The 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is a jack-of-all-trades. It can do a lot of things, though it specializes in none. On some cars, this can be a bad thing. The mediocrity of features adds up to an overall negative impression. On the Eclipse Spyder, the opposite effect occurs, and the result is a delightful little convertible that provides some good fun without breaking the bank.
The Eclipse Spyder is available with either a four-cylinder of V6 engine option, and anybody who enjoys even a remotely sporty ride should opt for the V6. The 3.8-liter engine puts out 265 horsepower, a huge boost over the 2.4-liter four’s 162. Torque outputs are also comparable, leaving the four-cylinder models with sluggish acceleration times. Fuel mileage suffers a bit in the V6, getting 16 mpg city / 24 highway versus the four cylinder’s 19 / 26, but if you’re really looking for a fun convertible, fuel efficiency is probably not your main criteria.
The cornering of the Eclipse Spyder is, as expected, not as good as the coupe. The Spyder has a slightly reinforced chassis to make up for the loss of body rigidity from getting rid of the solid roof. And, unlike many other sports cars, the Eclipse is front wheel drive. This combination leads to a very smooth and controlled ride as long as you don’t push the Spyder too hard. Again, as mentioned above, the Spyder does a lot but nothing exceptionally well. This is great for a nice relaxing cruise, but if you want to tackle a twisty mountain road, it is uninspiring.
The interior is comfortable, but not overly plush. It is simple and functional. Some of the gadgets and knobs on the front console seem a little cheap, but the car costs less than $30k, so you can’t expect too much. The cloth top is a three layer design that fits snugly and goes up or down in 19 seconds with the push of a button. Sometimes on less expensive convertibles, the designers skimp a little on the cloth top, but Mitsubishi made sure it was done right. The only bad part about it is that it slightly restricts rear visibility when the top is up.
In short, this car is a happy medium. The V6 GT model provides adequate acceleration and performance to make the 2009 Eclipse Spyder a sports car. The handling won’t have you screaming around corners, but it is comfortable and smooth in straight lines and moderate corners, making this a comforatble cruiser. The interior is nice enough, but doesn’t attempt true luxury. The final product is a nice, fun car that is definitely more than the sum of its parts.