1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse Reviews

1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS Turbo 2.0 Liter turbo from North America

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership1990
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.0 Liter turbo Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance265000 miles
Previous carToyota Starlet

Summary:

A revolutionary turbo coupe

Faults:

I loved the way this car ran, so I pretty much used it up. Keep in mind all of the work done on this car was done over a period of 13 years and 265K miles of operation.

The plastic and metal radiator separated at the seams and started to leak at 67K miles. I replaced the radiator with another factory unit that lasted as long as I owned the car.

I had the timing belt replaced at an independent shop at the recommended interval (70K miles if I remember) but the mechanics botched the timing and crashed some valves. I threatened the shop with legal action from the California Bureau of Automotive Affairs which convinced them to rebuild the entire head at their expense.

I replaced the alternator myself sometime around 75K. Somewhere around 130K the water pump began to fail and was replaced.

At about 75K miles the air conditioning clutch blew out while running the car at high speed. After that, I made a point of never running the A/C at speeds of over 90 MPH.

The second time the timing belt was replaced (around 120K miles), I had it done around 120K miles at the Mitsubishi dealership. They botched the balancer cam setting while resetting the timing and the engine ran off balance. Sort of like running a clothes dryer with a 25 lbs. turkey inside. The dealership denied that there was a problem, saying "that's the way they run after 100K miles." I threatened the Mitsubishi dealership with legal action from the California Bureau of Automotive Affairs and they did the job all over again. They got it right the second time.

The Mitsubishi Turbo (excellent inter-cooled and jacket-cooled turbo also used by Subaru today) gave up the ghost at 197K miles while under full boost. I had the turbo replaced and at the same time had a valve job done.

The car was running well when I sold it at 265K. I noticed signs of "crank-walk" beginning to develop. Crank-walk is a typical lower-end problem with the Mitsubishi 2.0 liter engines that signals the end of engine service life or a complete engine rebuild or replacement will be needed.

General Comments:

I loved this car so much I just couldn't part with it until it was used up. The 1990 Eclipse GS Turbo was the FWD turbo Eclipse. Without the heavy AWD gear, it had the best power to weight ratio of any Eclipse ever made (and was the fastest in stock dress). The first generation Eclipse also had the most aerodynamic design of any Eclipse.

Very low center of gravity on this car and it cornered like it was on rails.

This was a 60/40 Chrysler car. Assembled at Diamond Star motors in Indiana. The coachwork and trim was immaculate and deserving of a car costing three times as much.

The only downside of the car was the extreme torque-steer that pulled the car to one side during acceleration. However, I learned how to compensate for torque-steer after a couple of weeks driving the car.

In spite of dealing with mechanics who were not up to the task of maintaining a car that was very advanced for it's time, I have a lot of fond memories of Mitsubishi Eclipse GS Turbo. That was one of the truly great sports coupes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th August, 2007

29th Aug 2007, 01:37

Once again, this board chose to run a blue frown button next to my review of a car I liked very much. I don't know how I could have been more clear on this topic.

I can only guess that someone assumed I didn't like the car because I checked the box indicating I wouldn't buy from Mitsubishi again.

Well, Mitsubishi got away from building a performance-oriented Eclipse bach in the mid-1990's. The current cars are fat and comparatively slow chickmobiles.

If Mitsubishi would make a current Eclipse that is turbocharged, fast and good handling: then sure... I'd buy another. But, they don't.

1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX 2.0L turbo from North America

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.0L turbo Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.5 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance123000 miles
Previous carHyundai Sonata

Summary:

VRROOMMMM clunk clunk BOOM!!

Faults:

Problems the car had already when I bought it:

Head gasket blown

Exhaust manifold gasket blown

Ball joints shot

Turbo leaking oil

Fuel gauge not working

A/C not working

Syncs for first gear shot

Burned oil

Rear hatch shocks shot.

Problems after I had most of the previous fixed:

Alternator died on the way home from the shop after having thousand of dollars worth of work done..

Radiator exploded days later

Differential exploded. (This was the point I decided the car was costing me more than it was worth and traded it in for 500 bucks off a '99 S10)

General Comments:

I bought this car for cheap knowing it had a lot of work that needed to be done to get it running good again. Like most GS-X's it was owned by some idiot that probably ragged on it all the time so it was in bad shape. I hoped I would be able to fix the problems and have a nice good running GSX, but the car was just falling apart. I didn't feel comfortable driving anywhere due to the fear of it breaking down on me. Which it did many times in the month or two I owned it. I don't know whether to put the blame on the previous owner or Mitsubishi with my experience, but I've heard a lot of people say these cars are problematic. I've also had several friends who owned Eclipses and all of them had major problems. I guess the idea of a cheap fast car is just too good to be true.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th August, 2006

15th Aug 2006, 12:28

Eclipse turbo models are all known for their poor reliability... but you bought one that had already been "ragged on"? Why?

24th Aug 2010, 18:59

It is my understanding the the axles on these vehicles tend to snap if you rev it up and launch it, because of poor design. Any feedback on that or if you have experienced it yourself? I would appreciate any comments on the topic.

Average review marks: 6.4 / 10, based on 20 reviews