10 Amazing Features of the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse

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10 Amazing Features of the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse

I’ve always admired the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse for its audacious spirit.

As a car enthusiast with a deep appreciation for technical prowess, I’m thrilled to dissect its top-tier features.

With a blend of informed analysis and extensive brand knowledge, I’ll guide you through the remarkable attributes that make this model stand out.

If you’re seeking automotive mastery, join me in exploring the intricate details that define the Eclipse’s legacy in the sports coupe realm.

Key Takeaways

  • The 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse features an aggressively styled front fascia and revamped rear end, with a high-mount spoiler and new taillights, giving it a sleek and aggressive stance.
  • The GT variant of the Eclipse is equipped with a robust 3.0L V6 engine, delivering 200 horsepower and 205 lb-ft of torque, while the base model comes with a 2.4-liter I4 engine, producing 147 horsepower. The GT variant offers a more powerful and performance-oriented powertrain compared to the base model.
  • The 2003 Eclipse offers impressive safety features for its time, including standard front airbags and optional side-impact airbags, anti-lock brakes (available but not standard in all models), and Mitsubishi’s efforts in structural integrity for enhanced occupant protection. It earned a four-star rating in frontal-impact tests conducted by NHTSA.
  • The 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse has become increasingly rare due to its age and natural attrition. Well-maintained examples are sought after by collectors and Mitsubishi aficionados. The GT variant, with its robust 3.0L V6 engine and option for a manual transmission, is particularly rare.


The Mitsubishi Eclipse’s evolution reached a distinctive milestone with the 2003 model, marking the third generation of this sporty coupe’s history. As an enthusiast, I’ve closely followed the trajectory of Mitsubishi cars, and the Eclipse model in particular has always piqued my interest. This iteration brought a more refined aesthetic and enhanced performance capabilities. Mitsubishi retained the Eclipse’s essence but infused it with a fresh design language that appealed to both loyal fans and new consumers.

Mechanically, the 2003 Eclipse showcased improved suspension tuning for sharper handling, and the GT variant featured a robust 3.0L V6 engine, offering a more spirited driving experience. It’s clear that Mitsubishi aimed to solidify the Eclipse’s position in the sport compact segment with these targeted upgrades.

What’s New for

While exploring the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse, I’ve noticed several key updates that set this model apart from its predecessors. The latest iteration of the Eclipse boasts enhancements that cater to the discerning eye of a performance enthusiast.

The 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse specifications reflect a refined aesthetic with an aggressively styled front fascia and revamped rear end, which now features a high-mount spoiler and new taillights.

Performance-wise, the GT variant of the Eclipse received a power boost, thanks to tweaks in the 3.0-liter V6 engine that now pushes more horsepower.

Additionally, Mitsubishi has introduced advanced safety features and interior upgrades, including a premium audio system and improved material quality, cementing the Eclipse’s reputation as a compelling choice within its segment.

Why you should consider it

In my quest for a performance-oriented coupe, I’ve found the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse to be an outstanding option due to its enhanced powertrain, stylish design updates, and the inclusion of more sophisticated safety features. As an informed enthusiast, I recognize the Eclipse’s blend of agility and robust engineering, setting it apart from contemporaries within the Mitsubishi cars lineup.

Aspect Detail
Powertrain Enhancement Robust 3.0L V6 engine
Design Updates Aerodynamic, modern aesthetics
Sophisticated Safety Advanced airbag system
Performance Credentials Sport-tuned suspension

For those considering a Mitsubishi Eclipse for sale, the 2003 model provides a perfect balance of style, power, and reliability. It stands as a testament to Mitsubishi’s commitment to driving excellence, making it a savvy choice for the discerning driver.

What People Ask

I’ve noticed enthusiasts often inquire about the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse’s market value, which hinges on factors like condition and mileage. They’re curious if it qualifies as a sports car; its performance specs and design clearly place it in that category.

