2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2012 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 3.8 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 265 hp @ 5750 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse

  • Outdated in just about every aspect, the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse just can't keep up with the latest sport coupes and convertibles.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Comfortable front seats; relatively roomy cargo area.

  • Cons

    High price; convertible's poor outward visibility; sluggish acceleration with GS models; torque steer with GT; small backseat; no telescoping wheel; lackluster interior quality.

  • What's New for 2012

    For 2012, a new special-edition Mitsubishi Eclipse "SE" model debuts with a number of appearance upgrades.

Full 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Review

What's New for 2012

For 2012, a new special-edition Mitsubishi Eclipse "SE" model debuts with a number of appearance upgrades.


Every once in a while a car's name takes on a second and entirely unintended meaning. Such is the case with the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse. The Eclipse coupe and Spyder convertible, both in their last year of production, were once darlings of the sport compact scene. In the last few years, however, a new breed of inexpensive, fun-to-drive coupes and convertibles have literally eclipsed the old favorite.

The problems start under the hood. Even when this latest-generation Eclipse was new, its base four-cylinder engine and four-speed automatic were pretty mediocre. Today, that combination lags in both performance and fuel economy. The 265-horsepower V6 powering the Eclipse GT is a better fit for the car's avant-garde styling, but again it's outclassed. Most current V6 sport coupes and convertibles boast at least 300 hp and better fuel economy.

Other downsides include a small backseat, lackluster interior quality and a high price. The latter might not be much of an issue, as dealers will likely have plenty of cash incentives to wave around. Even so, we'd recommend shoppers try the Chevrolet Camaro V6, Ford Mustang V6 and Hyundai Genesis Coupe. All are better choices. If you're only looking for a sexy shape and good fuel economy, put the Kia Forte Koup and Scion tC on your test-drive list.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse is offered in both four-passenger coupe and convertible (Spyder) body styles. Coupe models are offered in four trim levels -- GS, GS Sport, SE and GT -- while the Eclipse Spyder comes in just those last three flavors.

The entry-level GS model comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, variable intermittent wipers, air-conditioning, keyless entry, cruise control, full power accessories, a tilt-only steering wheel, 50/50 split-folding rear seatbacks and a six-speaker CD sound system with an auxiliary audio input jack.

The GS Sport adds xenon headlights, foglights, a sunroof, heated power mirrors, a rear wiper, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a six-way power driver seat, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system with six-CD changer, satellite radio and steering wheel controls. The Spyder GS Sport includes a power convertible roof. The new SE model gets all that, plus special styling details that include distinctive dark gray alloy wheels, matching rocker panel graphics and black mirrors.

The GT adds a standard V6 engine, bigger rear brakes, a sport-tuned suspension and automatic climate control. There are no significant factory options to speak of, but there are a number of dealer-installed accessories including an iPod adapter.

Powertrains and Performance

Power for the front-wheel-drive 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse and Eclipse Spyder comes from one of two engines. GS, GS Sport and SE models come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 162 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. The GS comes standard with a five-speed manual, while a four-speed automatic is an option. The auto comes standard on the GS Sport and SE. EPA estimated fuel economy with either transmission is 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined.

The Eclipse GT gets a 3.6-liter V6 good for 265 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic is standard. This engine requires premium fuel and its estimated fuel economy is 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined.


The 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse and Eclipse Spyder's standard safety features include four-wheel antilock brakes, stability control and front seat side-impact airbags. Coupe models also get front side curtain airbags, while the Spyder gets taller side airbags that cover occupants' heads. The rear seats lack head restraints. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Eclipse Spyder earned a top rating of "Good" in both the frontal-offset and side crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Both the Eclipse and Eclipse Spyder offer attractive interiors, though the overall impression is cheapened somewhat by the use of low-quality plastics. Front seats are comfortable and supportive, but the lack of a telescoping steering wheel means some drivers may struggle to find an ideal driving position.

Rear seatbacks are too upright to be comfortable for more than a short trip, and taller passengers will also crave more headroom here. Those seatbacks split 50/50, however, and folding down both sections creates a healthy 15.7 cubic feet of cargo room.

The most notable difference in the Spyder's passenger cabin is that the three-layer cloth convertible top makes for limited visibility out the back. The power-operated top can be lowered in about 20 seconds, but doing so cuts cargo capacity to a meager 5.2 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

Behind the wheel, the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse underwhelms. The four-cylinder engine can barely propel the hefty car with any authority. The more powerful V6 is better suited to this application, though hard acceleration usually results in spinning tires and heavy doses of torque steer.

Handling is competent, though the large turning circle hampers slow-speed maneuverability. The Spyder exhibits noticeable chassis flex over rough pavement, but not enough to detract from the joys of al fresco motoring.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

I love my eclipse.

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse

I am a young male who is freshly 21, and was in the market for a coupe to replace my troublesome 2002 Nissan Altima. I've always wanted an eclipse. So I found a 2011 Eclipse GS Sport on autotrader, and to my surprise, it was fully loaded (leather, heated seats, backup camera, bluetooth, sirius satellite, aux, 6 disc, moonroof, xenon headlights, fog lights, etc) WITH ONLYYYY 30,000 Miles!!! It was sooo affordable, & Im so happy I got this. I am 5"10, and I pretty much have to search for a comfortable position, but when I do, it is well worth it. The 4 cylinder is really fast or for performance at all, hence 4 cylinders. but the ride is smooth, quiet, controlled, and feels glued to the road.

Best sports car

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse

I love my new 2011 Eclipse.Its got everything I wanted,and a great price too.I was looking at more expensive cars, but this is the best for me.Its fun,looks great,lots of options that come with the car,that are extra on other cars.I love Bluetooth,MP3,6 cd changer with subwoofer,sunroof,etc.Its a great car for a girl like me that wants a sports car,without spending an arm and a leg.I wouldnt hesitate to recommend this car.Have fun!!!!!!

2011 mitsubishi eclipse gs 5speed

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse

I bought this 2011 Eclipse when they came out in August 2010. I own a 2003 and 2005 eclipse also. I think they're great cars. Very reliable. The 2011 I bought handles great and shifts smooth. It's fun yet practical. I do have a problem with Mitsubishi and how they're packages are set up. You can't have any options with the manual. It must be an automatic to have anything in it. And you can't have a manual v6? It doesn't make sense to me and I think they're going to lose alot of business doing this. Other than that. I highly recommend this eclipse. It's a great car. Mitsubishi has great deals and awesome warranties. Lets just hope we can have luxury and a manual in the next generation eclipse

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Nice to look at

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Just needed a car to get me to college. All I needed was a car that had a nice price target and looked nice.

Cheap thrills

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse

I was looking for a good looking sport coupe. Looked at them all but for the price and fuel ecom. this was the best for the the price--no question. Have had many from Corvettes to Cobalt SS's but for a 12 month car I think this was a good choice with front wheel drive. Just remember it's more show than go, but it does handle real well.

Talk About The 2012 Eclipse

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
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Identifix Reliability Ratings

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