Though Mitsubishi opened dealerships in the United States in 1982, their vehicles did not garner much interest until the introduction of the Eclipse in 1990. The Eclipse replaced the Starion sport coupe, which most Americans had taken little to no notice of. The new coupe, however, was the result of a joint venture between Mitsubishi and Chrysler and was an affordable, agile and compact sports car. It was originally available in 5 styles, including the GSX turbo which was available in all wheel drive with all other models being equipped with front wheel drive. The compact coupe was equipped with either a 1.8 liter inline 4 cylinder or a 2.0 liter inline 4 cylinder engine, with top of the line models featuring an outstanding turbo charged engine. Although there was a backseat in this technically four passenger vehicle, it was small and uncomfortable for adults. From the front, the instrument panel and seats were contoured nicely, wrapping around the driver in true sports car fashion, while the front seat passenger had ample room from which to sit back and enjoy the ride.
There have been four generations of the Mitsubishi Eclipse, though changes have were relatively minor until the third generation was introduced in 2000. The new Eclipse was no longer available with all wheel drive or a turbocharged engine, however three trim styles were available-the RS, GS and GT- which were now equipped with a 2.4 liter inline 4 or a more robust 3.0 V6 engine. The 2000 models sported a new suspension system and a bevy of new standard and optional features that included an anti theft system, alloy wheels, power windows and door locks and an adjustable drivers seat. Upscale models included a power sunroof, fog lights and a split folding rear seat. Additional improvements for the 2000 model year include improved quality interior materials. The design was spunky, genuinely attractive and definitely attention grabbing.
In 2006 the forth generation of Eclipse debuted with a widened wheel base which improved handling. The inside gained a little more front seat head and shoulder room and the interior materials now consisted of much better quality materials. The fun and speedy factor was further enhanced with the 2.4 liter engine upping the horsepower to 162 and a 3.8 liter V6 engine that delivered 263 horsepower. Standard equipment on both the GS and GT models included keyless entry, rear spoiler and a superior audio system with CD player.
The 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse has been furthered enhanced with an SE trim level to accommodate drivers who prefer the fuel efficient 4 cylinder with a good portion of the sport features and options that had previously only been available on the 6 cylinder models like leather upholstery and an upgraded sound system. Buyers seeking a fuel efficient compact car with enhanced performance features will not be disappointed in the Eclipse.