2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 162 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse

  • The 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse is stylish and a decent performer when equipped with the V6 engine. But newer competitors offer better overall packages for the money.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Powerful V6 engine, comfortable front seating, relatively roomy cargo area.

  • Cons

    Hefty curb weight, sluggish acceleration on four-cylinder models, large turning circle, small backseat.

  • What's New for 2009

    A face-lift and other exterior styling changes make their debut for the 2009 model year, including a blacked-out front bumper and a tweaked rear end with a redesigned wing. The V6 GT model gets standard stability control and a new dual exhaust system that yields an itty-bitty horsepower boost. The SE and SE-V6 models have been dropped.

Full 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse Review

What's New for 2009

A face-lift and other exterior styling changes make their debut for the 2009 model year, including a blacked-out front bumper and a tweaked rear end with a redesigned wing. The V6 GT model gets standard stability control and a new dual exhaust system that yields an itty-bitty horsepower boost. The SE and SE-V6 models have been dropped.


For almost two decades, the Mitsubishi Eclipse has been a mainstay of the affordable sport coupe market. Originally known for its turbocharged and all-wheel-drive performance, the Eclipse has become more comfort-oriented in recent years. But thanks to available V6 power and a sporty design inside and out, the Eclipse continues to be a solid choice.

The 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse represents the car's fourth generation, on sale since 2006. This year, Mitsubishi has given the car a freshened look that takes styling cues from more expensive sports cars. The most noticeable aesthetic change is the large trapezoidal front grille, which is reminiscent of the latest Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Nissan's GT-R supercar. The 2009 Eclipse also gives up its "light focusing" headlamps in favor of projector beams, with high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps standard on the GT version. The powertrain and interior stay the same, although the GT trim level sees an extra 2 horsepower thanks to a new dual exhaust system.

These changes are minimal, however, and the 2009 Eclipse faces increasingly stiff competition from other sporty models in the $20,000-$30,000 range. The rear-wheel-drive Ford Mustang coupe gives V6-powered Eclipses a run for their money, although the Eclipse is more refined. Other moderately priced models with comparable or superior all-around performance include the Honda Civic Si and the supercharged Scion tC as well as "hot hatches" such as the Mazdaspeed3, Subaru WRX and Volkswagen GTI.

Don't get us wrong -- we still think the 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse is a good choice for buyers prioritizing good looks and decent performance at an attainable price. But we do recommend that you shop around a bit before making a final decision.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse hatchback sport coupe comes in two trim levels: GS and GT. The GS comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, cruise control, 50/50-split-folding rear seats and full power accessories. The standard six-speaker audio system includes a CD player and MP3 playback capability. An auxiliary audio jack isn't available. The V6-powered GT model bumps the wheel size up to 18 inches and adds xenon HID headlamps, foglamps, larger rear brakes, a rear spoiler, a compass and outside temperature display.

There are two major options packages for the Eclipse coupe. The Sun and Sound package, available on both the GS and GT, adds a sunroof, a rear window wiper, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, aluminum pedals, a rear cargo shelf and the compass and temperature display (GS). An especially notable addition with this package is the rockin' 650-watt Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with satellite radio, a six-CD/MP3 changer and a 10-inch subwoofer. Steering wheel audio controls are also added.

The optional Premium Sport Package is available on the GT only and includes most of the options from the Sun and Sound package, with the addition of heated side mirrors, heated leather front seats, automatic climate control and a power driver seat.

Powertrains and Performance

The Eclipse GS comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 162 hp and 162 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with either a five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic with manual shift control. The GT's 3.8-liter V6 produces 265 hp -- a smidge more than last year thanks to the new exhaust system -- and 262 lb-ft of torque. It's teamed with either a six-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic.

Fuel economy ratings for the 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse remain respectable, albeit not phenomenal. The GS gets 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with the manual transmission (23 combined), and 20 city/26 highway with the automatic. Naturally, the V6 doesn't fare as well, with a rating of 16/25 mpg (20 combined) for the manual and 17/25 for the automatic.