Questions about rarity and engine configurations, like the presence of a V6, are also common, reflecting the model’s varied trim levels and collector interest.

How much does a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse go for

I’m curious about the current market value of a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse, as prices can vary widely based on condition, mileage, and location. Typically, you’d expect a well-maintained Eclipse from this year to fetch anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 on the secondhand market. However, if you’re looking at a model with significant wear or high mileage, the price can dip below that range.

Factors like the vehicle’s trim level, whether it’s the GS, GT, or GTS, and the presence of original components or modifications also play a crucial role in determining its worth. Enthusiasts and collectors might pay a premium for a stock Eclipse in pristine condition, particularly for the GT or GTS models due to their more powerful engines and sportier features.

Is a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse a sports car

As we delve into the classification of the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse, it’s clear that this model holds a special place in the hearts of sports car enthusiasts. The Eclipse’s sporty styling, with its sleek lines and aggressive stance, aligns with the aesthetic expectations of a sports car. Under the hood, the available V6 engine option provides a robust powertrain that propels the Eclipse with enough gusto to satisfy spirited driving.

However, it’s also important to acknowledge that the base model, equipped with a four-cylinder engine, doesn’t quite deliver the performance purists seek. With its front-wheel-drive layout, the Eclipse diverges from the rear-wheel-drive configuration traditionally associated with sports cars.

Nevertheless, it’s the combination of its design, potential for performance upgrades, and accessible price point that grants the 2003 Eclipse its sports car credentials among a segment of aficionados.

Are Mitsubishi Eclipses rare

How often do you come across a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse on the roads today, given their distinct position in the sports car realm?

These models are becoming increasingly scarce, as their production cycle ended several years ago, and many have been retired from active service.

As a connoisseur of the brand, I recognize that the Eclipse’s rarity is partly due to its age, as well as the natural attrition of vehicles over time.

Those still in circulation often belong to enthusiasts who appreciate the car’s unique blend of style and performance.

The 2003 Eclipse, with its robust 3.0L V6 engine and the option for a manual transmission, is particularly sought after, making well-maintained examples a rare find—a gem for collectors and Mitsubishi aficionados alike.

Is Mitsubishi Eclipse a V6

One of the most common questions I get asked is whether the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse comes with a V6 engine. Indeed, it does. The 2003 Eclipse was available with a 3.0-liter 24-valve SOHC V6 engine, which was a notable powerplant of its time. This engine, specifically, could deliver up to 210 horsepower in the GT trim level and was paired with either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission, offering a balance of efficiency and performance.

The V6 option provided a robust power curve and torque-rich performance, distinguishing it from the base 2.4-liter inline-four engine variant. When considering the engineering behind this V6, Mitsubishi’s focus on creating a sporty driving experience within the Eclipse lineage becomes evident.


I often find myself fielding questions about how much it cost to own a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse, especially when considering the added appeal of the V6 engine.

The initial MSRP for the base model hovered around the low $20,000s, while the GT variant, encompassing the V6 powerplant, edged towards the mid-$20,000s.

It’s crucial to assimilate the nuances of market depreciation, which currently positions a well-maintained model in the realm of $3,000 to $5,000, depending on mileage, condition, and location.

Understanding the performance-to-cost ratio is key for enthusiasts seeking mastery over their automotive investments. The 2003 Eclipse’s pricing reflects a balance of sporty aesthetics, reasonable power output, and Mitsubishi’s commitment to reliability.

Even today, it represents a cost-effective entry into the sport compact segment.


Turning our attention to the features of the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse, it’s clear that the engineering team focused on delivering a balanced blend of performance and comfort.

Under the hood, the Eclipse offered a choice of robust powertrains that catered to a variety of driving preferences, while the interior design and tech amenities kept pace with early 2000s standards.

