2012 Mitsubishi RVR GT
2012 Mitsubishi RVR GT. Click image to enlarge

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Manufacturer’s web site
Mitsubishi Motors Canada

Review and photos by Greg Wilson

Photo Gallery:
2013 Mitsubishi RVR

Though it was all new in 2011, the 2012 Mitsubishi RVR received a few trim and equipment upgrades, notably a new Premium option package available on the top-of-the-line GT model. This $3,500 option package includes leather seats, power driver’s seat, centre touchscreen and Navigation system with real-time traffic updates, 40-GB hard-drive, rear-view monitor, and a single CD/WMA/MP3 player (the standard 6-CD changer is deleted in favour of the single CD.)

Changes to the 2013 RVR, which will be in dealerships soon, include refreshed front and rear styling, a recalibrated continuously variable transmission that improves throttle responsiveness, a revised rear suspension to improve ride and handling, new interior fabrics and trim, and a new push-type 4WD selector switch.

Among small crossovers, the RVR is relatively inexpensive: the base 2012 RVR SE model ($19,998) includes standard air conditioning, 140-watt audio system with four speakers, trip computer display, heated front seats, power door locks and remote keyless entry, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, steering wheel controls, seven airbags including a driver’s knee airbag, antilock brakes and brake assist.

2012 Mitsubishi RVR GT
2012 Mitsubishi RVR GT
2012 Mitsubishi RVR GT
2012 Mitsubishi RVR GT. Click image to enlarge

In base ES ($19,998) and mid-level SE trim ($22,098), the RVR comes with a standard five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. The SE with front-wheel drive and optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) is $23,390, while the SE all-wheel-drive model with CVT is $25,498. The RVR GT with standard all-wheel drive and a CVT with paddle shifters for manual shifting is $28,998.

This week’s test car, a top-of-the-line RVR GT painted in bright “Rally Red metallic” can be distinguished from the other trim levels by its larger 18-inch tires and alloy wheels, Xenon HID headlights, chrome trim around the black mesh grille, chrome exhaust tip, black roof rails, large panoramic fixed glass sunroof with power sunshade, premium fabric seat upholstery (or optional leather), chrome-trimmed heater and AWD controls, and standard automatic climate control.

In addition to the those features, the GT includes a premium Rockford Fosgate 710-watt audio system with 9 speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer in the cargo area, Sirius satellite radio with a 6-month free subscription, keyless entry and push-button start, a colour information display between the gauges, paddle shifters, rain-sensing wipers, hill-start assist, and rear folding centre armrest.

As mentioned, our test vehicle had the optional Premium Package ($3,500). With a $1,450 freight charge and $100 A/C tax, the as-tested price came to $34,208, a good price for this much stuff.

Like the Nissan Juke, Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson, the RVR can be more accurately described as a crossover than a sport utility vehicle: it has unibody construction, four-wheel independent suspension, standard front-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive, and a fuel-efficient 148-hp 2.0L four-cylinder engine. The RVR is basically a smaller version of the Mitsubishi Outlander with a smaller engine.

The RVR’s standard 2.0L DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing is one of the least powerful engines in its class—it produces 148 hp at 6,000 rpm and 145 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm. For comparison, the Mazda CX-5’s 2.0L engine produces 155 hp and 150 lb-ft. while the Honda CR-V’s 2.4L engine has 185 hp and 163 lb-ft.

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