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One of the best top-down cruisers being sold.
Rear seat is little more than a parcel shelf. And, as in all front-wheel drive vehicles, beware the understeer!
Sundance Plum Pearl exterior paint replaces Magenta Gray Pearl, black leather interior replaces the gray, and the GS-T model gets white-faced instrumentation.
Capitalizing on the recent success of convertible sports cars, Mitsubishi released a topless version of its successful pocket rocket in the spring of 1996. Unlike most convertibles, the Spyder is not merely a chopped version of the Eclipse coupe. Instead, it was designed from square one to be a convertible. This results in a drop-top that is extremely rigid with only a 50-pound weight gain over its hardtop sibling.
The Eclipse Spyder has attractive look-at-me styling that is a good component of any convertible design. Fine interior ergonomics and an excellent driving position compliment the sleek, compact body and tidy dimensions of the car.
Available in entry level GS or performance-oriented GS-T trim levels, the Eclipse Spyder is destined to impress the most demanding of taskmasters. Instead of the feeble, Chrysler-built 2.0-liter engine common to the GS coupe, the GS Spyder receives a 2.4-liter engine pulled from the Mitsubishi Galant. Horsepower figures are nearly identical for both powerplants, but the Spyder's engine has the definite edge in torque; 14 percent more is available at a relatively low 3,000 rpm.
The real excitement, however, lies with the GS-T. Using a proven Mitsubishi 2.0-liter intercooled turbo engine producing 210 horsepower, the GS-T offers more power than convertible competitors from BMW, Saab and Toyota. Pretty impressive for a car that costs less than $28,000. GS-T models come packed with goodies that include leather seats, an in-dash CD player, cruise control, security system and air conditioning. Unfortunately, antilock brakes are conspicuously absent from the GS-T's standard equipment list.
We cannot point to many reasons to pass over the Spyder; it has a respected bloodline, attractive looks and promising performance. However, in the $25,000 price range, it places itself in direct competition with two of our perennial favorites: the Mazda Miata and the Ford Mustang GT convertible. Both offer rear-wheel drive performance that will appeal to most enthusiasts and are solid in construction and design. This does not mean the Spyder isn't a worthy contender, but it makes the decision difficult. Well, that's one tough decision we would love to make.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.