Sticker . $21,979.
Power . 210 horsepower
0 to 60 . 6 to 7 sec.
Test Mileage . 20.6 mpg
Seating . 2 + 2 felines
Trunk . 16.6 cubic feet
Parking . So Sad
This one is a wild child. Spunky space module styling that flows in curves and swells in places like an insect in heat. It is aggressive and attractive at the same time. A provocative look that dares you to turn it up and blast out here, now. Squat, aerodynamic, organic and sensuous the Eclipse has a fresh face and a frolicsome come on that is hard to resist. You know it's fast and you want to find out, just how fast.
Slide in and you are wrapped in dash and presented with an array of controls which if not exactly in your face, certainly are not to be ignored. Spun to life the high tech turbo unit has an instant response and an angry growl as the front skins scramble for more traction and the slick coupe shots forward like a special effects trick. 210 ponies are just too much to keep in total control. Press on and the tiny missile flies by any speed limit in the land in short order. There is a delightful skitishness to the sensation that keeps the adrenaline pumping without really getting into trouble. Panther-like agility and good control feel keep a tight rein on the rambunctious nature of the GS-T. The AWD GS-X model keeps a better lid on things, but I enjoy the exuberance of the front wheel drive-only GS-T. Very satisfying, low level flying with the confidence of ground hugging radar.
Living with the Eclipse should prove interesting, as long as you don't need much of a back seat, which might hold a pair of cats in a pinch. Enough space to backpack the high Sierra under the fastback hatch. Well made and finished, the quality fit the price. Cozy cabin, kickin' tunes and taut leather make for a happy home away from home. Neatly tech dash, but the auxiliary gauges were too squinty for best readability.
Small coupes come in many flavors these days. The Eclipse offers a particular kick - small, tight turbo coupe with a need for speed that loves and flaunts serious curves. If that rings your bell, this one's for you.