Used 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse Hatchback

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1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse
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1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Since 1990, the Eclipse has been giving budget-minded enthusiasts style and performance at bargain prices. Last year's redesign of the Eclipse improved on this great idea.

The RS, GS and GS-T have front-wheel drive, but different engines. A twin-cam Chrysler motor powers the RS and GS, while the GS-T gets a potent turbo version of a Mitsubishi 2.0-liter engine. The top-of-the-line GSX gets the Mitsubishi power plant, and an all-wheel-drive system for less than hospitable climates.

Prices have crept up a bit and the Eclipse faces stiffer competition in the sport coupe class than it did when it was first introduced in 1990. Still, with all-wheel drive, good looks and fantastic performance, the GSX is worth consideration at $25,000. The GS and GS-T must duel with competitors that offer the same level of refinement and power, often at lower prices.

To keep the Eclipse in the hunt, Mitsubishi has made several improvements for 1996. Audio systems have been substantially revised, optional remote keyless entry systems get a Panic feature, and upper trim levels, and a Homelink transmitter comes standard on GS, GS-T and GSX models. Three new colors are available, and buyers of the base level RS model can opt for a spoiler this year.

The Eclipse is essentially the same car as the Eagle Talon, but the Mitsubishi looks much better, to our eyes. The tail is tidier, and the roof of the Eclipse is painted the same color as the rest of the car, unlike the Talon's all-black roof treatment. Dual airbags are standard for this sleek sportster, but antilock brakes are optional on all models. The interior is a nice place to spend time, with an organically shaped dashboard that sweeps in front of the driver and between the seats, putting all controls in easy reach.

Shop carefully for a sport coupe, but definitely consider the Eclipse, especially over its less sophisticated sibling, the Talon.

1996 Highlights

Three new colors debut on the 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse. Audio systems are revised, and RS models can be ordered with a rear spoiler. Remote keyless entry systems get a new panic feature.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Fun Long Lasting Durable Vehicle
Juan St Charles,10/19/2007
My Eclipse is an RS with the 2 liter 420A engine, 5 speed, A/C, manual windows, and rear defroster. The 420A (2.0) non-turbo engine sounds good, performs excellent, and gets good mileage. Vehicle is cool looking and fun to drive. Make sure maintainence was performed every 30K mi including the timing belt at every 60K mi. Mine has been very reliable with minimal cost to operate.
My 96 Eclipse
96eclipse,02/01/2013
I got my car just over 2 years ago,it had just over 113,000 miles on it.I now have 129,800 on it and it runs perfectly.I don't know why people say the millage is ok,I think its wonderful I'm getting 28 in town and 36 on the Highway.I also realized by adding a bit of methanol to the fuel I get another 5 miles to the gallon. My 96 is as economic as any of these newer cars,and bigger too.And only has a 2.0 liter motor.The key to millage is a good cold air intake!Also a good Cat back exhaust system.
Eh..
ryanr,05/07/2009
I bought this 3 years ago, after a nice woman wrecked my last car for me by driving into the front of me. Yes, it looks amazing, the design is sleek and smooth and definitely the best year for the Eclipse. 5 Speed non-turbo 2.0L DOHC is okay. 140hp FWD.. as mentioned in plenty of reviews, the rotors are horrendous. I have so much shaking I cannot stand it right now. I must have bought this at a horrible time in the life of the car (about 89,000 miles) as CV axles, lower control arms (as well as the tires the axles and arms ate through) ate me alive at about 100,000. It can get out of its own way, but not really anyone else's. Gas mileage is only okay for I-4. A good get-to-work or schooler.
Good Commuter Car
mike,12/26/2006
My wife bought this car new in '96 and it has been seeing less use through the years (only 71000 miles), but still runs strong and is very reliable. It gets excellent gas mileage.
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 29 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
140 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
21 city / 29 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
210 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 29 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
140 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 29 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
140 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse Hatchback features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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
    0

More about the 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse
Used 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse Hatchback Overview

The Used 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse Hatchback is offered in the following styles: GS 2dr Hatchback, GS-T Turbo 2dr Hatchback, 2dr Hatchback, RS 2dr Hatchback, and GSX Turbo 2dr Hatchback AWD.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse Hatchback?

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Which used 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse Hatchbacks are available in my area?

Used 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse Hatchback Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse Hatchback.

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Find a used Mitsubishi Eclipse for sale - 8 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $7,516.

Find a used Mitsubishi for sale - 10 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $12,681.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mitsubishi Eclipse for sale - 7 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $8,113.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mitsubishi for sale - 11 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $25,172.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse?

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 lease specials