2004 Endeavor New Car Test Drive
Above all else: presence.' The words come straight from Mitsubishi's press materials for the introduction of its new mid-sized SUV, called Endeavor. And the words are true to the effort. For sure, Endeavor gets an E for effort, for being designed and built by the North American team in the U.S. It's the fourth SUV offered by Mitsubishi, joining the entry-level Outlander, the rugged truck-based Montero Sport, and the more luxurious and highly capable Montero.
But Endeavor's intended slot between Montero Sport and Montero is thin and tricky. Mitsubishi doesn't dare say the Montero is now facing redundancy, just that Endeavor's overriding goal has been to produce 'a vehicle that meets the needs of the U.S. market head on, without the repackaging of a Japanese domestic market product for U.S. tastes.' In other words, it may be that Mitsubishi Motors North America created the Endeavor partly to show Mitsubishi Motors Tokyo that it can build, above all else, an SUV with presence.
One engine is available in the Endeavor, a bigger, more powerful and improved version of the V6 that powers the higher-priced 2003 Montero. It's a 3.8-liter V6 making 215 horsepower, with an iron block, aluminum heads and single overhead cam. It's mounted transversely, and mated to a four-speed Sportronic automatic transmission with manual shifting capability.
The Endeavor is available either as front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive (AWD). Each configuration comes in three trim levels: LS ($25,597), XLS ($27,897), and Limited ($31,697); LS AWD ($27,597), XLS AWD ($29,897), and Limited AWD ($33,197).
LS AWD includes a 14-watt sound system with single-disc CD player, five-spoke alloy wheels, intermittent rear window washer, roof rails, ABS with EBD, steering wheel controls, keyless entry, remote tailgate release, and mud-and-snow rated tires.
XLS adds premium cloth seats, power driver's seat, 315-watt sound system with six-disc CD, a 5-inch color LC display with time, temperature, compass and programmable function readings, crossbars for the roof rails, a cargo cover and chrome bumper caps. Optional for the XLS is the Touring Package ($2050) with leather interior and trim, heated front seats, heated mirrors, big sunroof, side airbags (and ABS on two-wheel-drive models).
Limited adds leather, heated front seats, sunroof, side airbags, a tire pressure monitoring system, rear seat climate controls, fog lamps and body-colored bumpers.