2013 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder: Iconic ragtop still impresses

Come on convertibles are cool! But some are cooler than others. I’m not talking about the big buck offering from the Italians or the Germans that remain out of the league of many of us, but more about affordable ragtops that are just not spun off boxy sedans. This where the 2013 Mitsubishi Spyder Eclipse shines as it is a curvaceous swoopy coupe that screams good looks and traditional svelte roadster styling.

In 2011, the Mitsubishi Eclipse and Eclipse Spyder received a mild facelift. Slightly lower suspension and auxiliary input jack; stability and traction control, previously optional on the GS models, is now standard on all. For 2012 changes to the Mitsubishi Eclipse Coupe and Spyder are minimal, with the rear wing spoiler removed from the GT-P and a new Quick silver paint added and Solar yellow deleted. The GS also adds two-tone front and rear bumper fascia’s and 18-inch alloy wheels. Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera are added to the GT-P and the optional Sun & Sound package on the GS.

Both the Eclipse and the Eclipse Spyder convertible are available as the GS, with 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, and as the GT-P, with 3.8-litre V6. The GS uses a five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic, while the GT-P uses a six-speed manual with optional five-speed automatic. A small rear seat remains, but is a best vestigial for adults.

The optional Sun & Sound package, for $3,300, adds premium Rockford audio system with subwoofer and Sirius satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, rear-view camera, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and external temperature display are also featured.

The Eclipse Spyder GS is kitted out similarly to the Eclipse GS, but deletes the rear wiper and split-folding rear seat. It adds black cloth semi-automatic roof, premium Rockford audio system with subwoofer and Sirius satellite radio, Topstack roof up/down volume compensation, Bluetooth connectivity, rearview camera, and hard tonneau cover.

The Eclipse Spyder GT-P adds automatic climate control, xenon headlamps, aluminum scuff plate and pedals, glove box door damper, leather seats with six-way driver’s side power adjustment, and exterior temperature display.

The interior is sporty with a sporty looking dash and dials and well laid-out console. At night the glowing blue affects that light up the cabin with a comforting glow.

The big bucket seats are comfortable and the adjustable six-way driver’s side buttons and heat controls are simple and easy to use. The snug, tough convertible top is a power operated affair that is secured manually by two roof clips and operated by pushing a button. With some whirring and clicking the ragtop (complete with rear glass window) folds and emerges nicely from its own rear compartment.

With the top down, the Mitsubishi Spyder has to be one of the best looking roadsters on the planet with its tight muscular flanks, bulging hip and sweet sensual curves.

The back seat cabin is tight to say the least and you may be able to squeeze an adult back there, but it’s an unenviable proposition! Kid will fit however. The large rear Rockford Fosgate subwoofer dominates rather grandly instead If there is one criticism of the interior it is probably the sea of black plastic that dominates most of the surfaces and I would much recommend the optional two-tone color trim to break up the interior.

On the road the Mitsubishi Eclipse is very impressive and it has no shortage of power. Torque-steer under rapid acceleration is still present, but when driven moderately is not a problem. The GT’s 260-horsepower MIVEC-enhanced V6 combined with the six-speed manual transmission allows for smooth shifts with its nice clutch action and ample 258 lb-ft torque.

Handling is good and acceleration is excellent and a high point in the Spyder. On twisting roads with the top down the Eclipse Spyder is a very pleasant car to drive. There’s little wind buffeting in the cabin (with the side windows up) and you can have a conversation and hear the premium audio system easily.

To sum up the Eclipse Spyder is a very beautiful, visually stimulating car to own and drive and Mitsubishi offer a great warranty and a pretty reasonable price for the car. Pricing starts at $30,498 which is a steal as they are not building such superb looking affordable rag top cars like this anymore. So snap it up before it is gone! This is a future classic.

2013 Mitsubishi Eclipse priced from $30,498

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