By KBB.com Editors
Mitsubishi touts its U.S. cars and trucks as "Driven to Thrill," and its boldly-sculpted 2007 Eclipse Spyder as the "attainable exotic." Based on the all-new for 2006 fourth-generation Eclipse coupe, the Spyder is available as the four-cylinder GS or V6 GT, and features a standard premium audio and a power cloth top that tucks away under a flush tonneau in about 19 seconds. It looks great and is pleasant to drive, especially the 260-horsepower V6 GT, but it's also bigger and heavier than before. And, unlike some previous generations, it's front-wheel drive onlythere's no available all-wheel drive.
This would be a good choice if you want a well-equipped, reasonably priced open-air sportster with look-at-me styling, moderate-to-good performance and token rear seats. Compared to its closest competitors, Ford's reborn Mustang and Toyota's Solara, it's less common than the former and less pricey than the latter.
If you want the lithe agility of a Mazda MX-5, Pontiac Solstice or Saturn Sky, the aggressive dynamics of a Nissan 350Z or the raw performance of a Chevy Corvette (two-seaters all), this is not your ride. It is fun to drive, but it's no true sports car.
There are not a lot of affordable 2+2 sport convertibles, and this distinctive drop-top Eclipse arrives just in time to reinforce the positive impression made by its 2006 curvacious coupe stablemate. It provides the recently struggling Japanese maker a one-two image punch that says, "Hey, look at us! We have exciting products today and there's more to come."
Driving Impressions At nearly 3,500-pounds base curb weightmore with the V6 engine and a load of optionsthe Eclipse Spyder is no lightweight, ultra-agile sports car. That said, it looks terrific top-up or...down and can be great fun to drive on twisty two-lanes, especially the V6-powered GT with its available Premium Sport Package, which includes 18-inch performance tires. On-road handling is good, steering crisp and braking strong, but accelerating hard out of a tight turn or from a stop is asking a bit much of the front-drive layout and therefore results in noticeable torque steer. Despite that, 60 miles per hour from rest comes up in a respectable seven seconds. The attractive interior is ergonomically excellent, and the seats are first-rate. But be careful: the low, thick-pillared convertible top leaves substantial blind spots to the rear quarters.
Power cloth soft top
The multi-layer fabric top, with its polyester/cotton interior headliner and heated glass rear window, provides a surprisingly quiet cabin when it's up, and a new hydraulic system, quieter than the previous model's electric motors, folds it completely out of sight under a flush-fitting power tonneau in about 19 seconds.
Rockford Fosgate Premium Audio
This surprisingly standard high-end system pumps 650 watts of peak power through nine speakers, including an eight-inch, long-throw subwoofer in a designed-in, fiberglass-reinforced, acoustic-suspension enclosure between the rear seats. It includes a six-disc CD changer with MP3 playback capability, plus unique automatic sound equalization for top-up or top-down driving, custom music genre and sound field settings and an industry-first memory that stores DSP settings in six presets.
The "wave form" instrument panel houses easy-to-reach controls and motorcycle-inspired gauges lit at night by ice-blue LEDs. The high-back, adjustable-lumbar-support "race-inspired" bucket seats have open headrests for enhanced rear visibility, and the faux leather-covered four-spoke tilt steering wheel has remote buttons for the standard Rockford Fosgate premium audio system. Compared to the previous Eclipse, interior room has increased in every dimension, and the legroom-challenged rear seats (really, for kids only) have three-point belts and anchor points for child restraints. The center console offers storage pockets, large covered cupholders, a covered storage box big enough for CD cases and a pair of 12-volt power outlets.Exterior
Compared to the previous-generation Eclipse, this new one is wider, taller and three inches longer on a wider track and a half-inch longer wheelbase; yet its curvaceous body, muscular shape and crouching-tiger presence make it look somewhat smaller than it is. With jet nacelle-inspired grilles, an aero-wedge profile, tightly stretched skin and a laid-back windshield, it makes a bold statement. Despite the inclusion of rear seats, the car comes off visually as a two-seater with a low, tight-fitting "speedster" top.
