2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor
photos by Russell Purcell
Cross-over vehicles are often hit or miss with regards to styling. Due to the reliance on the platforms
of other models, there are often design limitations. In the case of Mitsubishi's new Endeavor, which is based on the all-new
Galant sedan's platform, we may have a successful union. The two vehicles were planned as build partners from day one. With
its stylish exterior, roomy interior, and car-like ride and road manners, the Endeavor is well-suited to the role of all-weather
people and cargo hauler.
Buyers can choose to order the Endeavor as either a front driver or with all-wheel-drive running gear,
and at a mere $2,500, the cost of AWD is reasonable. This is a small amount to pay for the added safety benefits and added
re-sale value that adding all-wheel-drive to the package should bring.
While not designed as an off-road warrior, the full-time all-wheel-drive system will meet the everyday
needs of most drivers, as it works competently in the background to keep the Endeavor tracking straight and true, free of
major wheel slip.
The Endeavor's large 17-inch wheels and tires give it a very athletic look. Muscular-looking body
cladding dominates the vehicle from the waist down, giving the Endeavor an aggressive appearance similar to that of Toyota's
new 4-Runner, although that company's Highlander is a better target for the Endeavor. Large, flat headlamps resemble those
on Mitsubishi's Eclipse and Galant, while big, bold tail-lights bookend the wide lift-gate. Long doors allow for easy access
to the passenger compartment, while opera windows reside forward of the dash, offering driver's a little extra help when parking
or setting up for passing or cornering maneuvers.
The bold nose also hints at its familial roots, as the dual nostril design also hints of the Lancer,
and huge air intakes below the bumper give the vehicle a sporty look.
From the side the car
The Endeavor is an good choice for individuals who need to haul both people and cargo because its
seating configuration offers true 5-passenger seating, and with seats folded (an easy task) 2,163-litres (76.4 cu ft) of cargo
room. A handy rollaway cargo cover acts to conceal the rearmost cargo bay from prying eyes. A pop-up rear window offers quick
access to small packages while larger gear can be stowed via the wide-opening lift gate.
The dash layout is well thought-out with large, well-lit gauges and well-placed switchgear. A clever
driver information screen resides at the top of a futuristic looking pod, offering the driver details of everything from direction
of travel to exterior temperature, to HVAC system status and audio settings. Large soft-touch buttons and easy to use dials
allow you to quickly set these systems up to meet your needs.
The 4-spoke steering wheel effort is nicely weighted and communicates road feel very well. My 'Limited'
test vehicle featured secondary controls for the audio system which allow the driver to keep their hands on the wheel, a feature
usually reserved for more costly vehicles.
All seats offer excellent hip and shoulder room, and legroom seemed to be in abundance for all but
the tallest passengers. Headroom was plentiful enough that I could wear my winter toque without interference from the roof
liner or sunroof, and I stand 6'2".
My test vehicle came fully loaded, as they often do, with supportive leather-faced bucket seats up
front, and a comfortable 60/40 split bench in the rear. Power windows, mirrors and locks, A/C, and a power one-touch sunroof
made my commute that week a joy. All Endeavors feature next generation smart airbags, but the Limited includes side units
as well. For buyers choosing cloth seating, Mitsubishi has chosen to use stain resistant interior materials, a blessing for
those buyers hauling kids and pets.
The Endeavor's entire drive train has been sourced from its big brother, the Montero, which means it is a well-sorted
combination. Mitsubishi's 24-valve, 3.8-litre V6 is a proven entity as well, and with 215-horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque,
I did not find myself wanting for more power. Operation of the 4-speed automatic transmission seemed spot-on, giving the vehicle
a somewhat sporty feel.
Click image to enlarge
The Endeavor feels very stable at speed, even during higher speed cornering, a maneuver that makes
many SUVs feel very unsettled or downright tipsy. Mitsubishi's Active Skid and Traction Control system (M-ASTC) is responsible
for inspiring much of this confidence, a sophisticated feature which Mitsubishi puts on all Endeavor models.
Click image to enlarge
The Endeavor should fare well in the swollen SUV marketplace, as its car-like ride, high level of
equipment and apparent build quality will attract interested buyers. On price alone the Endeavor will strike a note with many
consumers, as similarly equipped models from most of its immediate rivals will cost thousands more. It also doesn't hurt that
Mitsubishi is still a 'new' player in the Canadian marketplace, so buyers won't run into identical models at every intersection.
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