1997 Eclipse

Consumer Reviews

1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse

$3,103 - $4,875  MSRP Range
1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Review Score

3.9 out of 5 stars

3.9

14 Reviews
86% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
3.4 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.1 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
3.7 out of 5 stars Interior Design
3.5 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.4 out of 5 stars Performance
5 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 14 reviews

4 out of 5 stars

What a first car

by Slider6 from Naples, Fl on Wed Feb 09 2011

I bought a '97 Eclipse from a friend of mine in my senior year of high school in 2000. It was red, had about 65,000 miles on it, and a small ding in the driver's door. I took that car on a road trip that summer with my best friend, and found it much more reliable than I would have expected from an Eclipse. However, after about my second year of owning this car, it started to develop problems, such as the engine would overheat, the material on the seats wearing down, and a myriad of small issues of the like. I finally traded it in in 2003 for a 2002 Pontiac Firebird. As much as i loved my new car, I still missed that old Eclipse, and I'm currently saving some money to try to find one that's in good condition to get that feel back that I got during that first summer with it.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
2 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Best performance

by Daily Driven Racer - Michael from Miami, FL on Mon Oct 26 2009

I've had two eclipse spyders, my first was a 96 GS, my current is a 97 GS-T. I bought it from an older couple that has kept it in a garage for a few years now and they bought the eclipse brand new in 1997, original owners. When I bought the car it held up to a 3 hour drive home, and ofcourse after that I did the maintenance(fluids, belts) and now its running top shape. Currently I'm modding up the engine. The car has been reliable even when driven full throttle. Excellent car by mitsubishi just as any of their performance cars.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Most Reliable And Fun Car I've Owned

by Beth from Texarkana, AR on Fri Aug 19 2011

I'm a second owner of this same car with the only difference being mine is manual 5 spd. with leather interior and seats. I've owned mine since 2003, and to date I've only had to replace the fuel pump, battery and a couple hoses. I do maintain it well. It had 72,000 original miles when I bought it and it just now hit 150,000. With ultra performance tires this car handles like a dream. Directional tread Hankook tires truly have helped with hydroplane issues which I had in the beginning. The inifinity stereo system has been a big plus. Sunroof/Moonroof hasn't ever leaked. The clear coat is just now wearing off exterior and I am planning to repaint this rare gem soon. Going back with the original Serano Red paint. I have had to replace the driver side exterior door handle twice, but overall it's been an excellent car, and a fun to drive 5 spd. on those curvey, mountainous roads. Mine averages about 32-34 on highway and about 30 in the city. : )

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Excellent Car, GS Spyder

by The Car Guy from Erie, Pa on Wed Sep 30 2009

This was the best car I have ever owned, and I really regret selling it. Excellent gas mileage for the performance. The exterior design was far ahead of its time, if they brought it back it would put Mitsubishi sales above Toyota's for sure. The interior wasn't comfortable, but the feeling of the components and the placement provide an awesome driving experience. The only problem that I had was the top leaked when the roof became saturated. It was the original roof and the car was ten years old. I would suggest this car to everyone who wants to enjoy driving. It really does make "just getting around" very exciting.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

i have a use 1997 mitsubishi eclipse its the best

by jose l. from worcester,ma on Wed Jun 29 2011

ita the best car i had good in gas great performance i recommend any one how want a low price sport car to buy one i am so happy with mine

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Work

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Good lil car

by Eclipsedriver from Edgewood, NM on Wed Jul 27 2011

I've owned my 97 eclipse for awhile now and it has never let me down love the exterior of the car I put projector headlights on it and also a few other things as well. I don't really like the automatic transmission that comes with the car but The 5 speed manual is amazing to drive the only problem about the 5 speed transmission is that is only 5 speed! The car feels like it needs another gear and you can feel it when you drive it on the freeway. So that one downside the other downside is it dose not have a lot of room space inside the car. But besides that it has never broken down on me and I drive about 60 miles every day with that car my car has about 142,000 miles and still has lots of power can see this car lasting over 200k miles but I probable won't get that far since the interior is just a lil too small for me.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Have had no major mechnical problems

by Hetzer from Chicago, IL on Wed Jun 13 2007

I have owned my eclipse since 97 and have had no major problems other then routine maintenance. I think the weakest part of the vehicle would be the comfort, however it is a small sporty car.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

The most "bang for the buck"

by DSM Enthusiast from North Carolina / Florida on Sat Apr 28 2007

I own the GST Spyder model, and I must say it can move. Even modern drop-tops will have problems. The 4G63 motor is stout and a beast when unleashed. But thats not all it can do. These cars could be fresh off the showroom floor today with their styling. 10 years later and they still look fresh. I always hear people making the comment "I always wanted one of those." Interior is durable, the plastics held up well for the years of use. Fade is non existant. Styling is nice, but newer cars do show in this department. Everything is right within the drivers reach and ergonomical. Rear seats....well its a sport coupe AND a convertable. I like to call those seats "Car Insurance Seats." Trunk is tight, but if you simply remove the sperator(wall between trunk and top) you will gain alot. Even with top down their is conciderable space their. All in all for what these cars go for they cant be beat.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
3 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Don't buy one in black!!!

by bowtie420 from Rahway, NJ on Fri May 29 2009

Ok... So I have no paint on my roof and surfaces on the body where there are suspension points meeting the skin surface. Bought it for 1.9K as a NE car with 140K on it. Be ready to repaint any car originally shot in Black, I here this is a "common" complaint.. Otherwise: I own a '97 RS(420a+Auto+Baseinterior): I LOVE driving it. Nothing better than driving a SLOW car FAST. The 420a is sufficient (especially w/. manual) but the 4G63 is preferable for performance. Currently have 190K on odmtr, feed it a supplemnt of STP oil treatment w./ oil change. Regular maintenance and it's TONS of fun to take around corners. Spend money on tires, and motor mounts, Then beat the crud outta them!!!

2 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
2 out of 5 starsInterior Design
3 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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3 out of 5 stars

never runs

by work on daily from middle tn on Wed Oct 14 2009

I own a 97 gst and within the first hour of owning i had a rod knock and headgasket blow. I didnt even get to get up to any kind of speed or anything. I found this out to be crankwalk ( anyone looking to buy a gst or gsx should research this first!) I have purchased a new motor , but built it this time around with a 6 bolt from an earlier model turbo eclipse. I have goen through several alternators and a starter. Broken 2 axles and the A/c only worked for a month. Maybe my car is the christine , but it always needs some kind of attention to run right. Dont get me wrong its a blast to drive especially now that i have right around 320hp it just needs alot of attention and keep up with maintence! Do NOT buy one unless you have it checked out by a mechanic first would be my suggestion.

2 out of 5 starsComfort
3 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
1 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does not recommend this car!!

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Our Take on the 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse

There are two ways to look at the 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX coupe.

The first is with lust -- hip little car, date magnet, cool wheels, that sort of thing.

The second is with buyer's remorse, as in: "Geez, wish I had the extra bucks to get a BMW Z3, Porsche 986 Boxster or Mercedes-Benz SLK."

The Eclipse GSX and its German rivals live in the same pocket-rocket town. But the Eclipse comes from the poorer, wannabe side of the tracks.

Ditto the Mazda Miata, Toyota Celica, Honda Prelude, Acura Integra and Nissan 240 SX coupes -- all hot little sportsters, all lots of fun, all discernibly wanting when compared with the German competition. Which is ironic.

Japanese models such as the Miata, Eclipse and... Read More