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2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse

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2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Review

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After more than two decades on the market and four generations, 2012 marks the final year for the Mitsubishi Eclipse coupe and Spyder (convertible). While this 4-seater once stood out for boasting high-performance features like a turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive at a reasonable price, in recent years the Eclipse has become a merely “sporty” front-wheel-drive car that favors the comfort side of the equation to attract a broader range of buyers. Although the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse boasts curvaceous looks, a low starting price and a powerful V6 engine option, it lags rivals like the Subaru BRZ/ Scion FR-S, Chevrolet Camaro, Kia Forte Koup, Honda Civic Si and Hyundai Genesis coupe when it comes to powertrain options, refinement and performance.

You'll Like This Car If...

Exotic-car looks, a price starting in the low $20,000 range, and a good warranty are among the biggest draws to the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse. And though lower trim levels have only marginal power, the high-end GT version with a V6 packs a bite with 265 horsepower.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want performance to match your budget sports car’s looks, you’d be better off going with a rear-wheel-drive car like the BRZ, FR-S, Mazda Miata or Chevy Camaro, or an all-wheel-drive hot-hatch like the Subaru WRX.

What's New for 2012

Mitsubishi is marking the Eclipse’s final year with an SE (special edition) version for both the coupe and Spyder. SE models add styling cues such as smoked-out alloy wheels, black side mirrors and unique decals. For the coupe, four trims are available: GS, GS Sport, SE and GT. The convertible can be had in GS Sport, SE and GT trims.

Driving the Eclipse
Driving Impressions

The 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse is not a lightweight, flingable sports car, but it is still tuned well enough to have some fun on twisty back roads. Both the 4-cylinder and...

... the 6-cylinder engine choices provide the kind of low-end torque needed to sprint across an intersection, though torque-steer is noticeable with the more powerful V6. A 5-speed manual transmission is only available in base forms of the coupe, and the only other transmission offered for 4-cylinder models is an automatic with the same number of gears – four – as the Eclipse had when it debuted back in 1990. The Mitsubishi Eclipse benefits from crisp steering and strong brakes. The interior is ergonomically pleasing and the front seats are first-rate, though rear-seat room is cramped. The Eclipse’s swooping roofline creates blind spots, especially in convertible form with the top up.

ROCKFORD FOSGATE AUDIO SYSTEM
Standard on all but the base coupe, this 9-speaker premium sound system is good for 650-watts of musical mayhem and features a 6-disc in-dash CD changer and auxiliary input for MP3 players.

10-YEAR/100,000-MILE POWERTRAIN WARRANTY
Mitsubishi’s warranty is highlighted by a generous 10 years or 100,000 miles for the powertrain. The Eclipse is also covered bumper-to-bumper for five years/60,000 miles and comes with roadside assistance for five years/unlimited miles.

2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Details
Interior

Though helped by an abundance of glass and a curvaceous dash that complements the car’s exterior, the Eclipse’s cabin feels behind those of its rivals. Buttons and knobs are simple to locate and use, but look plain. Features such as heated seats and Bluetooth are optional, but a navigation system option is nowhere to be found. The steering wheel tilts but does not telescope, making it challenging for drivers to find a perfect fit. The front bucket seats are supportive at least. The two rear seats, however, are very tight.

Exterior

Design is one of the strengths of the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse. Swooping curves, a forward stance and standard 18-inch wheels make this Mitsubishi look sporty indeed. Flared fenders give a muscular look, and twin tailpipes benefit further from polished exhaust tips. Eclipse Spyder models have a power-operated soft top that opens in 19 seconds. SE models appear edgier thanks to darkened wheels and black side decals that run along the bottom body panels. High-intensity projectors help light the way in front on all but base Eclipse models, and LED taillights at the rear help modernize the car.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2012 Eclipse coupes come with air conditioning, power windows/doors, 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, cruise control, folding rear seats, keyless entry, an alarm system and six airbags. Convertibles feature a power-operated fabric roof with hard-shell tonneau cover, premium sound system, Bluetooth, backup camera, and a 6-way power driver’s seat.

Optional Equipment

Options are rather slim for the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse, with most being bundled with trim packages. Among the features are leather seats, a backup camera (with the display in the rearview mirror), xenon headlights, a sunroof and automatic climate control. Other factory-installed options include remote engine start, a rear wing spoiler and an aero kit.

