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2005 Mitsubishi Endeavor

A Case Of Mistaken Identity

    This is an interesting SUV for sure. In my professional opinion I think the engineers built an SUV with a case of mistaken identity. Regardless, the Endeavor does live up to its nameplate, endeavoring to be more than merely the sum of its parts. Confused yet? No more than the editor writing this review, trust me.
     I almost wonder if the engineers on this project were given a real clear direction of what they were supposed to do with the Endeavor. It’s bold whatever it is. The front end has an “in your face” look to it. It’s like the Miss Daisy bulldog. Flat face, stub nose, tongue hanging out, yet you are sure the thing is smiling at you. A face only a mother could love. I know because mine said it was cute. As you walk around, trying to take in all the shapes, you realize that the Endeavor really isn’t that big of an SUV; in fact, if you visually cut away about 3 inches of inflated sheet metal from either side you reveal a trim midsize SUV. It isn’t that it’s hiding under there, it just wants to feel like there is more there. Kind of like a big dog running through the house, not realizing that it is knocking stuff over with its overactive wagging tail. But hey, who can stay mad at a man’s best friend, especially one with a set of 17” rolling stock that looks this good.
     If there is a big dog on the outside, there are robots on the inside. The big metallic-looking object acting as the center stack looks as though it is straight out of Star Wars, but sadly, a Wookie doesn’t come with it. Think about it, having a big furry co-pilot would certainly be entertaining, I’d even bet the local authorities would forget about writing you that ticket after he howled at them once or twice. Anyways, miscellaneous metallic look pieces are scattered around the rest of the interior. The dash in general is a bit overdone, with the unique intersections of curves and angles. The steering wheel is an interesting looking piece, yet the leather wrapping it was a welcome touch, and the buttons hiding on the back sides of the spokes were useful. The gauges were especially eye pleasing with their faux metal rings, and cool blue illumination at night. Atop the HVAC/radio robot to which we will from here forth refer to as Stan, rests a unique little information screen. Stan’s screen reveals all the secrets of where the fans are directed, which way you are headed, and just how warm it is or isn’t outside. Stan and I got along well, especially with the very large buttons and knobs, which made cranking up the tunes and the heat quite easy while wearing my double insulated leather hide mittens. Speaking of tunes, 315-watts of power crank out from the 7-speaker Infinity stereo. The seats were thickly padded and soft with a decent grade of leather to boot. Though the same can’t be said for the center storage bin with its hard, cheap, molded plastic, but hey, if you have to pinch pennies, might as well be there, right? Oh, and of course, our model came with the rear seat DVD entertainment system.
     Driving the Endeavor around was pretty much like driving any other car-based SUV. The ride was smooth and controlled, and neither inspiring nor uninspiring. Though it definitely had a sportier feel to it then the Suzuki XL-7 we recently drove and the wider track makes for better stability in cornering. Get up and go is on par with the class, with 225hp on tap from the 3.8-liter V6. The 4-speed SporTronic transmission does its best to put power through, but a 5th gear would certainly be welcome and is ultimately expected in this day and age. The manual shift mode didn’t impress us anymore than any other shift-it-yourself automatic transmission, but hey, someone out there will think it the best thing since frozen pizza. The all-wheel drive system was put to good use traversing the slushy aftermath of a midwinter warm-up. Serious off-roaders need not apply; this is a front wheel biased setup with no locking options for high and low.
     The Endeavor was a fun little truck to have around. The wintry weather conditions seemed not to faze this pooch, nor would any bright summer’s day for that matter. As she sits our mule lists out for about $35 large including options. While ballpark for this class SUV, it seemed a little steep for the content. However, this thing does come with one heck of a warranty, and that counts towards something. With that I place the Automotive Trends stamp of approval on the sheet metal and say try it for yourself. Oh, and be sure to scratch it between the mirrors, it likes that.

The Good:
Nice wheel design, sure-footed all-wheel drive, Stan the robot tells all.
The Bad:
Exterior styling wrinkles the forehead, some cheap interior plastics.
The Verdict:
It just wants to be your best friend.


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