in 2009 Affordable Sports Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $9,180 - $12,973
Original MSRP: $20,249 - $30,149
MPG: 20 City / 28 Hwy
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2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Auto writers agree that the Eclipse is a comfortable daily driver with a sporty edge. However, for real sports performance, consumers should look elsewhere, or at least to the Eclipse GT.

  • "The Eclipse Coupe is no longer the boy-racer it once was. Today's Eclipse has matured, engineered for the middle-of-the-road sporty driver. This is not to say the Eclipse is without some very sporty driving characteristics." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The rear-wheel-drive Ford Mustang coupe gives V6-powered Eclipses a run for their money, although the Eclipse is more refined. Other moderately priced models with comparable or superior all-around performance include the Honda Civic Si and the supercharged Scion tC as well as 'hot hatches' such as the Mazdaspeed3, Subaru WRX and Volkswagen GTI." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The Eclipse GS features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 162 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 162 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Reviewers, however, prefer the GT's 3.8-liter V6 engine that makes 265 horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 262 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. While drivers can choose between five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions for the GS, the GT offers a choice of a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. According to the EPA, the Eclipse trim level with the highest city/highway fuel efficiency is the manual GS, with 20/26 mpg. The lowest is the automatic GT, with 16/24 mpg.

  • "The base GS comes with a 2.4-liter, 162-horsepower I-4 that, while not as refined as some of the Honda fours, is most pleasant to live with." -- MarketWatch
  • "The best choice is the GT version with the SOHC 3.8-liter V-6 that makes 263 horsepower and 260 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic Sportronic transmission." -- The Detroit News
  • "Both engines provide plenty of low-end torque -- a plus when the light turns green and you've got to get across the intersection and then into another lane, for example." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Fuel economy ratings for the 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse remain respectable, albeit not phenomenal." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

Test drivers agree that the Eclipse offers sporty -- not sports car -- handling and is comfortable for everyday use. Its brakes, however, receive mixed reviews. Among other modern performance technology, the 2009 Eclipse features an Anti-lock Braking System, Traction Control and Active Stability Control.

  • "The car's chassis is considerably stiffer than that of its predecessor, improving handling. Meanwhile, four-wheel independent suspension ensures the the ride is still comfortable." -- Left Lane News
  • "Twisty back roads are welcome when driving the Eclipse and, although the V6 has enough power to generate some torque steer (a tendency for the steering of a front-drive car to pull to one side or the other during hard acceleration), it's not unmanageable by any means." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder handles well for a front-drive convertible and delivers a fairly supple ride given its sporting pretensions. There is a little more chassis flex over bumps than we'd like and the car's turning circle is a shade south of nautical, but that's not enough to spoil an otherwise enjoyable driving experience." -- Edmunds
  • "Brakes are spot-on in feel and apparent prowess." -- USA Today
  • "Brakes were grabby and unprogressive." -- Los Angeles Times

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