Under the Hood

Eclipse coupes and convertibles are powered by one of two engines – a 162-horsepower 4-cylinder or a 265-horsepower V6. The V6 is only available in GT models and is linked to a 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting mode. The V6 requires premium gasoline, while the 4-cylinder engines can run on regular. Other than the 5-speed manual in the base version of the Eclipse coupe, the rest of the 4-cylinder models use an antiquated 4-speed automatic. All Eclipse models are front-wheel-drive.

2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS, GS Sport, SE
2.4-liter inline-4
162 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
162 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg (Coupe), 20/27 mpg (Spyder)

2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT
3.8-liter V6
265 horsepower @ 5,750 rpm
262 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (Coupe), 16/24 mpg (Spyder)

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2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 391 Ratings for the 2006 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Fast and fun driving experience!

By on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Power, acceleration, interior, stereo, seats"

Cons: "torque steer, mpg, blind spot"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought a 2009 GT fully loaded and it has been an absolute gas! It looks amazing and has the performance to match. Mine is near mint and I got it for $11,500 with 34k on it and consider it a huge value and fantastic driving experience. And every time I walk out to my driveway I love what I see! My MPG is horrible but I'm sure it's because I have my foot into it all the time just because it is so fun. I predict tickets but that's not the car's fault! If you're thinking of getting one, don't wait. It's a great car!"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I've ever had

By on Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 153,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive, dependable"

Cons: "blind spot with the top up"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought this 2007 Eclipse Spyder for myself when I turned 50. Middle-age crazy and time for Mom to have a fun car. This car has been one of the best vehicles we have ever had. It has 153000 miles on it. It gets driven in all weather - hot, cold, rain, mud, sleet, snow, ice. It is great! Done required regular maintenance like clock-work and only thing I've had to repair is replace the starter. Absolutely no complaints at all! The other vehicle is a 2000 Montero Sport LS 4x4 with 325000 miles on it. Very solid on the quality and dependability, reliability of the product. Even bought our daughter a 2012 Lancer SE because of the success we've had over the years with the product. Her Lancer is perfect for her and she gets in it and goes. She's got almost 60K miles on it and nary a hiccup. Got our first Mitsubishi in 1994 and had them ever since."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

I Love my Car So Much, Im Buying A newer Edition

By on Saturday, September 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,783

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fast, arffordable,not 1 engine problem!"

Cons: "Not making anymore & hard to find a dealership."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have a 2007 Spyder Gt Now, have had it for 9 years now....I absolutely love it!!I know the last model made was 2012. I have been looking to upgrade, even though Mitsubishi may not be around forever. I have to say the quality, the get up and go, never had a leak or any engine problems & the looks I get have been so worth the money! I love my car, have been offered to buy even a sportier car. I will not have nothing less then another Mitsubishi Spyder GT. Which I just purchased a 2011 today. I plan to have that as long as I can!!"

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

I should sell this car but i love it too much!

By on Friday, July 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Just an excellent machine"

Cons: "Rear visibility isn't great"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Style and performance

"I have owned this car 3 years, it is by far the most reliable vehicle I've ever had NOTHING has been wrong with it EVER. Driving it you can feel that it is different from other cars; a fluke of engineering & more than the sum of its parts. The exhaust note seems tuned to fit the interior. My car looks, sounds and feels amazing. I bought an enhanced warranty which was a total waste of money. I desperately need a bigger vehicle for my hobbies but Ive been delaying for a full year now because I don't want to give up this car."

15 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Style and performance

incredibly durable and efficient vehicle

By on Monday, July 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 318,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "unbelievably sturdy and reliable"

Cons: "nothing except very poor turning radius for a car"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Used this car as a courier car on a grueling 300 mile+ a day on average, up and over a mountain range to the desert floor heat putting 300,000 miles on it in just under a 5 year period with only routine maintainence relative to the distance traveled without ANY breakdowns, and still running strong. the interior began to deteriorate somewhat, expected considering the massive usage, and being a SPORTS car,rather than a truck, it held up better than any of the many vehicles i've owned previously. Not to mention the recreational, off-road desert ventures it was put through, including snow storms and 119 degree desert trecks. Amazing vehicle"

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

A real head turner!

By on Thursday, July 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive!"

Cons: "Sm. trunk space. Bad streets/expensive tire costs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This vehicle is a real head turner. Classic sexy lines of this sport convertible have had every boy and man-boy excited about her lines. The smooth mechanism of the top is a convenience and another head turner to watch...transformer like action. The wide tires hold to the road with quick maneuvers, showing off the Mitsubishi's responsiveness. Accelerates, with ease leaving the crowd behind. Sporty yet just enough room in the two rear seats for guests. Seating is comfortable and not the skimpy seats one is use to in other sporty vehicles."

11 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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