What's New for 2010
The Mitsubishi Endeavor enters 2010 with a restyled grille and tailgate along with standard Bluetooth connectivity for all models and a few new standard features for the SE trim level.
The 2010 Mitsubishi Endeavor is the elder in a crowd of young guns. Essentially unchanged since its debut in 2004, the Endeavor nonetheless remains somewhat viable thanks to core strengths that include well-balanced ride and handling dynamics, a gutsy V6, a roomy, comfortable cabin and solid build quality. In fact, in its rookie year the Endeavor was good enough to take the win in an Edmunds comparison test that included the Honda Pilot, Nissan Murano and Toyota Highlander. Back then, the Endeavor impressed us with its pleasing blend of performance, handling and comfort.
Unfortunately since those glory days, those aforementioned Endeavor rivals have been redesigned, while other revamped or new competitors have appeared as well, such as the Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe and Mazda's CX-7. Many of these other crossovers also offer more passenger capacity via available third-row seating as well as a few features, such as a factory rear-seat entertainment system that the Endeavor lacks.
In addition to the rivals we've already mentioned, you could also consider smaller crossovers -- including the Endeavor's sibling, the Outlander -- that offer nearly as much interior space along with more high-tech features. And then there are larger CUVs, such as the Chevrolet Traverse and Ford Flex that offer more spacious cabins (with seating for up to eight) along with more powerful engines and greater fuel economy.
This isn't to say the 2010 Endeavor is completely hopeless. It would still be a decent choice for somebody wanting safe, comfortable and well-built family transportation. But considering its age and lack of competitiveness, we think there are plenty of better choices for a midsize crossover.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Mitsubishi Endeavor is a midsize crossover SUV available in two trim levels: base LS and luxury SE. The LS is front-wheel-drive only, while the SE can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive. Standard equipment on the LS includes 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, cloth upholstery, full power accessories, keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity and a six-speaker audio system with CD player. The SE trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a power driver seat, a trip computer, automatic climate control, heated front seats, a flip-up glass rear window and a nine-speaker Rockford Acoustics stereo with six-CD changer and satellite radio. A sunroof and navigation system (with a back-up camera) package is optional on the SE. A towing package is available on both trims and now includes a power-steering fluid cooler.
Powertrains and Performance
All Endeavors are powered by a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 225 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic is the lone transmission choice. Although the Endeavor's horsepower rating pales in comparison with some of its competition, its V6's ample torque output gives Mitsubishi's midsize crossover decent punch. Fuel economy, however, is unimpressive. The front-wheel-drive model's 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined are below average for a midsize crossover. The all-wheel-drive Endeavor checks in at 15/19/17 mpg.
The 2010 Mitsubishi Endeavor comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Stability control is also standard on all models. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration frontal crash testing, the Endeavor earned five out of five stars for driver protection and four stars for the passenger. In side-impact testing, it scored five stars across the board. Similarly, in both frontal-offset and side-impact testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Endeavor earned the top rating of "Good."
Interior Design and Special Features
The five-passenger Endeavor boasts a roomy passenger cabin that accommodates even the tallest folks, while the well-shaped seats prove comfortable on long trips. The cabin has a rather funky design, with a center stack reminiscent of a 1980s boom box and cool blue instrument lighting that should appeal to those looking for more visual excitement than many vehicles in this utilitarian class provide. Materials quality could be better, however, as there's more low-grade hard plastic than you'll find in a Hyundai Santa Fe or Nissan Murano. At 76 cubic feet, the Endeavor's maximum cargo capacity falls between midsize five-passenger SUVs like the larger Murano and smaller Ford Edge, and should be adequate for most families.
Due to the Endeavor's impressive 250 lb-ft of torque, the 3.8-liter engine feels responsive off the line and into the midrange. The transmission can be a little slow to downshift on highway grades, but overall the 2010 Mitsubishi Endeavor performs as well as most other vehicles in the class. Its car-based chassis provides a comfortable ride on the street, adept handling in the corners and above-average capability on mildly rutted dirt roads. The steering is a little slower than we'd like, but the weighting seems perfectly balanced for everyday errand-running and commuting.