redesigned the Eclipse for the third generation. It was manufactured between 2000 and 2005. The fourth and current generation entered the market in 2006. The latest Eclipse utilizes Mitsubishi's PS platform as its design base. Sales of the fourth generation have dropped considerably over previous numbers.
The Eclipse is available in either GS Sport or GT trim. Eclipse coupes also have a base GS trim. All trims have standard anti-lock brakes, stability control, and side airbags for the driver and front passenger. The coupe's GS trim has powered accessories, key-free entry, and an audio system with six speakers. The GS Sport includes xenon headlights, leather front seats with heating, and Bluetooth capabilities. The sound system is upgraded to a Rockford Fosgate with nine speakers. The Spyder convertible version of the GS Sport has a powered roof for easy opening and closing. The GT has a V6 engine, larger brakes, and climate control. The GT trim also increases the size of the rear spoiler on the coupe. Some minor factory-installed options are available such as an iPod adapter. However most Eclipse buyers will have to purchase aftermarket parts for a significant upgrade.
Consumer Guide named the 2006 Eclipse as One to Watch. Motor Trend voted the Eclipse a contender for their 2006 Car of the Year award. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Eclipse Spyder a Good rating in crash tests. Independent automotive reviewers have cited the Eclipse's reasonable pricing and powerful V6 as positives. Notable negatives include acceleration problems in some models, poor interior quality, and a small backseat.
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