I bought mine in 2003. I was torn between the Eclipse GT and the Acura RSX Type S. I chose the Eclipse because money was an issue as I was fresh out of college and Mitsubishi was offering zero payments for a year and a lower APR than Acura thereafter. Plus the RSX was in its first run while this model of Eclipse was in its second. I figured Mitsubishi would have worked out some kinks by the second generation of that model. Overall I have been pretty pleased by the performance and mechanical build of the engine and drivetrain. I have issues however with the shoddy plastic quality of the dash, doors, trunk lining, etc. The interior is a synch to scratch with keys, luggage & other cargo.
The engine is great. The 200 horses are all that I would ever need on the safe side of the law. You won't be blowing the doors off a Porsche or anything but in my three years of driving this car it has been reliable and effective on the road.
HUD for clock/radio failed after a year and a half. Plastic on the steering column is dumb (you will scratch it to heck). Same with plastic around the trunk. Pegs on the trunk divider cracked off and the thing dangles. Trunk lock has a gap around it that can damage your key. Interior is UGLY.