The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a sporty, front-wheel-drive coupe or convertible that doesn't have a lot of frills or a very refined look and feel, yet it can be reasonably entertaining to drive--especially in the V-6 versions of the coupe or Spyder.
With styling that's a little less mature and refined than the balanced design of the Honda Accord Coupe or Nissan Altima Coupe, the 2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse just isn't as pretty with its mix of lines and molten-looking, curved sheetmetal. However, its aggressive, almost giddy styling might appeal to a particular type of buyer who wants attention. Last year the Eclipse got a modest restyle in the way of restyled front and rear fascias, plus an enhanced appearance and new exhaust for the GT. For 2010, the appearance of the base GS model gets dialed up with most of those changes, even in four-cylinder form.
Inside, the plain-faced dash of the 2010 Eclipse is made with good-quality materials that are fitted together well. The front seats are supportive, but the interior is intimate and many drivers might find headroom tight in the coupe; the rear seats are uncomfortable for adults.
The 162-horsepower, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that's standard on the base Eclipse GS and GS Sport quite simply struggles to keep up, and doesn't fit the Eclipse's aggressive appearance. The 265-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 that comes in GT models brings a completely different personality, with its ample torque making the 2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse feel at times like a front-wheel-drive muscle car. The four-cylinder cars offer a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, while the V-6 coupes come with a choice of a slick-shifting six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. Fuel economy for the four-cylinder model ranges up to 20 mpg city, 28 highway, but the V-6 rates at just 16/25 mpg with automatic in the Spyder.
The 2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse is based on the Galant sedan, so it doesn't handle with much finesse or brake with the same verve as true sports car rivals; that's the only truly disappointing aspect of the Eclipse if you can get past the tight cabin and slightly overstyled exterior. On the upside, the Eclipse exhibits excellent ride quality.
Stability control is now standard on the Mitsubishi Eclipse for 2010; also included are anti-lock disc brakes, side impact airbags, and side-curtain bags (except on the Spyder). Although the federal government hasn't crash-tested the Eclipse, the model receives top "good" ratings for frontal and side impact protection.
For 2010, a Bluetooth hands-free calling interface and rearview camera system are offered on the GS Sport and GT models; the GS Sport is the pick for those who want the fuel efficiency of the four-cylinder engine but are pulled in by the features on the V-6. A Rockford-Fosgate 650-watt audio system is available as part of the optional Sun & Sound Package on the GS or GT models. Other top options include heated leather seats and automatic climate control.
The Bottom Line:
The 2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse isn't particularly agile, but still offers head-turning styling with strong straight-line performance.