I bought my 2004 Eclipse GT (5 speed Manual) brand new from the Dealership in April, 2014. It had 6 miles on it when I test drove, 18 miles at sale. Everything was great about it at first and it is still fun to drive, but the honeymoon is long since passed.
I had owned it for less than 1 year when the air hose came unclamped causing debris to get into the intake manifold and the check engine light came on. I had to fight with the dealership to get it covered under warranty. When they finally relented, they said that my warranty was voided due to an issue with the title. So my manufacturer warranty never paid for a dime of anything that ever went wrong with the car. It would turn out to not cover many other things.
After I had owned the car for 5 years (fall, 2009) there was a heavy rain. A large amount of water got into the floor on the passenger side. Conveniently, the amplifier for the stock stereo system sits under the passenger seat and was destroyed by the rain. I had to disconnect the battery and remove the media fuse as it was making loud crackling through the speaker system despite the car being off. Again, not covered under warranty and so I have lived without a radio for almost 7 years now. The car still gets water in it during heavy rain so I have to park under cover whenever I can.
Around the same time, in 2008 or 2009, since the car is black, the paint began to peel off. Most of the car now is primer gray, with a large amount of rust on the roof of the vehicle. There was eventually a recall and if your car was covered under warranty, they would repaint it for free. Since I had no warranty, I got an offer for about $130 to repaint which obviously was insufficient. I never bothered to get the paint fixed since remediating the rust first was going to be expensive. So my car is a giant eye-sore now.
Not long after that, I believe in 2011 or so, the check engine light came on for oxygen sensors and also for misfiring. Apparently the electronic distributor had gone bad and needed to be replaced. It had to be replaced again in 2015. No warranty, big expense.
Also in 2011, the heater started to quit working. I paid over $3000 between a dealership and two other shops and they never could fix the issue. The thermostat was replaced twice and a valve switch in the heater core was replaced. It turned out that there was a lose solder joint in the electronics in the dash that needed to be redone, but I found and fixed that myself after the fact. Never had an issue with the heat after that point. I can't believe that they couldn't find that after $3000 of unnecessary repairs. But driving in the winter without defrost is not an option, so I was forced to pay it.
In 2014, I think, my timing belt had failed while I was driving and needed replacement. I had less than 80,000 miles on the car at the time (I was in the military and in college during the first 7 years I owned the car so I didn't accumulate many miles) but again, no warranty so I had to eat the cost. The mechanic said I was lucky that the engine didn't throw a rod and destroy the car as I was on the freeway at 60 mph when it happened (I lost power and had to be pushed to the side of the freeway by a police officer).
For me, this car has been nothing but trouble. I still love to drive it and it still runs great. Although it has never handled well in rain or snow, the brakes lock up extremely easily (I thought it had anti-lock brakes but apparently it doesn't?) in even the smallest amounts of rain. The MPG has always been terrible, even on long road trips on the highway. In the city it barely makes 270 miles per tank and on the highway it's rarely above 350. Since it requires premium fuel, it's an expensive car to keep fueled up. But the car accelerates well, corners well, and has a great sound to it. I just wish everything else about the car wasn't so cheap.
I will never buy another Mitsubishi again, that's for sure.
Wheel base is poor compared to my Celica. I thought buying a 6 cylinder car would increase my power speed at take off, but my 4 cylinder Celica had much better power. I do like the looks and the comfort, but it has a long way to go to beat Toyota's quality.
This is my second Eclipse RS, the 1st was a 1999. Unfortunately, I may have to be on to my 3rd. I was hit by an 18-wheeler in the 1st & was hit 2 days ago for the 2nd time in the current. This car is incredible for safety. Despite the fact that I have been hit 3 times, even when the damage was extensive, I walked away. The current one may be totaled, in which case I will go on to a newer model, but my experience with this car leaves me no doubts about it's safety - just the invisible "hit me" sign which appears to come with the ones I've bought. AND, the mileage has been terrific. I avg 27 back & forth to work, and up to 40 on the highway! I LOVE this car!
The looks, the fuel economy, & the safety.
It could use a bigger back/side window to make the blind spot smaller. Everyone else complains about the small back seat, but since I don't sit back there, & rarely have riders, I don't particularly care.
This is my second car, and during the time after my first car and before I bought the Eclipse, I test drove an 04 Focus SVT, 03 Acura TL, 05 Scion TC, and many other countless cars. The Eclipse has got to be my favorite, by far. The downfall about MINE is it's an automatic, but that may actually make it better in the end. My cup holder doesn't get in the way because of that, I haven't had any problems with the interior design except the back seats, not even my shorter friends can sit back there without bumping their heads on the rear windshield. But, this doesn't bother me bc I don't sit back there, and they need their own cars anyway haha
The amazing look of it, the sound of it stock, the "racing seats", the sun roof, low gas price for the high performance quality, everything! I love the fact that it's low as stock, just watch out for the higher curbs :(
Possibly something to be done about the paint? I have a black eclipse and the paint has already started fading, it's light gray and very noticeable.