What's New for 1996
Based on Mitsubishi mechanicals, Talon receives minor upgrades for 1996, including revised sound systems, a panic alarm, a HomeLink transmitter and two new colors. ESi trim level gets standard 16-inch wheels.
The first-generation Diamond-Star coupes won countless awards during their four-and-a-half year run, which began in 1990. They could be had as sporty econocars, turbocharged street racers, and all-wheel-drive all-weather sport coupes. A joint development between Mitsubishi and Chrysler, the coupes were built in Illinois and sold under Eagle, Mitsubishi and Plymouth banners.
Last year brought a new generation of Diamond-Stars, and rather than arriving as triplets, they came as Eagle and Mitsubishi twins. The shape is low, wide and provocative. The interior features a sweeping center console and excellent ergonomics. As before, the Talon is equipped with a hatchback and folding seats that increase utility. The engine lineup includes a Chrysler 2.0-liter, four cylinder powering the base models, and a tweaked turbo engine motivating the TSi and TSi AWD. Chrysler claims the turbocharged TSi can get from zero to 60 in a speedy 6.5 seconds.
Changes on this fresh design are minimal for 1996. Base ESi models get standard 16-inch wheels, and a new combination CD/cassette stereo system is offered. Talon now meets 1997 side impact standards.
Nice car, this Eagle. It's quick, handles well, and the top-rung model offers the security and stability of all-wheel drive for drivers who regularly pilot rain-slicked or snow-covered roads. However, the rear-end styling treatment needs to be rethought. Not only is the bright-orange reflector surrounding the license plate obnoxious, the billboard-sized lettering spelling T-A-L-O-N across the top of it like a pickup tailgate renders the rear of the car garish and crass. This glaring effect alone makes the Talon's identical twin, the Mitsubishi Eclipse, our recommendation.