Despite updates over the past half-dozen years, the dated design of the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse coupe and convertible earns them a Total Car Score at the bottom of the pack.
Reviewers did find a few positives, starting with the car’s muscular styling. Other noteworthy strong points include comfortable front seats and the coupe’s large cargo hold.
Unfortunately, the Eclipse’s list of shortcomings simply overwhelms those few bright spots. Specific weaknesses include engines that are both less powerful and less fuel-efficient than those of its competitors. The interior’s cramped rear seats and so-so quality materials are also disappointing. Convertible models suffer from significant blind spots with the top up and miniscule trunk volume with it down.
As the Eclipse enters its last year of production, the only significant change is the addition of a new SE model with a number of distinctive styling details.
The 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse is offered in both hatchback and convertible (aka: Spyder) body styles. The coupe is available in four trim levels (GS, GS Sport, SE and GT) and the convertible in three (GS Sport, SE and GT).
The performance-oriented GT is powered by 3.6-liter V6, which produces 265 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque and comes mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The remaining models get a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 162 hp and 162 lb-ft. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the GS and a four-speed automatic is available on the GS and standard on the GS Sport and SE.
Standard equipment on the GS base model includes keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, 18-inch alloy wheels, 50/50-split folding rear seats and a CD stereo with six speakers. The GS Sport adds xenon headlights, fog lights, a sunroof (or power convertible top on Spyder models), leather upholstery, heated front seats, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system with a six-disc CD changer, satellite radio and nine speakers.
A new-for-2012 SE trim level builds on that content with unique appearance upgrades, including blacked-out mirrors and charcoal-colored alloy wheels, matching rocker panel graphics and black mirrors. In addition to the more powerful V6 engine, the top-of-the-line GT gets a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded rear brakes and automatic climate control. A Sport Aero option package available on the top three trim levels includes special aerodynamic bodywork.
All 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse coupes fitted with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine earn EPA fuel economy estimates of 20 mpg city mpg, 28 highway and 23 mpg combined, while V6-powered coupes are rated at 17/25/20. Numbers for the Eclipse Spyder are just slightly lower at 20/27/23 and 16/24/19.
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