Otherwise known as the Mitsubishi Eclipse.
No car has better embodied the sad decline of a once competitive automaker.
Awkward styling. Poor interior space and wonky ergonomics. Plus, you got a double whammy if you decided to keep them in the arid parts of the country.
Thin flaky paint… and a weird flaw with the glues and vinyls used on the dashboard. The net effect of which is…
Now don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of other vehicles that suffer a similar fate — especially here in the heat enriched world that is Hotlanta.
The Ford Taurus dashes are legendary for their ability to serve as cubbyholders for your paperwork. If it’s late-90’s model that doesn’t get garaged, this storage space comes standard.
Kia products were even worse during the early 2000’s. Part of this was abated by the long warranties that Kia offered to compensate for the second-rate glues, foam paddings and adhesives. Even today though, the headliners and dash materials for their older used cars don’t seem to be holding up to Kia’s aspirations for value and quality.
But the worst of them, the crème de la crème of substandard materials with nary a fix in sight, goes to Mitsubishi.
The good news is you can buy a 2006 Eclipse that has been well kept for all of $4000 these days at a wholesale auction and if you fix them up, they can be retailed for around $5000 to $6000. Not a bad price for a sporty vehicle that came from a manufacturer that offers surprising reliability on their four-cylinder models.
The hard part is fixing those peeling bananas on the dash. There seems to be no enduring fix for this cosmetic ailment because the foam rots from within..
So to make it an enduring fix, you have to replace it all. Then you have the paint issues which were thankfully rectified in later model years. As for the earlier ones? Consider a basecoat/clearcoat paint job and a healthy level of waxing to keep it looking good.
It’s a shame because, at least in mind, no car has been more important to the successes of Mitsubishi than the first generation Eclipse. The image of that model as a class leader could have set the stage for a long, long list of Mitsubishis that were both sporty and practical.
Instead we ended up with this…