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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.
New front and rear fascias mark the major changes for 2009, with the GT trim receiving an aggressive two-tone front bumper treatment. Also new to the GT is a larger rear spoiler, Active Stability Control and tuned dual exhaust for better sound and more horsepower.
A limited production SE version, available on both the GS and GT trim levels, features custom graphics, an aerodynamic body kit, 18-inch wheels, Active Stability Control (V6 only) and a firmer suspension. All Eclipse coupes now feature a tire-pressure monitoring system as standard equipment.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Coupe, now entering its third year of production, continues to see a steady rise in sales. One reason for this is obvious: The Eclipse's curvaceous good looks, reasonable price tag and impressive performance and handling make it a highly desirable choice. A bit less obvious, but still a factor, is that, currently, the only other front-wheel drive, two-door hatchbacks offering similar performance and value are the Volkswagen GTI, Hyundai Tiburon and MINI Cooper S, none of which can come close to matching the Eclipse's 263 horsepower. If you can live without a hatchback and the higher performance, the Chevrolet Cobalt Sport, Honda Civic Si and Ford Mustang V6 might also be worth a look.