Inside Story: 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT P mitsubishi inside story
Inside Story: 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT P mitsubishi inside story
2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT-P V6. Click image to enlarge

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Mitsubishi Motors Canada

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Review and photos by Michael Clark

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2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Inside Story is a review of interior comfort features, cabin controls, storage options, trunk space and under-hood accessibility based on a seven-day evaluation.

Whatever happened to the sport coupe?

More specifically, what happened to the imported sport coupes that were designed beyond simply being two-door versions of an existing model – the Prelude, Celica, and MX-6, to name a few. Well, they went exactly where they were supposed to: away. That’s what any sensible automobile company will do, when they realize how small the segment has become. That makes the Eclipse somewhat of a loner in this segment. But whether sport coupe, hatch, or the fabled pony/muscle car, a two-door anything these days has a much higher expectation of practicality. Today, Inside Story reviews the V6 GT-P Eclipse coupe, the top juice with an MSRP of $34,798. (Prices shown do not include freight, taxes, regional or promotional incentives.)

The Cockpit/Centre Stack

“Subtle changes” is the best way to describe the Eclipse’s cabin, which still wears much of its ’06 debut throughout. The column portion is massive, with only tilt positioning. The generic cruise control stalk is found at the 4 pm. position. The headlamp switch, on the turn signal stalk, does not speak to the possession of an Auto lamp detent, but it does behave as such when the key is removed. An interesting addendum to the dual trip meter read-out is a tiny MPH digital speedometer display.

Inside Story: 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT P mitsubishi inside story
Inside Story: 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT P mitsubishi inside story
2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT-P V6. Click image to enlarge

A shroud at the top of the dash holds the audio information display, as well as compass heading and outside temperature. The six-CD head unit is familiar Mitsy, as is the goofiest looking set of dials ever conceived to control an Auto HVAC unit. Here’s a tip; the lettering on the AC knob shouldn’t need to turn upside down.

The six-speed manual stick operates reasonably well, though it is far from being a symphony of short-throw. And that stitching homage to baseball on the shifter knob doesn’t look any better here than the softball on the Endeavor’s automatic shift. Exterior mirrors, stability control, and HID headlamp angle are all controlled from a dash-mounted pod to the left of the driver. The HID’s have four additional steps of angle from the neutral position. Finally; a hood release pull that needs no introduction, in MIVEC V6 Valve Cover Red. The driver’s door pod provides an auto down driver’s window switch, backlit in the same blue glow as the IP pod.

Cubbies!

Question; why put a fake-out panel on a non-locking glovebox for a lock that’s never going to show up? No matter; there isn’t much room to lock anything in it, other than the owner’s lit. A major plus is the ample console box, with coin holder, and holder clips on the underside of the lid.

Inside Story: 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT P mitsubishi inside story
Inside Story: 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT P mitsubishi inside story
2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT-P V6. Click image to enlarge

iPod connectivity and/or MP3 player plug-in is available as a dealer-installed accessory. The dual cupholder has a swing-top lid, with impressive depth for the cup cavities. There are no additional storage/holder amenities in the rear seating area. Worst of all is the front door pockets, with a bottom lip so miniscule, it would have trouble hiding a Twizzler.

The Overhead

The sunroof switch needs a little bit of coaxing to reach its full opening potential. The auto-dimming mirror also houses dual map lights. Backlit vanity mirrors appear to have originated on a Ford product. The visors do slide, though travel is minimal. The overhang sunroof design always seems stop-gap, just like the satellite radio bunion on the passenger side. There has to be a way to hide this nub: perhaps a colour-coded insert on the rear spoiler/vision obscuring device.

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