2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor. Click image to enlarge
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Review and photos by Chris Chase
Mitsubishi Endeavor, 2004-2007
The last thing an auto manufacturer wants is for potential buyers – that is, anyone with a driver’s license and a bank account – to be unaware of the company’s products. While most driving Canadians know about Mitsubishi, many are not familiar with the Endeavor SUV.
A brand-new model for 2004, the Endeavor certainly started on decent footing, riding atop the same platform as the Galant mid-size sedan, which was redesigned the same year.
Price-wise, the Endeavor slotted in between the compact Outlander and truck-based Montero. Of the two, the Endeavor is arguably the more attractive product, even if its looks inspire about as much excitement as a discussion of the merits of soft versus firm tofu.
The Endeavor borrowed its 3.8-litre V6 from the Galant and Montero (though the Montero employed it in a rear-drive layout, where the Galant and Endeavor are front-drive based vehicles); in the Endeavor, it produced 215 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. Basic Endeavors were front-drive, with all-wheel drive being an option.
|Highs: Strong reliability in later models, low prices|
|Lows: Mechanicals not the most sophisticated|
Between 2004 and 2007, the Endeavor’s fuel consumption numbers strayed little from the 2004 ratings of 13.7 L/100 km (city) and 9.4 L/100 km (highway) for a front-drive model. Choosing all-wheel drive didn’t affect city consumption significantly, which increased to about 14 L/100 km, but highway consumption increased to 10.1 L/100 km.
Despite the Endeavor’s rather modest power output – at least by current standards – Mitsubishi recommends using premium fuel; regular can be used, but with reduced peak performance. There’s a fairly lengthy discussion on this topic in the Endeavor forum at Mitsubishi-Forums.com.
2006 Mitsubishi Endeavor; photo by Paul Williams. Click image to enlarge
Reliability seems to be good: Consumer Reports names the Endeavor in its list of used vehicle “good bets,” noting few trouble spots. Several owners posting at Mitsubishi-Forums.com say the check engine light in their trucks comes on regularly; apparently, a software update for the engine control unit will fix the issue, but in some cases, the light appears to have been triggered by a bad oxygen sensor.
Propellor/drive shaft bearings seem prone to failure in early (mostly 2004 model year) Endeavors. It seems Mitsubishi has covered this under warranty in most cases; this is unrelated to a recall concerning the Endeavor’s propeller shaft. These early trucks also had noisy differentials caused by an improperly manufactured gear.
Some owners complain about water leaking into the interior thanks to a blocked air conditioning drain that allows water to build up in the HVAC assembly behind the dash. While the fix is technically simple, it’s a pain in the butt, say those posting at Mitsubishi-Forums.com.
2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor; photo by Russell Purcell. Click image to enlarge
The Endeavor looks like a textbook case for why it’s not always wise to buy a new car in its first year of production. While the above examples paint the Endeavor as a minor nightmare to own, it appears that the more serious issues were addressed for 2005 and subsequent model years, making these newer versions solid vehicles in the reliability department.
For access to detailed technical information, check out. It offers “any and all service information related to Mitsubishi vehicles,” but is not free: 24 hours’ access costs $20 (presumably U.S. currency) and an annual membership runs $1,500(!).
According to Canadian Red Book, used Endeavor values range from $13,000 for a 2004 front-drive LS model to $31,775 for a 2007 all-wheel drive Limited version. High depreciation means even a 2007 model is a pretty good deal, but less than $27,000 for a 2006 Limited model is even better, I think.
2006 Mitsubishi Endeavor; photo by Paul Williams. Click image to enlarge
From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Endeavors with side airbags earned a “good” rating in both frontal offset (2004-2008) and side impact tests (2007-2008). In 2004, it earned five stars all around from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) save for front passenger protection in frontal impacts, where the rating was four stars. Side airbags were standard only in higher trims in 2004, but were made standard in 2005. Side curtain airbags became standard kit in 2007.
The Endeavor’s decidedly un-special stats – a four-speed auto, 215 horsepower and no seven-seat option – mean this truck is likely often overlooked. Strong reliability and low prices, however, make for an underrated truck that should prove a smart choice for a used mid-size crossover.
The most useful Endeavor resource I came across was at Mitsubishi-Forums.com. The similarly-named offers an Endeavor section too but it’s not as busy. Both are worth a look, however.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2005047; Units affected: 1,376
2004-2005: On certain vehicles, the parking brake pedal cable lock nut may not have been tightened to the proper torque specification during assembly. The lock nut may loosen and come off, which will reduce the effectiveness of the parking brake. This condition could allow the vehicle to roll if the automatic transmission is not placed into the PARK position. Correction: Dealers will tighten the lock nut.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2004254; Units affected: 878
2004: On certain vehicles, the retaining bolts that attach the propeller shaft to the center bearing flange and/or the rear differential flange may be missing, not sufficiently tightened or over tightened. If the retaining bolts were to fall out, the drive to the rear wheels may be interrupted. In the worst case, the drive shaft may fall down, increasing the potential for a vehicle crash. Correction: Dealers will install new retaining bolts.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2004253; Units affected: 3
2004: On certain vehicles, the rear foot of the driver’s side seat bracket may develop a crack, resulting in reduced strength of the seat anchorage. In the event of a crash, the seat could become detached, increasing the risk of occupant injury. Correction: Dealers will inspect the driver’s seat bracket to determine whether it requires replacement.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2006056; Units affected: 122
2005: On certain vehicles, the metal used to manufacture the front disc brake caliper may be brittle due to improper metallurgy. This could lead to breakage of the brake caliper and subsequent unexpected partial loss of braking force. Unexpected partial loss of braking force could result in a vehicle crash. Correction: Dealers will inspect and, if required, replace the front brake calipers.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2005268; Units affected: 122
2005: On certain vehicles, the brake master cylinder was improperly assembled which can result in reduced braking pressure and increase brake pedal stroke. Should this condition occur, the braking distance required to stop the vehicle will increase and may lead to a vehicle crash. Correction: Dealers will replace the brake master cylinder.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2008017; Units affected: 468
2007: On certain vehicles, the passenger-side outboard seatbelt anchor may separate during a vehicle crash. As a result, the seat occupant may not be properly restrained, increasing the risk of personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will replace the right front seatbelt assembly.
Used vehicle prices vary depending on factors such as general condition, odometer reading, usage history and options fitted. Always have a used vehicle checked by an experienced auto technician before you buy.
For information on vehicle service bulletins issued by the manufacturer, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
For information on consumer complaints about specific models, see www.lemonaidcars.com.