Monday, March 10, 2014

Used Car Review - Mitsubishi Eclipse (2007-2011)

Summer is near and Myk Belmonte gives you a suggestion for something pleasurable to drive.

2007-2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse

According to everyone's best friend in the web named Wikipedia, an eclipse "is an astronomical event that occurs when an astronomical object is temporarily obscured". Other referrals to the word may include a song by Bonnie Tyler and one of the film adaptation of a popular novel series by Stephanie Meyer. However, let us not delve far from the car we are talking about here.

Launched in 1991 as a shared model with the Plymouth Laser and Eagle Talon, the Eclipse had gone through four generations but starting with the third it became an independent model, mostly sharing parts and its platform with the Galant. The 4G Eclipse was first made available in 2006 in either 4-cylinder or V6 engine and coupe or convertible bodies. It grew in size but carried a less desirable driving characteristics (more on this later). As with the Endeavor and US Galant, the Eclipse hit the graveyard after 20 years of existence due to sagging sales.

Nearly 10 years after the 2G Eclipse's local release, Mitsubishi offered this one as a niche model alongside the Lancer Evolution. It was silently dropped after four years in the line-up, which saw the rise of the category the following year due to the arrival of the Toyota 86 and Ford Mustang.

Value and Costs
Imports from the US (which is fine) and locally purchased units would cost you P1,000,000-P1,500,000, a reasonable price for a two door coupe sold in limited quantities.

Fuel consumption is on the lower side given the larger engine, which is expected in this class. Parts availability would be limited to the dealership especially this is a low volume vehicle.

Exterior and Interior
Although it looks less aggressive than before, sleek curves are still the spotlight of the Eclipse. While the coupe comes stock locally, US models can be customized with various accessories that fits the buyer's personality and lifestyle.

Despite a slung exterior design, the front seats fits anyone just right while the rear is a generalization of all coupes - reserved for kids. A space era themed interior which is complemented by an instrument panel and controls with a blue hue. Don't fret, a sunroof, leather seats, and a Rockford Fosgate sound system are standard.

A wise decision by Mitsubishi is to bring the 6G75 3,828 V6 having 267hp at 5,750rpm and 357Nm at 4,500rpm at tap, since the other option - a naturally aspirated 4-cylinder - is sluggish at best. It is powerful but does it ignite driving excitement? To the next paragraph.

Driving Impressions
No thanks to a heavy body and a front wheel drive layout, it wouldn't want curved roads for lunch but prefers straight roads for its diet. Handling is sporty enough to fulfill your fantasies, though. Americans like straight lines but enthusiasts prefer the other way around.

Just like someone getting older, the Eclipse went far from its memorable experience. While it may have some fans, the appeal is very limited. If you want something fun to drive, consider other choices first before arriving to a decision.

The Good:
  • Spacious cabin
  • Relaxed driving dynamics
  • Powerful V6
The Bad:
  • Heavy
  • Backseat is small
  • Large turning circle
The Pick: V6

Engine: 3,828cc 6G75 V6 gasoline
Power: 267hp @ 5,750rpm
Torque: 357Nm @ 4,500rpm
Fuel Consumption: 6-7km/L (city), 8-10km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear independent multi-link

Price (New): P2,500,000-P2,550,000
Price (Now): P1,000,000-P1,500,000
Rivals: Hyundai Coupe, Hyundai Genesis Coupe
On Sale: 2007-2011

Citimotors Makati - (02) 892-0331
Diamond Motors Marcos Highway - (02) 645-4801
Diamond Motors Valle Verde - (02) 671-9190

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