Used 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse
- Avant-garde styling, one of the few convertibles in its price range, powerful V6 in GT, comfortable front seats, relatively roomy cargo area.
- Poor outward visibility with convertible, sluggish acceleration with GS models, torque steer with GT, small backseat, no telescoping wheel, lackluster interior quality.
Edmunds' Expert Review
The dearth of similarly priced convertibles makes the Eclipse Spyder worth a look. The 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse coupe, however, just can't keep up with the latest sport coupes and hot hatches.
The 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse is one of the last of its breed. Gone are the days of inexpensive, front-drive sport coupes hailing from Japan like the Acura RSX, Honda Prelude and Toyota Celica. Tastes have changed and corporate priorities have shifted. Today, there's been a renaissance of inexpensive fun cars, but most belong to the hot hatch genre. But for those who scoff at a dorky hatch and yearn for those good ol' days of the sport coupe, the 2011 Eclipse is a pleasant relic. It's also one of the few convertibles in its price range.
Since the moment it was introduced four years ago, the current Eclipse coupe and Spyder convertible have primarily stood out because of their outrageous styling, highlighted by a radically raked windshield, forward-sloping beltline and round, curvaceous rear end. A nifty touch is the GS models' clear rear lip spoiler, while the GT can be equipped with a funky two-tone interior scheme reminiscent of a Creamsicle.
Sadly, though, that's mostly where the Eclipse's desirability ends. Its standard four-cylinder doesn't move the heavy coupe and convertible with any semblance of authority and its fuel economy isn't especially impressive. The big V6 found in the GT boasts robust power, but it overwhelms the front wheels with torque steer. The Eclipse coupe's handling is also a far cry from the Chevy Cobalt SS and Honda Civic Si (the other sport coupe relics) or hot hatches like the Mazdaspeed 3, Mini Cooper S and VW GTI.
The Eclipse interior is nice to look at, but upon closer inspection, you'll discover unappealing hard materials. Common features like a telescoping steering wheel, rear seat head restraints and a navigation system aren't available, and there's also significantly less backseat room than in most competitors.
Of the two Eclipse models, the Spyder is the more appealing of the two simply because there's a dearth of competition. Those that are similarly priced (Ford Mustang, Mini Cooper, VW Eos) are dramatically different types of drop tops. We think they're all worth a look.
As for the coupe, as much as we fondly remember the Mitsubishi Eclipse's good old days, the 2011 version is but an interesting-looking shell of its former self. We'd be hard pressed to pick one in lieu of the 2011 Honda Civic Si and Cobalt SS, or the rear-drive 2011 Chevrolet Camaro, 2011 Ford Mustang and 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe. If you care more about fuel economy and a low price, the 2011 Kia Forte Koup and Scion tC are appealing alternatives as well. Also, don't be so quick to dismiss those hot hatches. Times have changed and inexpensive sporty cars have evolved. The Eclipse may be a pleasant relic, but it's a relic nonetheless.
2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse configurations
The 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse is available in two body styles: coupe and Spyder convertible. Both seat four people and are available in GS Sport and GT, while the Coupe adds a base GS trim.
The GS comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, keyless entry, cruise control, full power accessories, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 50/50-split rear seatback and a six-speaker sound system with CD player. The GS Sport adds xenon headlights, foglights, a sunroof, heated power mirrors, heated leather front seats, a six-way power driver seat, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system with six-CD changer, satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack and steering wheel controls. The Spyder includes a power convertible roof. The GT adds a standard V6 engine, bigger rear brakes, a bigger rear stabilizer bar, large rear spoiler (coupe only) and automatic climate control. There are no significant factory options, though an iPod adapter is one of several dealer-installed accessories.
Performance & mpg
Every 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse is front-wheel drive. GS models are powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 162 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. The GS comes standard with a five-speed manual, while a four-speed automatic is optional on the GS and standard on the GS Sport. Estimated fuel economy with the automatic is 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined.
The Eclipse GT gets a 3.6-liter V6 good for 265 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic is standard. This engine requires premium fuel and its estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined.
The 2011 Eclipse comes standard with four-wheel antilock brakes, stability control and front seat side airbags. The coupe features front side curtain airbags and the Spyder gets taller side airbags that cover occupants' heads. There are no rear head restraints. The Eclipse Spyder received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's top rating of "Good" in both the frontal-offset and side crash tests.
For many drivers, the 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse's driving dynamics may be a bit of a disappointment. The GT's V6 produces plenty of power, but getting all those horses to the pavement can often result in a large dose of wheelspin and torque steer. In contrast to the V6, the four-cylinder struggles with the Eclipse's heavy curb weight -- acceleration with the smaller engine could best be described as anemic.
Another item of contention would be the large turning circle, which necessitates many more multiple-point turns than with other vehicles. Overall handling should satisfy most drivers, but those with an appetite for performance would likely find inspiration in any number of competing sport coupes or hatchbacks. The Spyder exhibits a little more chassis flex over bumps than we'd like, but it's not enough to spoil an otherwise enjoyable driving experience.
The Eclipse's cabin is both stylish and simple, thanks to a sweeping dash and attractive chrome-rimmed gauges with cool blue backlighting. Unfortunately, this pleasingly modern design is tempered by the use of some low-quality plastic materials and a steering wheel that doesn't telescope. The front seats are well-contoured and supportive, but the upright rear seats have no head restraints and they fail to provide much headroom (especially with the sloping rear hatchback of the coupe). That hatchback design does provide some extra utility, however, as do the 50/50-split-folding rear seats.
The Spyder features a three-layer convertible cloth top. Dropping it is a cinch. Release the header latches, hit a button and the top stows itself under the solid tonneau cover in 19 seconds, and it goes up just as rapidly. Unfortunately, this design severely limits rear visibility with the top up, and limits trunk space to only 5.2 cubic feet.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Used 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse Overview
The Used 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse is offered in the following submodels: Eclipse Hatchback. Available styles include GS 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 4A), GS-Sport 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 4A), GS 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M), and GT 2dr Hatchback (3.8L 6cyl 5A).
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Should I lease or buy a 2011 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.