Pros: Roomier than previous models. GT model sports side impact bags. V6 Non-Turbo.
Cons: Window condensation. Poor rear/side visibility.
The 2001 Eclipse had it's body redesigned in 2000 by the Mitsubishi Team, saying goodbye forever to the overly rounded rear end, Eagle/Talon twin. What results is a sleeker, futuristic look that provides a big bang for the buck.
After having experienced the driving pleasure of my 94 Eclipse GS and subsequent move to a Saturn 4-door sedan in 98 for "family sensibility", I purchased a 2001 Eclipse GT as "half the fun of driving is getting there".
God I love this car!
SPORTRONIC 4-SPEED AUTOMATIC/MANUAL TRANSMISSION
The 2001 features an optional Sportronic 4-speed Automatic, which allows the driver to selectively choose between automatic and manual transmission on the fly. It's very easy to use and when driving in automatic mode, will remember your driving style in manual mode. I chose this feature because I've always driven a manual transmission, not because of the dollar savings, but because I like the feeling of having more control over the vehicle. Need to slow down quickly? Throw it into manual and downshift.
The Eclipse Turbo's last year was in 1999. Numerous problems with the Turbo such as frequent overheating resulted in the 2000/2001 GT V6. 200 Horsepower is just fine for my driving taste and a definate boost in power over my 94 GS model. Nice and peppy!
Very sleek this year and not as 'animated' as 99 and previous models. The ever present bump on the hood is smaller as is the rear spoiler which grew to great heights in 98. The fuel filler door comes standard in a funky mis-matched metallic. 17" alloy wheels are standard on the GT as is the color-key match front and rear bumpers and chrome exhaust tip.
Leather seating on the GT fixed my pet-peeve of standard cloth seating that felt like velcro getting in and out of the car. While the interior is roomier than previous models, still and all, you must recognize that the Eclipse is a sports car and that sacrifices must be made in the area of convenience, especially when it comes to carrying rear occupants. Luckily, my only rear occupant is a 7 year old who is quite happy riding in Mom's sports car. The rear seat does have a 50/50 split for access into the trunk - very nice for longer trips to get things out of the trunk while driving.
The instrument panel is laid out pretty well, at least as nicely as previous models. Air flow vents were redesigned and are much better in controlling flow and temperature. If there is an award to be given out for heaters, Mitsubishi should take first place --- they work - extremely well - almost to a fault! The GT Premium Cassette/CD/AM-FM radio is easily within reach and a pleasure to use with a 4-disc in dash CD changer and 7 speakers. There is a one-touch power sunroof and a one-touch drivers power-window. The driver's seat is a power 10-way adjustable seat with lumbar support. Leather wrapped steering wheel, leather wrapped Sportronic shifter, cruise control, remote keyless entry with alarm, outside temperature display, compass, ABS and front/side impact bags are all standard on the GT
In addition to the front/side impact bags, there is a anti-theft immobilizer that will effectively shut the engine down for 10 minutes if entry is compromised and it is attempted to start the engine without a key. Front and rear crumple zones, side impact door beams are standard.
Power assisted rack/pinion steering, 4 wheel independant suspension, power assisted 4-wheel disc brakes, front and rear stabilizer bars. This car hugs the road and stops on a dime.
3yr/36,000 mile new car warranty. 5yr/60,000 mile powertrain warranty.
CONS - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
As with the 2000 model, the 2001 also has the same problem of condensation being trapped inside the power windows. Water seepage from rain or a car wash will remain trapped inside the doors for 4-7 days. While Mitsubishi has not declared this a defect, I would think it would compromise the integrity of the door in the future when it comes to rust. Some owners have even had holes drilled into the bottom of the door to allow for condensation to escape. What does this mean to you now? A musty smell for a few seconds when rolling your windows up and down, not to mention the hassle of a water streaked window when you roll your window down 5 days after it was washed. I would hope that Mitsubishi looks into this problem that has plagued drivers for 2 years.
Rear visibility out of the side windows when backing up is minimal and extra caution must be taken to make sure that there is not an oncoming car. Sooner or later you are most likely going to get hit because of it...