2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse

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17 CITY / 25 HWY
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What Changed for 2009:
  • Fresh new styling
  • New dual-outlet exhaust system for V-6 models
  • Horsepower bumped slightly
  • HID headlamps and stability control now standard on GT models
  • Aluminum-trimmed pedals on some GS models
  • SE models discontinued
  • New exterior color choices
Known for its sporty nature, Mitsubishi's entry-level Eclipse sports coupe is now in its fourth generation, having debuted for the 1990 model year. A while back, Eclipses came with front- or all-wheel drive (FWD or AWD). Front-wheel drive is the only choice now. Both the low-slung Eclipse hatchback coupe and its Spyder convertible companion (both body styles can seat 4 passengers) come with either 4-cylinder or V-6 power, but the V-6 engine is now rated at 265 hp. In 2008, the V-6 engine generated 263 hp in coupes, or 260 hp in convertibles. A new dual-exhaust finisher for the GT accounts for the 2-hp boost and promises more powerful sound. Like Mitsubishi's Galant sedan and Endeavor SUV, Eclipses are manufactured in Normal, IL.

Model Lineup
One model has been dropped from the 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse lineup: the SE coupe, which had the GT's V-6 engine. Otherwise, nothing has changed from the 2008 model year. Eclipse GS and GT models come in both body styles. New two-tone bumper fascias, front and rear, are supposed to give GT models a more aggressive appearance. Mitsubishi says the latest Eclipse wears the same jet fighter-inspired nose as the performance-oriented Evo sedan. A large rear spoiler is newly standard for GT editions. So are high-intensity-discharge headlights. Spyder convertibles have a power-operated, three-layer fabric top with a full inner headliner and a heated glass back window. The cloth roof stows beneath a solid cover.

Engine choices for the 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse are essentially the same as in the 2008 models. Eclipse GS coupes and Spyders hold a 4-cylinder engine, while GT versions get V-6 power. For 2009, the GT's 3.8-liter V-6 engine produces 265 hp-up from 263 in the 2008 coupe. Either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission works with the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard with V-6 power, with a 5-speed Sportronic automatic optional. On GT models, alloy wheels hold 18-inch tires.

The 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse earned EPA fuel-economy ratings of 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway (4-cylinder automatic) while the Spyder earned 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway (6-cylinder automatic).

All 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse coupes are equipped with curtain-type air bags, which protect front-seat occupants. Convertibles lack the curtain air bags, but both body styles include seat-mounted side-impact air bags. Active stability control is standard on GT models, but not available for the GS. Anti-lock braking is standard on all 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipses. Traction control is installed on GT models.

The 2007-09 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder has been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It earned \"Good\" scores (the Institute's highest) in both frontal offset and side-impact testing. The IIHS has not tested the coupe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not tested either Eclipse model.

According to the automaker, Mitsubishi was the first automotive company to offer a factory-installed audio package from Rockford Fosgate-in the 2006 Eclipse, launched in May 2005. Well-known among audiophiles, Rockford Fosgate is a designer, manufacturer and distributor of high-performance audio systems for mobile applications in the aftermarket sector. The 2009 Eclipse and Spyder are both available with a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system that includes 9 speakers and a 10-inch rear subwoofer. In addition, the system comes with a 6-disc CD changer that is MP3-compatible.


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