Full 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Review
What's New for 2007
After a one-year hiatus, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder returns for 2007. It features the same full redesign modifications applied to the 2006 Eclipse coupe. Highlights include new styling, improved interior quality, more power and better handling.
When it comes to motoring, few things have such an immediate and positive effect on one's mood as dropping the top of a convertible on a gorgeous day. With the sun and breeze streaming in and "The Big '80s" blasting out of a megawatt sound system, the minor annoyances in life melt away.
One of the newer automotive conveyances to offer this state-of-mind shift is the 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder. It has been fully redesigned this year to address many of the faults of the previous-generation Eclipse. As with the Eclipse hardtop coupe, the Spyder is now based on Mitsubishi's Project America platform that's used for the Galant and Endeavor. It's a stiffer and wider foundation than before, which correlates to improved handling and more interior room. Higher-quality interior materials and more power from the available four-cylinder and V6 engines are also part of the upgrade.
Mitsubishi has done well with its new Eclipse Spyder. The step up in quality as compared to earlier versions is very apparent, and this has elevated the car from being an also-ran in the convertible segment to true contender status. Though the GS trim's lower price will be attractive to many potential buyers, we recommend the GT as the model to get as its snarling V6 and higher equipment levels are worth the price premium.
The Eclipse's main appeal is its balanced approach to sport and comfort. It's more stylish and fun to drive than the Toyota Solara or Chrysler PT Cruiser and more substantial than a Mini Cooper convertible. True, it comes off rather flabby when compared to a 350Z, but it doesn't cost as much either. Its main competition, therefore, comes from the Ford Mustang convertible. We'd give the edge to the Mustang based on its stiffer structure, rear-wheel-drive layout and more usable backseat, but interested shoppers will want to test-drive both cars before making a decision.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is a convertible version of the Eclipse coupe. Two trim levels, GS and GT, are available. Both come standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, a power convertible soft top with a glass rear window and defroster, power windows and mirrors, keyless entry, cruise control and air conditioning. A premium Rockford Fosgate audio system with nine speakers, a subwoofer, an in-dash six-CD changer, MP3 CD capability and speed-compensating volume is also standard. The GT is very similar but also features a slightly sportier state of suspension tune and a dash-mounted display for exterior temperature and compass. For the GS, Mitsubishi offers a leather package that adds leather-trimmed and heated front seats, heated mirrors and the GT's aforementioned display. A similar package is also available for the GT that also adds 18-inch wheels with wider tires, a wind deflector (delayed availability) and a power driver seat. A couple of exterior trim packages are also available for buyers seeking a sportier look.
Powertrains and Performance
The front-wheel-drive Eclipse is available with two different engines. The GS model comes with a four-cylinder engine that displaces 2.4 liters and produces 162 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. The GT model features a 3.8-liter V6 engine capable of 260 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The GS can be equipped with either a five-speed manual transmission or four-speed automatic with a sequential-shift Sportronic mode. Mitsubishi upgrades the GT with a six-speed manual or an optional five-speed Sportronic automatic.
In addition to the government-mandated equipment, all Eclipse Spyders have front-seat side airbags and four-wheel antilock disc brakes. GT models further benefit from traction control and bigger rear disc brakes. Stability control is not offered.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Eclipse's cockpit has an attractive flowing dash, simple controls and better-than-average interior material quality, although some of the plastics are low-grade for this class. Front-seat comfort is also notably good for this type of vehicle but the two-person rear seat is suitable for children only -- and small ones at that. The Spyder features a three-layer convertible top. Dropping it is a cinch. Release the header latches, hit the button and the top stows itself under the tonneau cover in 19 seconds, and it goes up just as rapidly. Unfortunately, this design takes up some trunk space, and there's only 5.2 cubic feet of luggage space available.
The Eclipse Spyder GS's four-cylinder engine is fine for normal driving but the V6 is clearly a better match for this relatively heavy car. Not only does it add some personality to the car, but it also helps to overcome the Spyder GT's 3,700-pound curb weight. The manual transmission is recommended if you're so inclined, as it's easy and fun to shift. On the road, the 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder handles well for a front-drive convertible and delivers a supple ride that makes it ideal for longer drives. There is a little more chassis flex over bumps than we would like, but it's not enough to spoil an otherwise enjoyable driving experience.