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"2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder"

The 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is one of the best convertibles for the money.

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2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Review

All new 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder

Whenever a carmaker launches a new coupe, it is not unusual that a convertible version arrives shortly thereafter. Usually, the convertible models are pleasant but ultimately not as complete a packages as the hardtop version, but in the case of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder the opposite is true.

For some odd reason, Mitsubishi has made the Spyder a much nicer car than its coupe siblings. Just take a look at the Eclipse's styling, for example. The Coupe's sporty roofline, distinctive face, and rounded, bulgy haunches are positives, however, the backside is large and totally at odds with rest of the car.

In convertible form, the canvas roof extends several inches beyond the coupe's roofline, giving the Spyder a stubbier and tidier rear end. It also looks wider and squatter overall, while its topless shape also highlights the neat design of the doors and the sporty rake of the windshield. It is just so much more visually arresting and elegant than the coupe, regardless of whether the top is up or down.

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder's interior is essentially the same as the coupe. The rear seats in both coupe and convertible derivatives are something of an afterthought, so much so that Mitsubishi did not bother to put headrests in the back of the Spyder. And the engineers even stuck an 8-inch subwoofer in the middle of the rear seatback. It is part of an impressive 650W six-CD Rockford Fosgate system that is included with every Eclipse Spyder and is just another example of how there seems to be more love in the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder than the hardtop.

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder's roof is solid and slick. Top comes down in at about 19 seconds. Two windshield rail latches have to be released before the roof can be folded away electrically. Roof-up wind noise is well suppressed, though there is still a bit of tire noise. Even with the windows wound all the way down and driving along at highway speeds, the interior remains relatively calm and free from buffeting.

On the move, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder's chassis is evident in not only the virtual elimination of cowl shake, but also in the way the car feels. At 3,472 pounds the four-cylinder convertible is about 200 pounds heavier than the coupe, but its 162 horsepower, 2.4 liter engine doesn't struggle as you might expect and compensates for its lack of power by revving happily and sipping gas sparingly in the process.

The six-speed, 260 horsepower, 3.8 liter V-6 is best avoided because a fidgety suspension and excessive torque steer makes it too much work to drive even with moderate enthusiasm.  The Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder's steering does not offer enough feedback but at least it is reasonably quick.Eclipse interior

Body control and rider quality is impressive on the 2.4 liter model too, while the five-speed manual gearbox is light and precise.

At $25,389 for the 2.4 liter and $28,269 for the V-6, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is not cheap but it somehow feels better value than the coupe because it is so much more desirable.



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