The four-cylinder base GS is well-equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, air conditioning, cruise control, remote keyless entry, power windows, locks and mirrors, power cloth soft top with powered tonneau cover, theft-discouraging engine immobilizer and a noteworthy 650-watt Rockford Fosgate premium audio system. Standard safety features include dual-stage front airbags with front-passenger occupant sensors, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). The GT adds the V6 engine, electronic traction control, an outside temperature and compass display and larger ventilated rear disc brakes in place of the GS model's solid rear discs.
An optional Leather Package available on the GS includes leather seating surfaces, heated outside mirrors, heated front seats and an outside temperature and compass display. A Premium Sport Package for the GT adds all that plus 235/45 R18 tires on 18-inch alloy wheels, aluminum pedals, automatic climate control system, eight-way driver's seat and a removable wind deflector.
The standard GS 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine generates decent performance, at least partially due to its patented Mitsubishi Innovative Variable timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) system, which varies intake valve timing to enhance both low-end torque and high-rpm power. The GT's 3.8-liter V6, which also benefits from MIVEC, offers 98 additional horses (three fewer than in the Eclipse coupe due to a different exhaust system) to much better motivate the convertible's considerable mass. Both available automatics feature Sportronic shifting for manual control of gear changes when desired.
2.4-liter in-line 4
162 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 (manual), 22/28 (automatic)
260 horsepower @ 5750 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 (manual), 18/26 (automatic)
By arrow1 on Saturday, July 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fast, fun, sporty, comfortable, handles well."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is the best car I have ever owned and will probably ever own. I still cannot believe how inexpensive Eclipses are for their sporty, fun look and their incredible road-handling quality. I HIGHLY suggest purchasing this car. It is affordable (at only 2 years old, my car was $10,500) and it handles beautifully--even on the highway. The interior is surprisingly spacious for a sports car. I'm about 6' tall and it's perfect for me. I'd even say it's roomy. You get SO MUCH bang for your buck with an Eclipse. You get a youthful, fast, sporty car for less than half of what you'd pay for a Mustang."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By JC on Monday, July 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,321overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cannot replace this."
Cons: "Rear visibility when backing up."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"For just under 29K, this is the top all around convertible in it's class as the 4 banger with auto does have a lot of zip plus awesome gas mileage. The leather trim seats are a must. The rockford/fosgate stereo can really pump the sound out. The only drawbacks to the car are the rear view and the back seat. However, no one buys these cars to ride 3-4 people. These Mitsubishi Spyder's are a hidden gem that is not well known. These are the perfect cars for that special lady who likes to run her errands and never worry about anything except occasional gas. My wife gets over 20 mpg in stop and go. She had a 1996 before this. It gets in the high 20's on the interstate at 70. I do not think this car can be replaced by anything under 55K. The maintenance is change oil and rotate tires as this is FWD."
By spyder on Saturday, July 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 158,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "very fun to drive, commuted over 90 miles a day"
Cons: "none from me"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"a little less plastic parts on the interior finish would have been nice, also the vent adjustment gave out at about 50k miles"
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By Eclipse on Tuesday, June 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive, very dependable"
Cons: "No catch all space(Sunglasses, phone, etc)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love the Eclipse. I've had 3 of them, but the '07 I have had for 7 plus years. It is fun to drive and has been super dependable. I've never had one problem with it. The only complaint that I have, and it's a small one, is that when they changed the design of the interior they took away the small storage compartments. (Like to put your phone, sunglasses, etc.) This is a great car for anyone."
4 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Robert on Thursday, June 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,800overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great driving car."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Purchased car in 2008. It had approx. 11000 miles. Car has never been in snow. Car was kept in heated garage. Car was never in accident or had any body or mechanical repairs."
By LogSam on Monday, June 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Manueverable, and great on gas."
Cons: "Lacking some comforts that are now available."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"My 07 Eclipse gave me what I was looking for in a car. The gas mileage was reasonable as I was traveling a lot when I made this purchase. It has a sleek look from the outside and more room inside than one would think. Interior comfort is slightly lacking compared to cars of today, but I got what I was looking for in a car. I was very fortunate in that I have not had a great deal go wrong with it which is quite contrary to many cars I have owned in the past. Overall a successful purchase and I have been pleased."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful