Shortly after introducing its compact Outlander sport utility vehicle, Mitsubishi added a larger crossover SUV. Similar in size to the automaker's seven-passenger Montero, the midsize Endeavor is intended primarily for on-road motoring. A dual-range transfer case is not included, so offroad capabilities are limited.
Two trim levels are offered for 2006: LS and Limited. Each is available with either front- or all-wheel drive. Antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution are newly standard, and exterior and interior styling modifications have been made.
For 2006, the Endeavor has a bolder front end that features a new chrome grille set above a chin-type spoiler. Large wheel openings and creased wheel arches are present, and a rear bumper extension has been added. Cast-aluminum wheels hold 17-inch tires.
The Endeavor rides a 108.3-inch wheelbase and has 8.3 inches of ground clearance. A fully independent suspension and all-disc brakes are utilized. Fog lamps and a power sunroof are standard on the Limited.
Five people can fit inside the Endeavor. Rear passengers get a 60/40-split, folding backseat. Cargo capacity behind the rear seat is 40.7 cubic feet, which grows to 76.4 cubic feet when the seat is folded down. The back window can open independent of the liftgate.
At night, the center controls emit blue backlighting, and bright accents for the instrument panel controls are newly installed. Standard LS equipment includes air conditioning, cruise control, and power windows, locks and mirrors. Cloth seating surfaces are standard, but leather seating surfaces are optional in the Limited.
Under the Hood
The Endeavor's 3.8-liter V-6 generates 225 horsepower and 255 pounds-feet of torque. The four-speed-automatic transmission incorporates a Sportronic manual-shift provision. Models with all-wheel drive have a viscous coupling. When properly equipped, maximum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds for all-wheel-drive Endeavors.
Antilock brakes and side-impact airbags for the front seats are standard. An electronic stability system is optional on the all-wheel-drive Limited.
Overall, the Endeavor is a surprisingly enjoyable vehicle of manageable size. It handles with a light touch and maneuvers with agility in corners. Ride quality beats the class norm, thanks to a somewhat cushiony suspension.
The V-6 engine delivers a satisfying burst of power when needed for passing. Mitsubishi's automatic transmission yields prompt, confident responses that are devoid of awkwardness.
Visibility is great all around. Front headroom is good, even in models equipped with a sunroof. The seats are softly cushioned, with only modest bolstering and mediocre support. Backseat space is roomy at the sides and tolerable in the center. Controls are clear and the gauges are easy to read.