Northwest NEWS

April 5, 1999

Features

Test Drive: 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS-T

1999 Spyder

The 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS-T.

   Sunny weather calls for a convertible, and the 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS-T is a fun and sporty answer.

   The test model in Sundance Plum Pearl attracted quite a bit of attention from winter-exhausted people. Front air intakes, flowing stylized side panels, full-width tail lamps, a rear spoiler, and a made-for-fun look give this car a heads-up.

   Powered by a 210-horsepower, 2.0 liter turbocharged and intercooled 4-cyclinder engine, it's peppy and well-powered. Dual engine stabilizers offset the vibrations from the engine. Electronically controlled sequential fuel injection and a hydraulic valve lash adjuster eliminate the need for periodic adjustment.

   I found the 5-speed manual transmission to be a little stiff at times, particularly going into reverse. An automatic transmission package is optional. Power assisted 4-wheel brakes improve the handling. Specifically designed as a production convertible, the Eclipse Spyder feels solid on the road with a smooth ride experience.

   The cloth top has a glass rear window with an electric defroster which works great on frosty mornings. I appreciated the ease of taking down the cloth top with just two releases on the top of the windshield and a power button. The soft vinyl tonneau cover is also easy to install. You insert the rear lip of the cover under the rear bulkhead, then place the cover front anchor channel behind the body and rear seat mounting point, and you are done.

   The leather seats, steering wheel, and shift knob give a feeling of class inside. The six-way adjustable driver's seat makes it easy to get comfortable. The dashboard is angled toward the driver and the heating/air conditioning and audio controls are easy to access for both the driver and passenger.

   An 8-speaker Mitsubishi/Infinity AM-FM stereo with both cassette and compact disc player provides the opportunity for setting the proper music mood for carefree driving.

   The hood and trunk releases are conveniently located on the floor to driver's left. I was amazed at the storage space. I was able to get all my Easter dinner groceries loaded into the trunk and back seat easily. The trunk is narrow and deep, but adequate.

   The Eclipse Spyder is a great car--we just need more sun!

1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS-T