We’ll examine how these features stand up in terms of fuel efficiency, cabin space, and safety ratings, providing a comprehensive look at what made this model a standout in its class.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

My exploration of the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse’s amazing features leads me to its heart: several engine options that offer a balance of power and efficiency. The base model comes equipped with a robust 2.4-liter I4 engine, producing a respectable 147 horsepower. For those seeking more vigor, the GT variant boasts a 3.0-liter V6, cranking out 200 horsepower and 205 lb-ft of torque. It’s a powerplant that provides a spirited driving experience without compromising on fuel economy.

Coupled with these engines, the Eclipse offered a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission, catering to both enthusiasts and those who prioritize convenience. The precision in gear ratios and the smoothness of the power delivery were reflective of Mitsubishi’s commitment to an engaging drive.

Fuel Economy

Despite its performance capabilities, the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse also offers impressive fuel economy, with the base model achieving up to 23 miles per gallon in the city and 32 on the highway.

This efficiency stems from a meticulously engineered 2.4-liter SOHC 16-valve inline-4 engine, paired with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain’s calibration is optimized to balance the need for responsiveness with fuel conservation, a testament to Mitsubishi’s commitment to providing a sports coupe that doesn’t sacrifice economy for exhilaration.

It’s this harmonization of fuel dynamics with the Eclipse’s spirited nature that underscores its appeal to enthusiasts who are conscious of fuel consumption without wanting to compromise on the driving experience.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Exploring the interior of the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse, I’m immediately struck by the thoughtful balance between comfort and practicality, offering a surprisingly spacious cargo area for a sports coupe. The cabin is designed with ergonomics in mind, featuring contoured seats that provide ample support during spirited driving. Mitsubishi’s utilization of space is evident with the 50/50 split-folding rear seats, which expand the cargo capacity, making it versatile for various loading needs.

Materials and build quality are respectable for its class, with tactile controls that feel solid to the touch. The dashboard layout is intuitive, ensuring that primary functions are within easy reach. Moreover, the Eclipse’s interior dimensions don’t compromise on headroom or legroom, which is an achievement considering its sleek exterior profile.

Infotainment and Connectivity

I’ve found the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse’s infotainment system to be straightforward, offering essential connectivity options without overwhelming the driver. The stock unit typically includes an AM/FM radio, CD player, and sometimes a cassette player, reflecting the era’s technology. Auxiliary inputs weren’t standard at the time, so those looking for modern media integration might need aftermarket solutions.

Mitsubishi, understanding their target market, focused on delivering a reliable audio experience rather than pioneering cutting-edge technology. The sound system, often accompanied by six speakers, provided a balance between quality and value. While it lacks today’s touchscreens and smartphone integration, the simplicity of the Eclipse’s system ensures minimal distractions, allowing drivers to focus on the pleasure of driving while enjoying the fundamental entertainment features of the early 2000s.

Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings

Transitioning from the basic entertainment offerings, I’m now turning my attention to the safety features and crash test ratings of the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse, which were quite impressive for its time.

Engineered with a robust suite of safety options, the Eclipse included standard front airbags and optional side-impact airbags, which added a layer of protection beyond the basic requirements. It’s important to note that while anti-lock brakes were available, they weren’t standard across all models, necessitating a selective approach for those prioritizing comprehensive safety systems.

In crash test evaluations, the Eclipse earned respectable scores, particularly in frontal-impact tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which awarded it a four-star rating. These outcomes, combined with Mitsubishi’s efforts in structural integrity, rendered the Eclipse a noteworthy option in terms of occupant protection during its era.

2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse
2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Reliability and Maintenance

Moving beyond safety, I’ll now delve into the reliability and maintenance features that bolstered the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse’s reputation for dependability.

Mitsubishi engineered the Eclipse with a robust 2.4L SOHC 16-valve inline-4 engine, known for its long service life and resistance to wear. The powertrain was a paragon of durability, with many units surpassing the 200,000-mile mark without major overhauls. Moreover, the Eclipse’s timing belt, a critical maintenance item, had a replacement interval that could stretch to 60,000 miles – a testament to its quality.

