A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder

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In 2012 Mitsubishi says sayonara to the 22-year run of the sporty little Eclipse, and with it, the Spyder convertible. This sleek, stylish soft-top has enjoyed many years of popularity as a fairly affordable option for those with a taste for open-air driving but without the wallet to support some of the pricier competitors. The model has been edged out of the market with newer, more powerful and cost-effective options, but the carmaker gives the enduring Eclipse a proper send-off.

Key Features

Standard 18” alloy wheels, A/C, power accessories, 50/50 folding rear seat, 9-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system with auxiliary jack and steering wheel controls, and Bluetooth connectivity represent just a start to the roundup of features that come with the Spyder.

Changes for 2012

The addition of the SE (special edition) is the biggest change for the 2012 model year, and that brings with it some cosmetic upgrades like black side mirrors and some slick decals.

What We Like

The three-layer cloth power convertible roof can be opened in a mere 20 seconds. Xenon headlights, satellite radio, heated mirrors, and leather upholstery all add to the high-end feel of the Eclipse Spyder. The folding back seats mean a respectable 15+ cubic feet of cargo room.

What Concerns Us

The power just isn’t there for a car that’s trying to compete in the convertible sports segment. Most in its class can offer at least 300 HP, and the Spyder doesn’t come close. When the top is up, there’s a worrisome blind spot, and when it’s down, the cargo area gets cut to just over 5 cubic feet. The back seats are not comfortable for adults on the tall side. If you’re going to be a four-seater, at least act like one.

Available Models

The Spyder is available in the GS Sport, and SE trims with a 2.4L 4-cylinder 4-speed automatic with 162 lb.-ft. torque, 162 HP, and 20/27 mpg.

The Spyder GT comes with a 3.8L V6 5-speed automatic sitting at 262 lb.-ft. of torque, 265 HP, and 16/24 mpg.

Major Recalls

There are no recalls available for this model.

Common Issues

Complaints are rare, although there have been some people who report (anecdotally, in online forums) that they’ve experienced issues getting the convertible top to close. If this occurs, owners should consult the manual for instructions on closing the top manually.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder 2012 Interior


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Excellent, knowledgeable, hands-on, and experienced mechanic. Polite, helpful, focused and answers any questions. Examines everything thoroughly and explains what he is doing and offers immediate insight. Great energy, hard-working and provides great support for pre-purchase inspection. I'm a professor and do my own research but wanted the added confidence of a good mechanic who could see and inspect every detail that mattered. This is the guy I want to be working with as far as cars are concerned. I'll be hiring him to do all my inspections, until I get my car. Then I'll hire him as the mechanic for my car. Then I'll repeat when its time for my daughter's car etc. When he found a problem, he showed me, and explained, and then had me test it out. Then he would show me the variations. At the same time, he was efficient. He did his job well and moved from task to task, and didn't linger over random discussion, and conscientiously moved from one inspection to the next in a timely manner. He was looking for everything that might be wrong and made a good remark when something was right and showed me what he meant. When we went for a test-drive he felt out the entire set of behaviors that should matter to a person interested in a good engine, in good performance, and in safety. At the end of the day, people who love their work do it extremely well. I would say Atilla represents that kind of person and he was a pleasure to work with.
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I recommend Jason. I know little about cars and needed him to check out a car for me. Jason did a pre purchase car inspection for me. He explained what looked good and what looked to be of concern about the car. If it was a concern, he explained what needed to be done to get the car in good shape before the purchase. He had all the equipment to check out the car. I would book him again for any other services as he knows what he's doing and is friendly.
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