Mitsubishi Endeavor -- 2004 Review: Psychologists generally believe that the expression of individuality is healthy, an outlet for building one’s identity. In society, people tell the world who they are through their manner of speech, the clothes they choose to wear, the place they select to live, the way they furnish a dwelling, and the car they drive every day.
Of course, not everybody wants the world to know who he or she is. Introverts, as these people are commonly known, shun the spotlight, avoid attention, and keep to the shadows of life. They speak plainly, wear simple clothing, live in non-descript suburbs, fill their homes with mass-produced Pottery Barn trinkets, and drive Toyota Camrys. What they sometimes don’t realize, however, is that by essentially saying nothing, they’re really saying everything.
Radical design, inside and out
Wallflowers might not like the radically styled new Mitsubishi Endeavor, a crossover suv that is much too distinctive for civilized society. Sporting styling themes from Mitsubishi’s gritty geo-mechanical futuristic design vocabulary (see Eclipse) combined with a misguided vision to adorn all of the company’s products with bulbous split-grille noses and ginormous corporate logos, the Endeavor is a visually distressing hodgepodge of metal, glass, and plastic.
Inside, the industrial, in-your-face look continues, funky but ergonomically sound except for the location of the stereo and climate control display on the top of the center stack far away from system controls. Look past the cabin’s busy appearance, and you’ll see that Mitsubishi actually has simplified construction by minimizing individual panels for improved fit and finish.
Unfortunately, this simplification of design didn’t lead to an improvement in the build quality of our test Endeavor, which suffered a poorly fit glovebox door, a driver airbag cover skewed off-center, and sloppy headliner attachment at the sunroof. Furthermore, Mitsubishi could employ better quality materials with which to construct the cabin. Too many parts of the interior exhibit a cheap gloss, from the switchgear on the door panels to the upper dash pad. Other gripes include the fuzzy headliner material, the silver plastic trim that has no hope of winning an Oscar for impersonating real aluminum, and the unfinished edge on the dash trim where it met the dash display screen. Unforgivably, our test vehicle, an Endeavor XLS with a sticker price of more than $30,000, had a urethane steering wheel. We think leather ought to be wrapping the tiller at this price, don’t you?