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Mitsubishi Endeavor Road Test

By John Heilig  
Photos by Charles Ofria

Category: $26,000 - $35,000 Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle
Who should buy this car: People looking for a comfortable Mid-Sized SUV with value and style in this crowded market segment.
Comparable models in this class: Buick Rendezvous, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Dodge Durango, GMC Envoy, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Isuzu Axiom, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mercury Mountaineer, Nissan Murano, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Pathfinder
Mitsubishi is becoming a full-range SUV manufacturer, what with the entry-level Outlander, Montero, Montero Sport, and the new Endeavor slotted between the two Monteros.

Endeavor is defined by Mitsubishi as a "mid-sized crossover SUV," but in fact it's simply a mid-size. And it's a nice mid-size.

Dimensionally, Endeavor fits in with just about all the competition. It has a 109-inch wheelbase and is 90 inches in overall length. So if you sit behind the wheel of the Endeavor after coming from another SUV, you will feel right at home.

We took the Endeavor on one of our "magical mystery tours" to visit children, grandchildren and assorted in-laws. It was party time in my son-in-law's family, so the Endeavor took us to all the houses involved. In all, we put close to 1,000 miles on the Endeavor during the week we had it.

We filled the seats with two adults in front and two children in car seats, plus Mom, in the rear. As usual, my grandson was thrilled to see that the Endeavor had a sunroof, and he insisted we keep it open for the overhead view.

I was impressed that there was room for a full-size adult in the rear, even with the two car seats. Of course, it was good for her to be there if either 2-year-old Owen or newborn Milo fussed, but Owen was so enchanted by the sunroof, he was cool.

With a 3.8-liter V6 rated at 215 horsepower, and a smooth 4-speed automatic transmission, we were able to deal with Interstates and urban traffic. The automatic had a Sportronic mode that allowed us to shift it manually if we chose. There were times, especially when we were duking it out around DC with Redskins traffic, when we needed the advantage of a faster shift response than the automatic offered, so we went manual.

The one feature that was missing form the Endeavor was a navigation system that might have helped us avoid traffic and find streets in strange towns, but we did alright without it.

Behind the rear seat was a large cargo area that is rated at 40.7 cubic feet. We used all those feet for the baby's luggage (diaper bags, clean clothes, etc.) and on the way back for gifts and items to be moved between houses. The other options were a small station wagon or a compact sedan. With the second seat folded, cargo capacity increases to 76.4 cubic feet, which was more than even my family could fill on a trip (I hope).

Endeavor is a "normal" looking SUV as well. One feature I didn't like about the Montero, for example, was the bulges over the front fenders that made it look, from the inside, as if you had already been in a fender bender. Endeavor is styled more like the Outlander and, therefore, is more of a crossover vehicle.

Underneath the unibody is a four-wheel independent suspension with MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link configuration in the rear. Ride quality at all times was very good, and was smooth enough for the little ones to sleep on longer trips. In addition, Endeavor has power rack-and-pinion steering and four-wheel disc brakes behind the 17-inch wheels. ABS is included on uplevel 2-wheel drive models.

Endeavor is one vehicle that performed exactly the way we expected it to, with no surprises. In a sense, that's good, because on longer trips and on trips with a variety of road and traffic conditions, you don't want surprises. In another sense, though, it's tough, because it's more difficult to write about it.

The base Mitsubishi Endeavor LS is priced between $25,000 and $28,000, while the upscale XLS is priced between $28,000 and $32,000.

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Specifications 

Engine Type 3.8 liter single overhead cam (SOHC) 24 valve V-6
Horsepower 215 @ 5000 RPM
Torque 250 @ 3750 RPM
Fuel Recommended Premium Unleaded.
Transmission & Drive 4-speed electronically controlled shiftable automatic
front wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive
Tires - Standard P235/65R17 mud and snow tires
Overall Length 190.2"
Wheelbase 108.7"
Width 73.6"
Turning Diameter 38.4 ft Curb to Curb
Curb Weight 3,847 lbs.
Fuel Tank 21.4 Gals.
Miles Per Gallon EPA city 17 , hwy 23. 
Towing Capacity 2,000 lbs.
Base Price $25,597 plus $595 destination charge 
Price as tested $33,792

2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor

Standard Equipment

  • 5 person seating capacity
  • four wheel independent suspension
  • privacy glass
  • roof rack
  • rear window wiper
  • ventilated front disc / solid rear disc brakes
  • remote anti-theft alarm system
  • cruise control
  • tilt-adjustable steering wheel
  • AM/FM in-dash single CD player stereo with 6 speakers

Major Available Options
( Depending on model )

  • All-wheel drive
  • Touring Package
  • Cold Zone Package
  • Antilock brakes
  • Leather seats
  • Power sunroof
  • Full-size spare and towing prep package

For more information on the Mitsubishi Endeavor, visit www.mitsucars.com

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