2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder: Affordable roadster
The 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder has to be one of the best looking and most affordable roadsters available in Canada. It had a facelift for 2011 and arrives in both hardtop coupe and roadster form. Key changes in 2011 were the lower suspension and auxiliary input jack and stability and traction control, previously optional on the GS models and now standard on all. The GS also adds two-tone front and rear bumper fascias and 18-inch alloy wheels. Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera are added to the GT-P and the optional Sun & Sound package on the GS.
Both the Eclipse and the Eclipse Spyder convertible are available as the GS with 2.4-litre, four-cylinder engine, and as the more powerful GT-P with 3.8-litre V6. The GS uses a five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic, while the GT-P uses a six-speed manual with optional five-speed automatic.
The optional Sun & Sound package, for $3,300, adds premium Rockford Fosgate audio system with subwoofer and Sirius satellite radio; Bluetooth connectivity; rear-view camera; steering wheel-mounted audio controls; auto-dimming rear-view mirror and external temperature display are also featured.
The Eclipse Spyder GS takes away the rear wiper and split-folding rear seat. It adds black cloth semi-automatic roof; premium Rockford Fosgate audio system with subwoofer and Sirius satellite radio; Top Stack roof up/down volume compensation; Bluetooth connectivity; rearview camera and hard tonneau cover. Because the Eclipse is ensconced in rather bland, black plastic trim and black leather, I would opt for the much better-looking two-tone colour trim.
The Eclipse Spyder GT-P adds automatic climate control; xenon headlamps; aluminum scuff plate and pedals; glove box door damper; leather seats with six-way driver’s side power adjustment and exterior temperature display.
The big bucket seats are comfortable and the adjustable six-way driver’s side buttons and heat controls are simple and easy to use. The snug, tough convertible top is a power-operated affair and is smooth and fast in its use. The back seat cabin is small and the only downside of the car. A child will fit, but for adults it is not an inviting proposition. Blast the speakers and the massive Rockford Fosgate subwoofer will reverberate rear passenger’s eardrums although some may like that!
On the road the Mitsubishi Eclipse GT’s 260-horsepower MIVEC-engine is strong and willing. The manual transmission allows for smooth shifts with its nice clutch action and ample 258 lb-ft torque. The handling and nimble agility of this roadster is enhanced by the compliant suspension, which along with the excellent acceleration offers an abundance of fun and exhilarating thrills.
The Eclipse Spyder pricing starts at $30,498. Add Mitsubishi’s best in the business warranty, the visceral thrills and look of this roadster, you can’t go wrong.