What's New for 2011
The previously optional Navigation and Sunroof package is now included as standard equipment for the SE trim level.
Like most everything in your refrigerator, some cars are best used before their expiration date. The 2011 Mitsubishi Endeavor is like that forgotten leftover container in the back of the fridge: It was once an appetizing selection of ingredients, but now is best discarded in favor of fresher fare.
When the Endeavor debuted in 2004, it was good enough to take the top spot in an Edmunds comparison test that pitted it against the Honda Pilot, Nissan Murano and Toyota Highlander. In the intervening years, however, the Mitsubishi has remained relatively unchanged, and has since been overshadowed by newer and redesigned models. The Endeavor's strength -- a pleasing blend of performance, handling and comfort -- has since faded with time.
Within the 2011 Mitsubishi Endeavor's price range, we'd steer shoppers toward top midsize or large crossover SUVs like the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Edge, Mazda CX-9 and Nissan Murano. The fully redesigned Ford Explorer is also worth checking out. Even inside Mitsubishi's own lineup, the Outlander crossover SUV represents a better choice, with comparable performance and space, but also more numerous and updated features. As good as the Mitsubishi Endeavor was when it was fresh, it simply hasn't kept up with the times.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2011 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, foglights, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, cloth upholstery, full power accessories, keyless entry, Bluetooth and a six-speaker audio system with CD player.
The SE trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, heated outside mirrors, leather upholstery, a power driver seat, automatic climate control, heated front seats, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a navigation system, a rearview camera, a cargo cover and a nine-speaker Rockford Acoustics stereo with six-CD changer and satellite radio. Available options for either trim include a towing package, side steps, remote engine start and an iPod adapter.
Powertrains and Performance
All 2011 Mitsubishi Endeavors are powered by a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 225 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic is the only available transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with AWD offered at additional cost on the SE trim. Although the Endeavor lacks the higher horsepower of its competition, its V6's torque output is ample enough to give it some 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. Properly equipped, the Endeavor can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
The 2011 Mitsubishi Endeavor comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. The Mitsubishi Endeavor has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedure. Its 2010 rating (which isn't comparable to 2011 ratings) shows that 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. 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
Inside, the 2011 Mitsubishi Endeavor boasts a roomy cabin that can accommodate five taller adults with well-shaped seats that provide ample comfort for long-distance trips. Interior design and materials are hit-and-miss, with blocky, utilitarian shapes and an abundance of hard plastic surfaces. At night, a cool blue glow emanates from the instruments and center stack, giving the cabin a more modern appearance.
Luggage space behind the second-row seats provides up to 40.7 cubic feet. With those seats folded, up to 76 cubes can be accommodated. This is only about 3 cubic feet more than the newer Outlander, but is still above average and should be adequate for most families. Those requiring more cargo space will find it in the Chevrolet Traverse and Hyundai Veracruz, along with a third row of seats.
With the Endeavor's respectable 250 lb-ft of torque, the 3.8-liter engine feels responsive off the line. Compared to newer competitors, however, the Endeavor isn't as quick, and its four-speed automatic isn't as responsive or efficient as competitors' six-speeds. The ride quality is pretty comfortable, and the handling and steering are suitable for everyday errand-running and commuting.