2000 Eclipse New Car Test Drive
Mitsubishi's Eclipse has entered the main stream for model year 2000. We loved last year's radical styling, violent, turbocharged response, and optional all-wheel-drive. But this year, that's all gone. In its place is a normally aspirated V6 engine that delivers smooth, linear power, a new body style and, overall, a more comprehensive package that broadens the appeal of the Eclipse. The good news is that it's just as much fun to drive as it was before. And it's less likely to spill your coffee on the way to work.
Three models are available: RS, GS and GT.
RS and GS models come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 154 horsepower and a healthy 163 foot-pounds of torque at 4000 rpm. At just $17,697, the RS is the entry-level Eclipse, but it comes with a plethora of features that make it attractive: 15-inch alloy wheels, power windows and locks, an interior air filtration system and AM/FM/CD. An automatic brings the total to $18,497.
The $19,047 GS comes with a higher level of equipment, including 16-inch alloys with 205/55HR16 tires for more grip, a rear stabilizer bar for sportier handling (less understeer), fog lamps, power mirrors, power sunroof, cruise control, remote keyless entry, a better stereo, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, adjustable lumbar support and the all-important split folding rear seat. Rear spoilers cost about $400.
While the RS and GS make good sport coupes, the GT is a real stand out. Its new V6 delivers 205 horsepower and 205 foot-pounds of torque -- more than enough to give the Eclipse GT the performance it deserves. It comes with aggressive 17-inch tires along with suspension and brake upgrades to help keep the increased power on the pavement. Eclipse GT retails for $20,187. A GT Premium leather package adds $1,750.