First Drive: 2003 Mitsubishi Endeavor
All-new midsize sport/utility based on the 2004 Galant
How hot are SUVs? With the all-new Endeavor, Mitsubishi now has four entirely different sport/utilities in its lineup--one for each purse and purpose. The Endeavor springs from the platform that will sire the '04 Galant sedan and is heavily flavored with car-based cues that'll put it up against the likes of the Toyota Highlander, Nissan Murano, and Honda Pilot.
A sharply focused exterior design successfully mates traditional Mitsubishi cues such as a split grille, black-out roof pillars, and muscular fender flares, with a hunkered-down super-wide stance. The effect is striking inside, as well, with a wide-sweeping dash and boldly arcing center stack.
The Endeavor is available in front- or all-wheel drive and in three trim levels: LS, XLS, and Limited. It's right at home on the road where the majority of SUVs spend their time. MacPherson struts control the front suspension, while a multilink setup with trailing arms handles rear-wheel chores; gas shocks are at all four corners.
Powered by a transverse-mounted version of the new 3.8-liter/215-horse V-6 that moves the full-size Montero, the 4156-pound Endeavor reaches highway speed easily and can tow up to 3500 pounds. A four-speed automatic transmission with Sportronic manumatic control is the only gearbox available.
Buyers are demanding that their transportation project an image while providing comfort and convenience. Combining a rugged sport/utility attitude with carlike ride and handling makes the Endeavor a solid entry into the midsize SUV arena.