Used 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse Consumer Reviews
2003 Mitsubishi eclipse Gt, v6, Sportronic shifter. Great Exterior look, except the fake vents in the front.v6 engine good power for automatic shifty, not good for turbo boosting.Alloy wheels great touch and clean. Inside, Cheap plastic interior (which is good If you ever need to replace it). I like it. No leg room for people over 5'11. Very small in the back, good for newborns- preteens and adults, no. Seats are very comfortable for long driving. Gas mileage is good, 22 ct/27 Hw. $30 to fill. Slow start@shifting through 1st gear but gets better at 2nd. Expensive 6 cyl tuneup ($550). Timing belt+labor $640. Maintenance regular. Premium gas only. Mits is having a recall, don't get black.
What can I say about this car? It has been an excellent and fun daily driver for the past 14 years and is still going strong. I have owned it since new and it has never let me down. Oh sure there was an occasional flat or dead battery but those are maintenance items. Keep up with the maintenance on it and it wont have any problems. I don't think the car has ever actually failed. It always starts right up no problems, when the battery was good that is. I've gone through oh 4-5 batteries on it. 5 timing belts and one transmission. The transmission? yes that did eventually fail . . . at ~320,000 miles! I don't really think of that as a failure, just wear and tear. It was worn out. The guy working on it said he had never seen such wear. Even in that state It didn't leave me by the side of the road. I was able to drive it to a shop, it was just acting funny, like taking 5 seconds to shift. Even so, 320K miles for a transmission is hard to beat in any car. I have no complaints. I'm not kidding this car has 377 thousand miles on it. Original engine, and never been overhauled. It did have lifter tick (very noisy) at 220K but I replaced the lifters (lash adjusters), which is a job you can do just under the valve covers, and it has not been an issue since. Overall I'd say the build quality of the car is super high given the longevity I've gotten out of it. There is very little rust on the car too. The ride is solid and smooth as can be, even at interstate speeds. Just keep it aligned and replace the shocks when they are due. Again maintenance. I trust this car as my daily driver to get me to work every day. The engine is still strong and can still accelerate hard when I need it to. It still gets 26-27 miles to the gallon if you aren't a lead foot. If you keep it maintained this car will last a long time. It does lack a bit in the radio department compared to today's radios but still sounds great. What the radio doesn't do is bluetooth or have an aux input or navigation. If you want all that you can upgrade it easily as it is a standard 2-din (size) radio. All the stock speakers save one are still in it and sound great. The only speaker to fail me was the one in the center of the dash and that was due to direct sunlight and age drying out the cone. If you disconnect that speaker however you really don't miss it. I do think I will need to eventually overhaul the engine, one day, I'm not deluding myself there. Just not tomorrow. The last shop I had it at told me the compression is still good and within factory spec. It is starting to leak/burn oil though. What else can I expect from it . . . it is positively ancient in miles. I suspect the valve stem seals are the cause, I never replaced them. . Again I have no complaints, it has held up so well over the years that if it is only now in need of that after all those miles, I'll just smile and pay some shop to fix it. Its better than a new car payment and this car still looks good. Most people never guess that it has that many miles on it unless I tell them and they they do a double take and still don't believe it. I get it a lot from the shops that service it. One last thing, don't ever skip an oil change and don't put anything less than premium in it. I put mid-grade 89 in it ONCE back in 2005 I think. . . never again. The mileage dropped to about 20 MPG and it ran like a PIG. I shudder to think what 85 would have done. I saved 10% cost on the gas (30 cents on 3$) but had to use 35% more gas to get where I needed to be (27 vs 20 mpg). It is counter intuitive to some, but you actually save money using the premium gas. That and the car will behave better and actually pass other cars when you need it. Use the gas it was designed to use.
You can get these cars for very cheap. They are extremely nice. I got mine for 3,000 from a friend of the family, it could've of easily been sold for 5,000 however. (It's really good condition) Mine has 137,000 miles on it. It's fast, I've gotten it up to 150. It's good on gas. (Unless you shift at 5k RPM like me when im trying to impress my friends -- i can watch the gas gauge go down) 18-25mpg. Please put premium in this car, yes it matters. Look it up. When you're not hot rodding this car, it still turns heads. Very nice looking. If you're worried about your kid hot rodding it like me, get them the 4cyl. This car is great. Do your kid a favor, don't get him a grandma car. get an eclipse.
Bought this car with 60k miles and put 30k miles on the car in 2.5 years before selling. All in all, the car was pretty darn reliable. I didn't have any mechanical issues besides the sun roof which is a known problem. Went to get the car inspected this summer and was told the bottom of the car was rusting out. The mechanic showed me the apple sized hole right underneath the drivers side floorboard and another spot below the gas tank and the fuel filler neck and the trunk lid! The car has some major issues here as certain areas are prone to collect water. Make sure you check these areas before you buy!
My 03' has 150K miles, purchased new in 02'. Replaced front struts within 2 months. Have replaced the brake pads and rotors 4 times. The brakes start pulsating after 3500 - 4500 miles. Also, 3 heat shields have rusted off, 1 of them within a year's time. Dealership advised me not park on dry grass. Sunroof sticks. Rusty inside engine compartment.