- The Washington Times - Friday, March 14, 2003

The 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor, a five-passenger, midsize crossover vehicle with sport utility styling, is expected to generate 80,000 sales in North America most of them in the United States in its first full year.
That's close to the 85,449 SUVs and crossovers that Mitsubishi sold in the United States in all of calendar 2002.
The Endeavor's appeal? A look that's similar to that of the upscale Jeep Grand Cherokee; a good amount of standard features, including remote keyless entry, privacy glass, minimum 140-watt audio system with compact-disc player; and a commendable, 215-horsepower V-6 on every vehicle.
Starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including estimated destination charge, is $26,182 for a base Endeavor LS with V-6 and two-wheel drive.
Like other crossovers, the Endeavor may look like a sport utility. It rides on big, 17-inch tires, too. But it's built on a new, car-based chassis.
Among other things, this helps make entry into the vehicle easier.
For example, at 5 feet 4, I didn't have to climb up into the Endeavor. When I opened the driver's door, the seat was already positioned just right; all I had to do was maneuver over the ledge at the door opening.
Inside, the black seat leather of the top-of-the-line Endeavor Limited was softly gathered for a rich look.
But the Endeavor's interior is dominated by a cheaper-looking, silver-colored, large plastic piece in the center of the dashboard where the audio and ventilation controls are congregated. It's evidently designed to appeal to youthful drivers who want some flair.
And while the buttons and knobs are easy to use, the large silver plastic piece looked almost bolted on, not cleanly integrated.
The large display screen over this area puzzled me, because it seemed perfect for an onboard navigation system, but none is offered. So riders can set the screen to display a sizable compass or sizable ventilation setup or just the time.
Be sure to take note, though, of the blue sketch of the Endeavor that appears on this screen each time the vehicle is started. It's cool-looking.
There's a feeling of roominess inside the Endeavor, which, even though it's a couple inches longer than Honda's Pilot overall, does not offer third-row seating as the Pilot does.
The Endeavor's back seat affords decent room for three reasonably sized adults. They would sit touching each other but would not be overly cramped. The middle passenger even gets a soft resting spot.
Note that all Endeavor passengers have adjustable head restraints as well as three-point seat belts.
I especially liked that all door windows are sizable and rear-door windows go down virtually all the way.
From the driver's seat, I could see beyond cars in front of me and I even saw through minivan windows to the traffic ahead.
As you'd expect, rear seats split and fold for additional cargo room. And someone more than 6 feet tall might bump the underside of the Endeavor's rear liftgate.
Road bumps are felt mildly in the Endeavor. On city streets, I rolled over manhole covers, for instance, with just a slight vibration.
There is road noise .
In the test vehicle, which was fitted with all-wheel drive, the Endeavor's 3.8-liter, single-overhead-camshaft V-6 mated to a four-speed automatic transmission was always ready to perform.
Even on hills, I didn't have to wait for the power.
On city streets, I appreciated that the Endeavor not only got me into the traffic flow quickly, but it decelerated readily when I lifted up on the accelerator pedal. There was no sensation of coasting along. The Endeavor's torque a maximum 250 foot-pounds at 3,750 rpm is what gives this crossover good get-up-and-go.
Note the Endeavor's transmission has Sportronic, so drivers can manually shift up and down in the forward gears themselves.
Premium unleaded is the Endeavor's recommended fuel. Fuel economy is rated at 19 miles per gallon in town and between 27 and 29 miles per gallon on the highway, depending on whether the model is front- or all-wheel drive.
Towing capacity is 3,500 pounds.
Drivers don't do anything to activate all-wheel drive in the Endeavor. Power is split 50-50 between front and rear wheels. When added traction is needed, the viscous coupling of the center differential helps direct power automatically to the tires with grip.

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