"I bought my V6 5-speed 00' GT in a dark red color for around $5k with hail damaged over a year ago. Since I haven't had any trouble with it. It had 60k miles when i purchased it, now its around 85k.
The V6 is reliable and mine gets around 29mpg on long trips, 20-24mpg in town. If you are considering an engine, definetely get the V6, the 4-cylinder is completely under powered. I have heard from gear-heads that the pistons aren't built well in the V6.
My 5-speed seems to grind especially when cold. Shortly after purchasing it I had the tranny fluid changed and the mechanic notiched lots of metal flakes during the flush. After reading several other internet reviews, this is fairly common for the 5-speed when shifting. If you are considering on purchasing an Eclipse with the Sport-tronic do a little research and you'll find that this transmission is very troublesome so kindly point yourself towards the 5-speed, you won't regret it. Do some more research and you'll find that manual transmissions are much more sought-after in a sports car meaning that it will hold a better resale value.
My interior is cloth and I love the black color. The center console is perfect, there is a 12v DC outlet in the center console and a hole for the wire to run out. My phone charger plugs in nicely and the wire hangs out near the seat for me to reach down and plug in my phone while driving. A second 12v outlet is available in plain view near the cigarrette astray. The only complaint about the center console is the drink holder is in your shifting radius. My dash has a crack in it (again, another common problem with these cars), the crack is barely noticeable, I thought it was a seam in the plastic. The rear hatch cover is my other complaint, it feels cheap and flimsy, so i just removed it. If you plan on carrying 4 adults comfortably this car does not, this is practically a 2-person car. I have sat friends in the back who are around 6' tall and they made friends with the hatch window and the back of thier coconut. One more noticeable defect in the interior is the trunk pop, the spring is undersized and you'll find yourself manually unlocking the trunk to open it. Overall, the interior has a sporty feel but may not remain soft and fluffy over every bump. My sunroof stopped operating last fall, but it only opens 2" so its not a big deal.
The stock stereo has a very annoying security feature. When the stereo loses power you will have to enter a code to re-activate it. If you do not have that code you will be bringing it into the dealer and paying a fee. If you don't feel like paying that fee:
Pull off the plastic cover on the stereo console (2 screws), have a pen and paper handy and write down the serial number on the side of the stereo deck. Call, or go to the dealer and ask them for the number, by giving them the serial number it generates the code with a piece of software the Mitsubishi dealer only has. Most dealers will not give you that code over the phone so you may want to go in face-to-face and ask.
Anyhow, the moral of the story is to replace the stock stereo. Remember that this stereo is a double din (some retail outlets claim its a 1 1/2 din size). I personally found a nice double din DVD/Navigational system, and the stock 7-piece Infinity speaker system can handle around 300 watts just fine.
The suspension feels tight meaning you can feel every bump but have good control over the car. There are several upgrades if your not comfortable with the feel of the suspension. Stock shocks and struts are McPherson I believe. The steering radius is fairly wide.
I personally like the 17" alloy wheels with low-profile tires. I have heard complaints of the rims breaking but I have hit giant Minnesota pot holes and have not damaged anything. Have the oxidation cleaned off of your rims before the new tires are put on or you may have a tire leak like I did. Watch over your tire pressure during cold winters because the rim material seems to "flex" and let air loose.
Get the V6 5-speed or you will regret it. This car IS NOT a powerhouse, that is more of an exageration because of the look and feel. I owned a Mustang 5.0 while owning this car and I have stepped out of this car and immediately stepped into my Mustang 5.0 and the Mustang felt much much faster. This car does definetely have some potential with future aftermarket releases (like a turbo, which is available now). A set of headers will break the bank ($1200+). If you are looking for a sporty winter driver car (like i was), and looking forward to driving your hot rod in the summer, this is a great winter sports car."
Cons: "The electronic key fob died after 5 years. Bummer!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've owned Lotus, MG, Porche and Austin-Healey Sports cars all my life. I bought a used 4 banger Eclipse in 1995. This car was so good, I bought a brand new 6 cylinder Eclipse GT as soon as it came on the market in California in 2000.
It is Fast (It pegs the speedometer) It's very comfortable. It out-corners the 911's. It takes huge amounts of cargo (like 12 (yes twelve) 8' 2 x 6's with the trunk shut!)
The gas mileage isn't bad on the highway (25 mpg @ 70Mph)
Reliable; no problems in 150,000 miles and still going strong.
Reasonable maintenance cost; Less than $4000 over 12 years including recommended timing belt change every 50k. (Major Maintenance item)
0-60 better than most Boxters and all Beemers.
The real performance is passing on a mountain road. 50 to 80 mph in a blink of an eye.
This is T H E poor man's Ferrari!"
"The one you want is the 5-speed GT with the 3 liter V6. Tons of power...mine has 166k miles and the engine pulls as hard and runs as smooth as the day I bought it. I drive it really hard and have never had to do ANYTHING on it except brakes and clutch."
"I reached the 250,000 mile mark on my 2003
Mitsu Eclipse Spyder today. The car still rides excellent. Regular maintenance is the key to the car's life span. I plan on keeping this car until the doors come off."