Used 1996 Eagle Talon TSi Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1996

Based on Mitsubishi mechanicals, Talon receives minor upgrades for 1996, including revised sound systems, a panic alarm, a HomeLink transmitter and two new colors. ESi trim level gets standard 16-inch wheels.

Vehicle overview

The first-generation Diamond-Star coupes won countless awards during their four-and-a-half year run, which began in 1990. They could be had as sporty econocars, turbocharged street racers, and all-wheel-drive all-weather sport coupes. A joint development between Mitsubishi and Chrysler, the coupes were built in Illinois and sold under Eagle, Mitsubishi and Plymouth banners.

Last year brought a new generation of Diamond-Stars, and rather than arriving as triplets, they came as Eagle and Mitsubishi twins. The shape is low, wide and provocative. The interior features a sweeping center console and excellent ergonomics. As before, the Talon is equipped with a hatchback and folding seats that increase utility. The engine lineup includes a Chrysler 2.0-liter, four cylinder powering the base models, and a tweaked turbo engine motivating the TSi and TSi AWD. Chrysler claims the turbocharged TSi can get from zero to 60 in a speedy 6.5 seconds.

Changes on this fresh design are minimal for 1996. Base ESi models get standard 16-inch wheels, and a new combination CD/cassette stereo system is offered. Talon now meets 1997 side impact standards.

Nice car, this Eagle. It's quick, handles well, and the top-rung model offers the security and stability of all-wheel drive for drivers who regularly pilot rain-slicked or snow-covered roads. However, the rear-end styling treatment needs to be rethought. Not only is the bright-orange reflector surrounding the license plate obnoxious, the billboard-sized lettering spelling T-A-L-O-N across the top of it like a pickup tailgate renders the rear of the car garish and crass. This glaring effect alone makes the Talon's identical twin, the Mitsubishi Eclipse, our recommendation.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.