The 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse offers quite a bit of standard protection, at least for those riding in the front seat. Both trim levels come with antilock brakes, front seat-mounted airbags and side curtain airbags. Open head restraints protect front occupants, but are absent in the rear. Stability control comes standard on the GT but is not available on the GS.

Interior Design and Special Features

The interior remains unchanged on the 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse. Stylish touches, such as the flowing shape of the dash, pale blue instrument backlighting and unique door releases, still look modern but aren't made of the highest-quality materials. Front seats are comfortable and supportive, but the backseat seems more for decoration than function. Still, the hatchback body style and 50/50-split-folding rear seat make the Eclipse better than expected at carrying cargo.

Driving Impressions

The Eclipse's front-wheel-drive platform and considerable curb weight mean that the car does its best work in a straight line. The GT's V6 offers plenty of power, although spirited drivers will encounter wheelspin off the line and torque steer during hard acceleration. On four-cylinder models, acceleration tends to be sluggish. Handling is sporty enough, although the large turning circle can prove frustrating. All in all, the car is like an average student who goes far in life thanks to an inherent cool factor and impressive good looks.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Beautiful car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

This car is pretty nice to have it is fun to drive but not the best unfortunately. I wanna start with the pros of this car. Looks are sharp! I mean my kalapana black eclipse turns heads all the time and gets me solid compliments. Its a nice little 4 banger perfect for me and my chick. Installed HID 8000k lights, LED interior and License plate LED, modded exhaust, and Cold Air Intake.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Love at first sight!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

This car is awesome. The price was great! Especially for a car of this year and miles it came with. Before deciding to go for the Eclipse I looked at the Mustang and the Honda Accord Coupe but both these car lose in looks and Warranty. I'm thankful I bought this car even though its the GS model it comes with many standard features. It drives like a dream very fast and peppy for a 4cyl engine. Miles per gallon are okay considering the weight of this vehicle and the safety features. Great car for the money!

Great driving sportscar

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT 2dr Hatchback (3.8L 6cyl 5A)

Lots of power and handles very well. GT with the rear fin gets a lot of looks and even questions as to what kind of car it is. Read other comments and noted concerns about the short distance of the low beams. There is a switch on the dash to adjust this. I panicked the 1st night I drove mine.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Love this car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT 2dr Hatchback (3.8L 6cyl 5A)

This car is the best performance and style value on the market. I looked at many others before deciding on the Eclipse GT Spyder. This car is hands down the most fun to drive for the money you can buy. Why this car doesn't get more respect from the "Professional Reviewers" is beyond me. Buy one, you will love it!

Last hurrah

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I have had 9 Nissans in a row, mainly Sentras. I was not happy with the new look they came out with so I checked Mitsubishi. One look at the 2009 Eclipse and I was in love. I am a grandma but not ready for the rocker. This car is fast becoming my favorite ever. Hot looking, (rave red) fun driving, didn't empty my trust fund to buy it and has one of the best warranties going. I am finding reasons to go out and drive it. My car insurance only went up $60 a year from my 2006 Sentra. How could you not love this car?

About my eclipse

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT 2dr Hatchback (3.8L 6cyl 6M)

Drives very well, especially if have driven a manual before. Gas mileage is good 20-21 mpg in the city so far, haven't taken it out on a long drive. If you know how to shift properly you'll get better gas mileage and also know how to down shift to extend life on your brakes. I also have a motorcycle and that has helped me drive a manual transmission better. If you're complaining about your gas mileage it's because you're probably not shifting at the right RPMs. It could have used a few more compartments to place items maybe behind the seats etc.; other then that a very good vehicle. I love my car!!!!!

Talk About The 2009 Eclipse

2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse Discussions See all Started By

Sales boosts for MMNA's North American-built cars (Galant, Eclipse, and Eclipse Spyder) and the Outlander crossover-SUV led April 2010 sales of 3,932, .3 % higher than April 2009....

A week ago I purchased my second Eclipse (traded in a 2001 Eclipse RS w/auto transmission and 89000 miles for 2009 Eclipse GS w/auto trans and 20,400)....

Eclipse & it's variations have competition from the Altima Coupe, not to mention the reborn Mustang and Camaro crowd who might just prefer RWD in their 2-doors. The Eclipse is also heavy and some...

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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