The vehicle’s onboard diagnostics system facilitated preemptive maintenance, alerting owners to potential issues before they escalated. This proactive approach, combined with the availability of affordable replacement parts, ensured that maintaining the Eclipse remained cost-effective and straightforward for enthusiasts and daily drivers alike.

Common issues

Despite its impressive features, I’ve encountered a few common issues with the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse, including transmission problems and electrical glitches. Here’s a concise breakdown:

  • Transmission Failure: The automatic transmission may start slipping or fail entirely, necessitating a rebuild or replacement.
  • Electrical Issues: Faulty wiring can lead to erratic behavior of dash instruments and exterior lights.
  • Engine Overheating: Inadequate cooling can cause the engine to overheat, often due to a failing radiator or thermostat.
  • Suspension Noises: Wear and tear on suspension components can result in clunks and rattles, especially in the front end.
  • Oil Leaks: Valve cover gaskets and camshaft seals are prone to leaking, requiring vigilant monitoring and timely gasket replacements.

Each of these issues can be mitigated with proper maintenance and early detection.

Direct competitor

While I admire the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse’s features, it’s important to note that the Honda Civic SI emerged as a formidable competitor during the same year. Both vehicles targeted the sport compact car segment with a keen focus on performance and style, but they approached the market with differing philosophies.

The Eclipse boasted its 2.4L I-4 engine, offering a robust powertrain, while the Civic SI, with its 2.0L I-4 VTEC engine, provided an exceptional balance of efficiency and performance. Enthusiasts recognized the Civic SI for its precise handling, attributed to its advanced suspension system and lower curb weight compared to the Eclipse.

Moreover, the Civic’s reputation for reliability and higher resale value presented a significant challenge to Mitsubishi’s offering, compelling buyers to scrutinize their choices closely.

Other sources

I’ve also looked into various reviews and auto enthusiast forums to gauge broader impressions of the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse and its market performance. The consensus points to its appealing aesthetics and the robust 3.0L V6 engine option, which enthusiasts affirm delivers a gratifying thrust.

However, scrutiny of long-term reliability data reflects a mixed bag, with some units exhibiting electrical gremlins and automatic transmission woes.

Aficionados frequently discuss aftermarket tunability, particularly noting that the 4G64 engine in the GS trim offers a solid foundation for performance upgrades.

It’s clear that the Eclipse carved a niche among tuner culture, which appreciates the blend of style, performance, and the potential for customization, solidifying its status in the sport compact segment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse Perform in Terms of Fuel Efficiency Compared to Other Cars in Its Class?

I’ve analyzed its fuel efficiency and found it slightly lags behind contemporaries. The Eclipse averages around 20-30 mpg, decent but not best-in-class, emphasizing performance over economy in its segment.

Are There Any Special Edition Models or Packages Available for the 2003 Eclipse That Offer Unique Styling or Enhanced Performance?

Yes, the 2003 Eclipse offers the GTS trim, which includes a more powerful engine and unique styling cues, such as a sportier front fascia and a rear spoiler, enhancing both aesthetics and aerodynamics.

Can the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse Accommodate Child Safety Seats Easily, and What Are the Specific Considerations for Families?

I’ve found the 2003 Eclipse’s ability to accommodate child safety seats fairly standard; it’s equipped with LATCH systems but space is tight. Families should note the coupe design limits ease of access for installation.

What Are the Insurance Cost Estimates for a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse, and How Does Its Safety Rating Impact These Costs?

I’ve researched that insurance costs for a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse can vary, with safety ratings significantly impacting premiums. A higher rating generally leads to lower costs, reflecting the vehicle’s risk profile to insurers.

How Does the 2003 Eclipse Handle in Adverse Weather Conditions Such as Snow and Heavy Rain, Given Its Sports Car Orientation?

I’ve found the 2003 Eclipse to struggle in snow and heavy rain, due to its front-wheel-drive layout and sporty suspension, which compromise its handling and traction in those challenging weather conditions.

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