Full 2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Review
What's New for 2010
The 2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is no longer offered with a manual transmission and the GT Premium package content is now included as standard GT equipment, along with a corresponding price jump. New features include Bluetooth, a rearview camera, auxiliary audio input jacks and standard stability control.
There's something about open-air motoring that adds a whole new dimension of coolness to an otherwise typical drive. It's liberating to feel the sun envelop you, the wind tussle your hair and the bright blue sky serve as your headliner.
To fulfill this desire to partake in the great outdoors, convertibles run the gamut from cute to coarse, sedate to manic and fun-loving to formidable. The 2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder tends to straddle these lines. Its unusual rounded styling is not as gimmicky as a Mini Cooper or New Beetle, while its low-slung stance and front fascia seem to aspire to the aggression of its performance-centric Lancer Evolution stablemate. Behind the wheel, the Eclipse Spyder is mildly sporty -- not as lazy as a VW Eos, but not as nimble as a Miata.
The Spyder seems to fit its midpack status quite well, but 2010 seems to be the year of give and take for the Eclipse. Additions to the lineup, like Bluetooth, a rearview camera and an auxiliary audio jack help to even the playing field a bit, but some of the feature changes may be a turn-off for buyers. Manual transmissions are no longer available for the Spyder, and neither is a moderately priced V6 model. Most options from last year have now become standard equipment on the GT, kicking the price tag up by more than $3,000. One thing that has not changed, unfortunately, is the miniscule backseat that even children will probably find uncomfortable.
At the end of the sun-drenched day, your conclusions regarding the 2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder will likely be driven by what you want. The Eclipse is moderately priced and equipped, rides comfortably with a hint of performance and is cool without looking odd. This middle-of-the-road approach isn't unique to the Eclipse -- a Chrysler Sebring or Volkswagen Eos can provide more comfort and a usable backseat, for instance, while a Ford Mustang, Mazda Miata or Mini Cooper would be better at quickening your pulse. For all-around capabilities though, the 2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is still worth a serious look.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is a four-seat convertible available in GS and GT trim levels. Standard equipment on the GS includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a power cloth soft top, foglights, keyless entry, air-conditioning, Bluetooth and a rearview camera. Also standard is a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate stereo with a subwoofer, an in-dash six-CD changer and an auxiliary audio jack.
GT option packages from previous years have been eliminated, with all of those features now included as standard equipment in the GT. The new "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink" GT augments the GS's features list with a V6 engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, larger rear brakes, xenon headlamps, leather upholstery, heated side mirrors and front seats, a six-way power driver seat, automatic climate control, a removable mesh wind deflector, aluminum scuff plates and pedals, an outside temperature display and a compass.
Powertrains and Performance
The base Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 162 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. The EPA estimates that fuel economy for this engine stands at 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 mpg in combined driving. The Spyder GT receives a powerful 3.8-liter V6 that makes 265 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque and turns in a slightly lower 16 mpg city/24 highway and 19 combined. Manual transmissions are no longer offered on Eclipse Spyders. As such, the GS receives a four-speed automatic gearbox, while the GT gets a five-speed automatic.
The 2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder comes standard with antilock disc brakes and front seat side airbags (with head and torso coverage) as well as traction control and stability control. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Eclipse Spyder its highest rating of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Eclipse Spyder's cockpit has an attractive flowing dash, simple controls and generally high-quality materials, although there are some cheap bits here and there. The available two-tone color schemes are an attractive touch, but some color combinations may look a bit odd. Front seat comfort is above average for this type of vehicle, but the upright two-person rear seat is so small that it should be considered as little more than a package shelf with seatbelts.
The Spyder's three-layer convertible cloth top folds away with a minimum of fuss. Release the header latches, hit a button and the top stows itself under the solid tonneau cover in 19 seconds. Unfortunately, top-up rear visibility is hampered due to the small rear window, and trunk space measures only 5.2 cubic feet.
Despite its sporty appearance, the 2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder provides a comfortable and supple ride. Handling is decent for a heavy front-wheel-drive convertible, but it's a far cry from a true sports car. The V6 imparts a more sporting impression thanks to its additional power and racier exhaust note. Even so, the Eclipse Spyder seems much more at home cruising the beaches and boulevards than it does carving up canyon roads. In everyday driving, some chassis flex is noticeable and the turning circle is a bit large, but neither of these drawbacks spoils an otherwise enjoyable ride. We would, however, steer clear of the four-cylinder engine, which struggles against the Eclipse's heavy curb weight.