1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Review


Pros & Cons

  • Fast, fun, topless excitement.
  • Heavy torque steer, and small back seat.
List Price Estimate
$301 - $700

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Capitalizing on the recent success of convertible sport cars, Mitsubishi released a topless version of its extremely successful pocket rocket in the spring of 1996. Unlike most convertibles, the Spyder is not merely a chopped version of the Eclipse coupe. Instead, it was designed from square one to be a convertible. This results in a drop-top that is extremely rigid with only a 50 pound weight gain over its hardtop sibling.

Available in entry level GS or performance oriented GS-T trim levels, the Eclipse Spyder is destined to impress the most demanding of taskmasters. Instead of the bellicose Chrysler-built 2.0-liter engine common to the GS coupe, the GS Spyder receives a 2.4-liter engine pulled from the Mitsubishi Galant. Horsepower figures are nearly identical for both powerplants but the Spyder's engine has the definite edge in torque; fourteen percent more available at a relatively low 3000 rpm. The real excitement, however, lies with the GS-T. Using a proven Mitsubishi 2.0-liter intercooled turbo engine producing 210 horsepower, the GS-T offers more power than convertible competitors from BMW, Saab and Toyota. Pretty impressive for a car that costs less than $26,000.

The Eclipse Spyder has very attractive look-at-me styling that we think is a good component of any convertible design. The sleek, compact body and tidy dimensions are complemented by fine interior ergonomics and an excellent driving position. GS-T models come packed with goodies that include leather seats, an in-dash CD player, cruise control, security system and air conditioning; to name a few. Unfortunately, anti-lock brakes are conspicuously absent from the GS-T's standard equipment list.

We can not point to many reasons to not by the Spyder; it has a respected bloodline, attractive looks and promising performance. However, in the $25,000 price range it places itself in direct competition with two of our perennial favorites, the Mazda Miata and the Ford Mustang GT convertible. Both offer rear-wheel drive performance that will appeal to most enthusiasts and are solid in construction and design. This is not to say that the Spyder isn't a worthy contender, just that it makes the decision difficult. Well, that's one tough decision we would love to make.

1997 Highlights

The 1997 Spyder gets revised front and rear styling. Antilock brakes are now available on the GS model. Two new exterior colors, new seat fabrics and a new interior color combination round out the changes.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Whats with all the whining?
There are a lot of whiny people on here, it's 13 years old people. This is a great car. Mine has 129,000 miles and has giving me NO ISSUES at all expect for water pump, that's it. Very fast, very sporty, incredible gas mileage for the power and lets out, and a beautiful design that still looks great compared with other ugly bubble but cars today. Glad I bought it, it turns heads everywhere I go and have had many random strangers tell me they want my car. The only other car that competes and I would buy would be a 1993-1995 Ford Thunderbird Sports Coupe but it doesn't come as a convertible so would have to convert it which I'm considering doing.
This thing rocks and always will. I have put some money into it, but it is all for speed, so many mods, not enough time. This thing is the best - by far the greatest car ever owned.
NO more wet roofs!
Hi everyone, Wanna know how to stop the leaks? go to Walmart, in the camping section there is waterproofer, it cost 4 dollars...it has an orange top on the can...spray your car two times...no more driving in the rain.... The car rocks!
I wanted, I got, I'm selling
I've put about 40,000 miles since I bought my Eclipse Spyder GS-T used with 113,000 miles in 06/03. In the last year and a half, I've had to replace the passenger window track twice (it's broken again, haven't yet fixed it), had about 3 or 4 check engine light occurrences, a horrible problem with thick blue smoke from the tailpipe while idling, horribly- rattling doors, a roof that badly leaks through the back window and the A-pillars, a radio that's never worked (CD player & changer in trunk work fine), and an antenna that won't go all the way down. I shouldn't have bought a car with so many miles, but I wanted one badly at the time. Now, I'm trying to sell it.

Features & Specs

See all Used 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder features & specs 


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder

Used 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Overview

The Used 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is offered in the following submodels: Eclipse Spyder Convertible, Eclipse Spyder GS-T. Available styles include GS 2dr Convertible, and GS-T Turbo 2dr Convertible.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder?

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Which used 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyders are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder.

Can't find a used 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyders you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder for sale - 9 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $8,280.

Find a used Mitsubishi for sale - 4 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $21,237.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder for sale - 4 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $16,157.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mitsubishi for sale - 11 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $9,673.

Should I lease or buy a 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mitsubishi lease specials
Check out Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder lease specials