Critique of a Mitsubishi Eclipse Control Center

I decided to critique something that I spend a large part of my life with, which lead me to want to critique the control center of my “race car” a 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T.
Control Center of my Eclipse

Control Center of my Eclipse

The control center of the Eclipse is very simple and easy to figure out. It uses everything from words to pictures and even colors to help describe what each control does. The whole control center is angled towards the driver making everything easy to reach and read. The buttons and dials become illuminated in the dark eliminating guess work when operating the vehicle at night. It would seem as though there are no flaws with the Eclipse’s control center, but there are in fact a few things that could be changed or tweaked to improve overall user friendliness of the control center.

The things that could be improved are all very simple changes that either increase comfort or help to clarify what a certain control does. The first improvement that could be made is simply raise the entire control center, because when in 1st, 3rd, or 5th gear a CD cannot be placed into the CD player as there is not enough room between the shifter and the player. Along the same lines it is difficult to reach radio presets when in these gears. One other problem that the control center has, is a matter of clarity. The radio balance controls are little twist type knobs that pop out when pressed then can be twisted to set the radio as desired. The problem lies in that there are three knobs and six controls to access the second three you must physically pull the knob out a little farther than when originally pressed. The knobs are clearly labeled as to how to access the secondary controls, but the way they are setup leads to breakage and can be more difficult to understand. The simple solution would be to add three more knobs so each control has its own. This would help clarify the controls as well as reduce breakage of the knobs.

Overall the Mitsubishi Eclipse has a well designed control center. It is very simple and clearly labeled. It is not cluttered with extra buttons, knobs, or dials making it visually appealing. The controls are also of good size making using them easy to use on the move or for those who don’t have toothpicks for fingers. Mitsubishi did a great job with the space they had for the control center. The only major problem that could cause a headache is the distance between the control center and the shifter as some controls are difficult to reach when in certain gears. Mitsubishi’s clarity and simplicity are what really make this control center stand out.

-Drew Philbrick

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One Response to “Critique of a Mitsubishi Eclipse Control Center”

  1. lynndombrowski Says:

    “The first improvement that could be made is simply raise the entire control center, because when in 1st, 3rd, or 5th gear a CD cannot be placed into the CD player as there is not enough room between the shifter and the player.”
    This is just my opinion but perhaps the designer, didn’t want to encourage people changing CDs while driving?

    Very nice critique.


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