2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor
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Review and photos by Russell Purcell

A user-friendly cross-over


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.

2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor
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User-friendly

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.

Styling

2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor
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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 looks very stable as extruded body panels that grace the lower flanks and border the wheel wells as well as stout bumper shrouds give the Endeavor a hefty look. In short, Mitsubishi’s design team has managed to avoid the often boring styling elements that combine to create some of the ghastly vehicles we now see populating our parking lots.


Interior

2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor
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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.

2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor
Click image to enlarge

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.


Three Trim Levels


Three distinct trim levels are offered, and all but the top version are available on either the front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicle. All three trim levels come equipped with the same 3.8-litre, V6 engine and Sportronic 4-speed automatic transmission (with Adaptive Shift Control and clutchless manual shift mode). Safety equipment includes 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and traction control as well as dual front air bags.

2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor
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The base model is the LS, which looks rugged with black bumper caps, body side moldings, side-view mirrors and door handles. LS units offers comfort features such as air conditioning, power windows, door locks and heated mirrors, cruise control and a high-powered 140-watt Mitsubishi AM/FM/CD audio system with 6 speakers. Attractive 17-inch painted alloy wheels, auto-off halogen headlights and remote keyless entry. Starting at $33,998 in 2-wheel drive form, the Endeavor LS is a good value.

2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor
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Moving up the ladder, the XLS ($36,498) adds a 315-watt Mitsubishi/Infinity AM/FM/CD audio system with 7 speakers and an in-dash 6-CD changer, chrome styled bumper caps and colour-keyed body side moldings, door handles and mirrors and the 17-inch alloy wheels are now polished. The driver benefits from a power adjustable driver’s seat as well, premium cloth upholstery and steering-wheel mounted audio controls.

As mentioned before, adding all-wheel-drive to either of these packages is a $2,500 option, but it is standard on the Endeavor Limited ($42,698). The Limited takes off where the XLS leaves off by offering leather seating surfaces (heated in front), leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, automatic climate control, side airbags, and integrated fog lights. Popular stand alone options include a power sunroof ($1,150) and a rear video entertainment system ($1,300), as well as a wide selection of sport racks and carriers to make use of the standard roof-mounted rail system.


Performance

2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor
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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.

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.

2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor
Click image to enlarge


Conclusions

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.


Technical Data: 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor

Base price $33,998 (2WD) – $42,698 (AWD Limited)
Price as tested $45,010 (Includes power sunroof $1,150; destination $1,025; A/C levy $100; floor mats, cargo cover and cargo net.
Type 4-door, 5-passenger mid-size SUV
Layout Front-engine FWD / AWD (optional)
Engine 3.8-litre V6, 24-valve, SOHC
Horsepower 215 @ 5000 rpm
Torque 250 @ 3750 rpm
Transmission 4-speed automatic with ‘Sportronic’ manual shift mode
Tires
Curb weight 1745 kg. (2WD), 1885 kg. (AWD)
Wheelbase 2750 mm (108.3 in.)
Length 4830 mm (190.1 in.)
Width 1870 mm (73.6 in.)
Height 1784 mm (70.2 in.)
Cargo Volume 1153-litres (40.7 cu. ft.)
Towing Capacity 1,588 kg (3,500 lb)
Fuel consumption City: 13.8 l/100 km (17 mpg)
  Hwy: 10.1 l/100 km (23 mpg)
Warranty 36 months/60,000 km
Powertrain warranty 60 months/100,000 km

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