The design is very good. Convertible top operation is easy and quick. Its handling however leaves a lot to be desired. It is not very responsive especially for a sporty V6. Its ride is acceptable for a sporty car. The turning radius is terrible. Large trucks have better turning capabilities. The visibility is also very poor with the top up. Given these two factors, backing out of a parking space is always a challenge.
I got the Eclipse for my first car with 150k for around 2k. First off, it's loud since it's a spyder. it interior and exterior are ok for a sports car of those years. reliability is awesome since its at almost 200k now. its fun and very stiff ride, you will feel all the bumps. You will also feel body roll and over steer when going around corner's fast. The main problems I have with this car is 1 it's FWD which I'm not fond of, and 2 it's hard to find performance parts for.
I bought this car to go 70 miles each way to work in Northern NJ. I wanted a convertible and I didn’t need 350Z performance. I wanted good gas mileage and a car that I could put gas in, change the oil periodically and otherwise forget. I am 6’3” so a lot of other cars were out. This car has been a very pleasant surprise. I have had no problems with it and it has been fun to drive even in the worst traffic with the worst drivers on the planet. It has decent pickup (GTS 5 Spd) and decent handling. I bought it two years old with 20,000 miles and it came used with a better warranty than almost all US cars come with new. The Eclipse Spyder is a great car if you’re looking for a fun convertible to drive that doesn’t need a lot of attention.
Bought this used in 2009 with 83k miles on it. Has 142k now & never a minutes trouble out of it. No unexpected repairs just general maintenance, Never once failed me. UPDATE * this car was totaled in a wreak in Sep 2017, it had 170k miles on it and all I had replaced was the MAF, was a great car right up till the end, I now have a 2009 Spider, here?s hoping for the same level of dependability
great little car However they forgot to make it comforable. Poor springing in seats. road bumps transfer to driver giving rough ride. A little better design in these areas and they would have a true winner