2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse Review

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful V6 engine, comfortable front seating, relatively roomy cargo area.
  • Hefty curb weight, sluggish acceleration on four-cylinder models, large turning circle, small backseat.
List Price
$9,500

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse is stylish and a decent performer when equipped with the V6 engine. But newer competitors offer better overall packages for the money.

Vehicle overview

For almost two decades, the Mitsubishi Eclipse has been a mainstay of the affordable sport coupe market. Originally known for its turbocharged and all-wheel-drive performance, the Eclipse has become more comfort-oriented in recent years. But thanks to available V6 power and a sporty design inside and out, the Eclipse continues to be a solid choice.

The 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse represents the car's fourth generation, on sale since 2006. This year, Mitsubishi has given the car a freshened look that takes styling cues from more expensive sports cars. The most noticeable aesthetic change is the large trapezoidal front grille, which is reminiscent of the latest Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Nissan's GT-R supercar. The 2009 Eclipse also gives up its "light focusing" headlamps in favor of projector beams, with high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps standard on the GT version. The powertrain and interior stay the same, although the GT trim level sees an extra 2 horsepower thanks to a new dual exhaust system.

These changes are minimal, however, and the 2009 Eclipse faces increasingly stiff competition from other sporty models in the $20,000-$30,000 range. The rear-wheel-drive Ford Mustang coupe gives V6-powered Eclipses a run for their money, although the Eclipse is more refined. Other moderately priced models with comparable or superior all-around performance include the Honda Civic Si and the supercharged Scion tC as well as "hot hatches" such as the Mazdaspeed3, Subaru WRX and Volkswagen GTI.

Don't get us wrong -- we still think the 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse is a good choice for buyers prioritizing good looks and decent performance at an attainable price. But we do recommend that you shop around a bit before making a final decision.

2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse models

The 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse hatchback sport coupe comes in two trim levels: GS and GT. The GS comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, cruise control, 50/50-split-folding rear seats and full power accessories. The standard six-speaker audio system includes a CD player and MP3 playback capability. An auxiliary audio jack isn't available. The V6-powered GT model bumps the wheel size up to 18 inches and adds xenon HID headlamps, foglamps, larger rear brakes, a rear spoiler, a compass and outside temperature display.

There are two major options packages for the Eclipse coupe. The Sun and Sound package, available on both the GS and GT, adds a sunroof, a rear window wiper, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, aluminum pedals, a rear cargo shelf and the compass and temperature display (GS). An especially notable addition with this package is the rockin' 650-watt Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with satellite radio, a six-CD/MP3 changer and a 10-inch subwoofer. Steering wheel audio controls are also added.

The optional Premium Sport Package is available on the GT only and includes most of the options from the Sun and Sound package, with the addition of heated side mirrors, heated leather front seats, automatic climate control and a power driver seat.

2009 Highlights

A face-lift and other exterior styling changes make their debut for the 2009 model year, including a blacked-out front bumper and a tweaked rear end with a redesigned wing. The V6 GT model gets standard stability control and a new dual exhaust system that yields an itty-bitty horsepower boost. The SE and SE-V6 models have been dropped.

Performance & mpg

The Eclipse GS comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 162 hp and 162 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with either a five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic with manual shift control. The GT's 3.8-liter V6 produces 265 hp -- a smidge more than last year thanks to the new exhaust system -- and 262 lb-ft of torque. It's teamed with either a six-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic.

Fuel economy ratings for the 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse remain respectable, albeit not phenomenal. The GS gets 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with the manual transmission (23 combined), and 20 city/26 highway with the automatic. Naturally, the V6 doesn't fare as well, with a rating of 16/25 mpg (20 combined) for the manual and 17/25 for the automatic.

Safety

The 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse offers quite a bit of standard protection, at least for those riding in the front seat. Both trim levels come with antilock brakes, front seat-mounted airbags and side curtain airbags. Open head restraints protect front occupants, but are absent in the rear. Stability control comes standard on the GT but is not available on the GS.

Driving

The Eclipse's front-wheel-drive platform and considerable curb weight mean that the car does its best work in a straight line. The GT's V6 offers plenty of power, although spirited drivers will encounter wheelspin off the line and torque steer during hard acceleration. On four-cylinder models, acceleration tends to be sluggish. Handling is sporty enough, although the large turning circle can prove frustrating. All in all, the car is like an average student who goes far in life thanks to an inherent cool factor and impressive good looks.

Interior

The interior remains unchanged on the 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse. Stylish touches, such as the flowing shape of the dash, pale blue instrument backlighting and unique door releases, still look modern but aren't made of the highest-quality materials. Front seats are comfortable and supportive, but the backseat seems more for decoration than function. Still, the hatchback body style and 50/50-split-folding rear seat make the Eclipse better than expected at carrying cargo.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Love this car
Chas,01/30/2010
GT 2dr Hatchback (3.8L 6cyl 5A)
This car is the best performance and style value on the market. I looked at many others before deciding on the Eclipse GT Spyder. This car is hands down the most fun to drive for the money you can buy. Why this car doesn't get more respect from the "Professional Reviewers" is beyond me. Buy one, you will love it!
Last Hurrah
Mulberrygal,08/07/2009
GS 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
I have had 9 Nissans in a row, mainly Sentras. I was not happy with the new look they came out with so I checked Mitsubishi. One look at the 2009 Eclipse and I was in love. I am a grandma but not ready for the rocker. This car is fast becoming my favorite ever. Hot looking, (rave red) fun driving, didn't empty my trust fund to buy it and has one of the best warranties going. I am finding reasons to go out and drive it. My car insurance only went up $60 a year from my 2006 Sentra. How could you not love this car?
Love at first sight!
Rob,03/26/2010
GS 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
This car is awesome. The price was great! Especially for a car of this year and miles it came with. Before deciding to go for the Eclipse I looked at the Mustang and the Honda Accord Coupe but both these car lose in looks and Warranty. I'm thankful I bought this car even though its the GS model it comes with many standard features. It drives like a dream very fast and peppy for a 4cyl engine. Miles per gallon are okay considering the weight of this vehicle and the safety features. Great car for the money!
I love my car
ken,09/20/2008
GS 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
Great car. Handles like a much more expensive sports car with sporty styling. Great acceleration for a 4 cylinder and truly a fun drive. It is a 2 door hatchback that makes you excited to go anywhere. I couldn't be happier with it.

More about the 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Used 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse Overview

The Used 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse is offered in the following submodels: Eclipse Hatchback. Available styles include GS 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 4A), GS 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M), GT 2dr Hatchback (3.8L 6cyl 6M), and GT 2dr Hatchback (3.8L 6cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT is priced between $9,500 and$9,500 with odometer readings between 72252 and72252 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipses 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) 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2009 Eclipses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,500 and mileage as low as 72252 miles. 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 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse.

Can't find a used 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipses you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mitsubishi Eclipse for sale - 6 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $21,580.

Find a used Mitsubishi for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $21,723.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mitsubishi Eclipse for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $14,128.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mitsubishi for sale - 3 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $9,062.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 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