2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse

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$334–$6,678 Inventory Prices

Key Specs

of the 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse base trim shown

2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Except for new colors and a restyled emblem, little is new in 2002 for Mitsubishi’s sporty Eclipse coupe and convertible. Lighted vanity mirrors and a glove box lamp are now standard on the GS and GT editions.

After a decade on the market and a 1995 restyling, Mitsubishi redesigned its Eclipse hatchback sport coupe for 2000, making a V-6 engine available for the first time. A similarly styled Eclipse Spyder convertible became available a few months later as an early 2001 model. The Eclipse is built at a plant in Normal, Ill., which also has turned out the Galant sedan. In fact, the sporty Eclipse is based on the Galant’s front-wheel-drive platform, but no styling details are shared.

The Eclipse convertible is offered in either the midrange GS or the top-of-the-line GT trim level. The Eclipse coupe also is available in GS or GT form, as well as a value-priced RS trim. The GT packs a V-6 engine, while a four-cylinder powers the RS and GS. Mitsubishi sold 53,217 coupes and 17,134 Spyders in the United States in 2001, according to Automotive News.

At the Chicago Auto Show in February 2002, Mitsubishi revealed redesigned 2003 models that will go on sale later in the year. Restyling is moderate in scope. Lead Designer Dan Sims says the new front fascia has “borrowed heavily from the SST concept” vehicle.



Exterior
Bodyside and front-fascia gills, or strakes, are among the notable styling cues of the Eclipse series, which flaunts what Mitsubishi calls ...
Vehicle Overview
Except for new colors and a restyled emblem, little is new in 2002 for Mitsubishi’s sporty Eclipse coupe and convertible. Lighted vanity mirrors and a glove box lamp are now standard on the GS and GT editions.

After a decade on the market and a 1995 restyling, Mitsubishi redesigned its Eclipse hatchback sport coupe for 2000, making a V-6 engine available for the first time. A similarly styled Eclipse Spyder convertible became available a few months later as an early 2001 model. The Eclipse is built at a plant in Normal, Ill., which also has turned out the Galant sedan. In fact, the sporty Eclipse is based on the Galant’s front-wheel-drive platform, but no styling details are shared.

The Eclipse convertible is offered in either the midrange GS or the top-of-the-line GT trim level. The Eclipse coupe also is available in GS or GT form, as well as a value-priced RS trim. The GT packs a V-6 engine, while a four-cylinder powers the RS and GS. Mitsubishi sold 53,217 coupes and 17,134 Spyders in the United States in 2001, according to Automotive News.

At the Chicago Auto Show in February 2002, Mitsubishi revealed redesigned 2003 models that will go on sale later in the year. Restyling is moderate in scope. Lead Designer Dan Sims says the new front fascia has “borrowed heavily from the SST concept” vehicle.



Exterior
Bodyside and front-fascia gills, or strakes, are among the notable styling cues of the Eclipse series, which flaunts what Mitsubishi calls a geo-mechanical look that features arched lines for the hood, roof and rear end. Mitsubishi promotes the car’s “aggressive front end, muscular fender bulges and techno side strakes.” By definition, an Eclipse emphatically “evokes the human/mechanical interaction between the driver and the car.” A folded crease is prominent at the body’s hip line, and flat surfaces surround the wheel wells in an attempt to make the Eclipse look unlike any other car. A rear spoiler is standard on GS and GT models.

All Eclipses are 175.4 inches long on a 100.8-inch wheelbase. The coupe stands 51.6 inches tall, vs. the 52.8-inch height of the Spyder convertible, which has a power-operated fabric top with a glass back window and a defogger. Alloy wheels hold 15-inch tires on the RS, 16-inchers on GS models and 17-inch tires on the GT coupe and convertible. Lower-body skirts help identify the GT models, which are equipped with all-disc brakes rather than front discs and rear drums like on other Eclipses. RS models have a front stabilizer bar, while the GS and GT include a rear stabilizer bar.



Interior
The coupe and Spyder convertible seat four occupants, but the backseat is tight for adults. The coupe’s backseat folds to yield additional cargo space, while the convertible uses that volume for stowage of the fabric top. Cargo space in the coupe totals 16.9 cubic feet, and the convertible can hold only 7.2 cubic feet of luggage.

All models have standard air conditioning, power windows and door locks, a CD stereo system and an engine immobilizer anti-theft system. The GS has cruise control, remote keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and split, folding rear seats. Extra features on the GT include a cargo area light, Premium Sport fabric upholstery and integrated fog lights. Leather upholstery is optional for GT models and the GS Spyder convertible. An optional GT Premium Package adds leather front seating surfaces, a 210-watt CD stereo, a security alarm, compass and other extras.



Under the Hood
The RS and GS models pack a 147-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that is carried over from the prior Eclipse generation. The GT’s power plant is a 3.0-liter V-6 that produces 200 hp. A five-speed-manual transmission is standard on all models, and a four-speed automatic with adaptive shift control is optional. The Sportronic Sequential-Shift automatic unit in GS and GT Eclipses has a separate gate to permit manual gear changes by tipping the shift lever. This permits the driver to either keep the transmission in a lower gear through a turn or make quick downshifts when approaching a corner.



Safety
Side-impact airbags are available only as part of the optional Premium Package and only for the Eclipse GT coupe and convertible. This package also includes antilock brakes and traction control when it is installed in cars with the Sportronic automatic transmission.



Driving Impressions
Few moderately priced cars look sportier than the current Eclipse, which holds the road very well and eases through quick curves with confidence. Performance is fairly spirited and pleasantly eager, even with the four-cylinder engine and five-speed gearbox. Naturally, acceleration improves with a V-6 beneath the hood, but the front end of that model seems a trifle heavy. Even so, it yields some smooth reactions on the road with taut and accurate steering and a natural feel.

Though it’s not gentle, the ride is excellent. The Eclipse does’t have much suspension commotion down near the pavement, and engine sounds are subdued.

Headroom is somewhat limited in the coupe if a sunroof is installed. High windowsills make it difficult for the driver to hang one elbow out the window. Getting in and out of the Eclipse isn’t easy. One oddity is that the clock/radio display is mounted on top of the dashboard, which is convenient for quick glances, but the controls are positioned farther down.

This generation’s Spyder convertible is substantially more solid and tighter than its predecessor. Built originally as a convertible rather than a transformed steel-roofed coupe, the Spyder no longer feels as if it’s about to lose some parts when it hits the next bump. In fact, it delivers a highly enjoyable open-air driving experience.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Latest 2002 Eclipse Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.1)
Interior Design
(3.8)
Comfort
(3.9)
Reliability
(4.1)
Value For The Money
(3.9)

Latest Reviews

(5.0)

Fun and extremely reliable: Good value

by Braden P from Mt. Zion, IL on September 3, 2017

This website advertises the Eclipse models as V4's except the majority of them are indeed V6's. This car works great for regular commuting and makes it a whole lot more fun! Due to a decent torque, it ... Read full review

(5.0)

Love this car

by Mels from Dallas, OR on July 15, 2017

I love this car, I bought it 8 years ago. It has over 180,000 miles and still going strong. The back seat leg room is the only thing I dislike. But my teen ages sort of fit back there. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Eclipse received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker