2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Review

Pros & Cons

  • Distinctive styling, V6 power in GT trim, easy-to-use convertible top, wind buffeting kept to a minimum.
  • Uninspired interior design, intolerable rear seats, antilock brakes are available only as part of an expensive package.
List Price Estimate
$667 - $1,503

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Edmunds' Expert Review

A fun drop-top, but those seeking real performance should look elsewhere.

Vehicle overview

The Eclipse Spyder is intended to appeal to those who seek reasonably priced convertible fun and sporty looks, but don't want to sacrifice a rear seat or comfort by opting for a two-seat roadster.

The Eclipse is offered in two trim levels: GS and GT. Both models can be equipped with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The automatic features Mitsubishi's Sportronic, a special mode that allows the driver to select gears sequentially. The base four-cylinder engine found in the GS displaces 2.4 liters and produces 147 horsepower (140 hp with the automatic). The GT model comes equipped with a responsive 3.0-liter V6 engine making 200 horsepower.

Both Eclipse Spyder models are heavy on standard equipment. Highlights include power windows and door locks, a power-operated top, an engine immobilizer and anti-theft system, air conditioning, a CD player and remote keyless entry.

For the most toys, pick the GT. This nets the 17-inch wheels and four-wheel disc brakes, as well as opening up access to the swank option packages. The Premium package adds items like a premium audio system with an in-dash four-disc CD changer, power leather seats, antilock brakes and front side airbags. Traction control is also part of this package, but only if the automatic transmission is ordered.

Mitsubishi calls the Eclipse's styling "geo-mechanical." Our editors are split on the overall look, but the arched fenders and ribbed doors certainly give the Eclipse an edge in distinctiveness.

The interior is less successful. Featuring a symmetrical cockpit design, it is lackluster in appearance and heavy on low-grade interior materials. At least the convertible top is simple to use; push the buttons in the two latches to release it, and then let the automatic mechanism take over. Once the top is in its well, the hooks of the latches stick out, so it looks more polished with the soft tonneau cover in place. Mitsu is kind enough to provide a glass rear window and associated defroster.

With the windows up, the driver and front seat passenger are well-shielded from wind buffeting; a veritable Fort Knox maintains your 'do, while giving you enough wind-and-sun exposure to remind you that yes, indeed, you are in a convertible. Rear seat passengers, however, don't have it so good. Not only are they bombarded with what feels like the mistral, they have minimal knee room, toe space or shoulder space.

The Eclipse Spyder is generally pleasant to drive. The ride quality isn't abrasive, and both engines work fine (though the V6 certainly makes the experience more enjoyable). Non-demanding consumers should be happy with this car.

But the remainder will likely find the Eclipse coming up short. The almost unanimous consensus amongst Edmunds.com editors is that they would purchase, as well as recommend to others, a Ford Mustang convertible long before they would the Eclipse Spyder. We would even suggest that a Mazda Miata would make a fine choice if you don't absolutely, positively need that rear seat or 2 more cubic feet in the trunk.

2002 Highlights

Only trivial changes are in store for the Eclipse drop-top this year. Two new exterior colors (Titanium and Flash Blue) are added, and as well as a Mitsubishi triple-diamond chrome badge. The interior is upgraded slightly with illuminated vanity mirrors and a glovebox lamp.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

CUTE CAR, BAD TIRE RIMS
Elbee,03/31/2004
I love this car but... I have one MAJOR complaint.the rims on this car are very susceptible to even the slightest potholes. i have had this car for less than a DAY, and already need to replace a dented/cracked rim from a minor pothole i hit. NHTSA has had a number of complaints about these rims. Mitsubishi is not willing to recall these rims, stating it isn't a problem, but the interesting thing is, why did they change the suspension and rims for the 2003 model if the 2002 was fine? so my advice, is get the 2003 if you have a choice and save yourself from needing to buy $350 rims the first time you hit a pothole, railroad tracks etc.
Great car for the money!
SpyderGt,12/22/2006
I bought the car with 43,000 miles on it. The only problems I had were with the AC not cooling (it needed servicing - $600 for "the works") and a bad battery (I bought top of the line at Sears for $120). The engine light was on due to a bad PCV solenoid and now it is good to go. Otherwise the car is fun to drive and looks cool. I don't know why Mitsubishi changed the model to the ugly looking new one. The new one looks like a souped up Avalon.
Eclipse Spyder GT
matt6862,11/15/2007
Great car at a great price. Unsure when I bought whether or not it was the right car for me but it has eliminated all doubts. I'm from Wisconsin and it handles superbly in the snow.
2003 Spyder GTS
ddouka,03/26/2002
Yep, I just purchased a 2003 Spyder GTS on March 22, 2002. This had been on the lot for only 5 days. The styling is beautiful and turns heads wherever I go. The 6-disc, 210 watt in-dash CD has a great sound. The car came with virtually every option and priced out in excess of $30,000. The 17" wheels give it a great look. The top moves up and down very nicely. The boot is a bit cheap, but looks better than having nothing. Performance is adequate and steering response is very good. I find the drivers seat very comfortable with good headroom.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder features & specs 
More about the 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder

Used 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Overview

The Used 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is offered in the following submodels: Eclipse Spyder Convertible. Available styles include GT 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 4A), GS 2dr Convertible (2.4L 4cyl 4A), GT 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 5M), and GS 2dr Convertible (2.4L 4cyl 5M).

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Which used 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyders are available in my area?

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Find a used Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder for sale - 2 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $14,995.

Find a used Mitsubishi for sale - 11 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $14,661.

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Should I lease or buy a 2002 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.

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Check out Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder lease specials