By Chris Chase, Autos.ca
The last thing an auto manufacturer wants is for potential buyers – that is, anyone with a driver’s licence and a bank account – to be unaware of its products. While most driving Canadians know about Mitsubishi, many are not familiar with the Endeavor SUV.
A brand-new model for 2004, the Endeavor certainly started on decent footing, riding atop the same platform as the Galant mid-size sedan, which was redesigned the same year.
Price-wise, the Endeavor slotted in between the compact Outlander and the similarly-sized, truck-based Montero. The Endeavor was attractive, if generic, even when it was new, its looks inspiring about as much excitement as a discussion of the merits of soft versus firm tofu.
The Endeavor borrowed its 3.8-litre V6 from the Galant and Montero (though the Montero employed it in a rear-drive layout, where the Galant and Endeavor are front-drive based vehicles); in the Endeavor, it produced 215 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. Basic Endeavors were front-drive, with all-wheel drive being an option.
Despite the Endeavor’s rather modest power output – at least by current standards – Mitsubishi recommends using premium fuel; regular can be used, but with reduced peak performance. There’s a fairly lengthy discussion on this topic in the Endeavor forum at Mitsubishi-Forums.com.Between 2004 and 2007, the Endeavor’s fuel consumption numbers strayed little from the 2004 ratings of 13.7 L/100 km (city) and 9.4 L/100 km (highway) for a front-drive model. Choosing all-wheel drive didn’t affect city consumption significantly, which increased to about 14 L/100 km, but highway consumption increased to 10.1 L/100 km.
Reliability seems to be good: Consumer Reports notes few serious trouble spots. Several owners posting at Mitsubishi-Forums.com say the check engine light in their trucks comes on regularly; apparently, a software update for the engine control unit will fix the issue, but in some cases, the light appears to have been triggered by a bad oxygen sensor.
Propellor/drive shaft bearings seem prone to failure in early (mostly 2004 model year) Endeavors. It seems Mitsubishi has covered this under warranty in most cases; this is unrelated to a recall concerning the Endeavor’s propeller shaft. These early trucks also had noisy differentials caused by an improperly manufactured gear.
Some owners complain about water leaking into the interior thanks to a blocked air conditioning drain that allows water to build up in the HVAC assembly behind the dash. While the fix is technically simple, it’s a pain in the butt, say those posting at Mitsubishi-Forums.com. Consumer Reports notes that bad blower motors are common, and that blocked drain could be the reason, as the pooled water can short the motor out.
The Endeavor looks like a textbook case for why it’s not always wise to buy a new car in its first year of production. While the above examples might paint the Endeavor as a minor nightmare to own, it appears that the more serious issues were addressed for 2005 and subsequent model years, making these newer versions solid vehicles in the reliability department, at least where the big stuff – engine, transmission and all-wheel drive system – are concerned.
For access to detailed technical information, check out this page. It offers “any and all service information related to Mitsubishi vehicles,” but is not free: 24 hours’ access costs $20 (presumably U.S. currency) and an annual membership runs $1,500(!).
According to Canadian Black Book, used Endeavor values run from $7,700 for a 2004 LS FWD model to $27,175 for a 2010 SE AWD. A 2006 Endeavor, which should be free of the teething problems that affected 2004 and (possibly) some 2005 models, is worth $12,850 LS FWD trim, or $15,275 with AWD. Despite the Endeavor’s virtual no-name status in the SUV field, it has held its value pretty well, coming in cheaper than mainstays like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, but not by that much. Credit Mitsu’s decent reputation for durability for that.
From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Endeavors with side airbags earned a “good” rating in both frontal offset (2004-2008) and side impact tests (2007-2008). In 2004, it earned five stars all around from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) save for front passenger protection in frontal impacts, where the rating was four stars. Side airbags were standard only in higher trims in 2004, but were made standard in 2005. Side curtain airbags became standard kit in 2007.
The Endeavor’s decidedly un-special stats – a four-speed auto, 215 horsepower and no seven-seat option – mean this truck is likely often overlooked. Its strong reliability makes for an underrated truck that should prove a smart choice for a used mid-size crossover.
Black Book Pricing (avg. retail) May, 2011:
|Year||Model||Price today||Price new|
|2010||Endeavor SE AWD||$27,175||$36,998|
|2008||Endeavor SE AWD||$20,800||$39,298|
|2007||Endeavor SE AWD||$18,125||$38,998|
|2006||Endeavor LS AWD||$15,275||$37,998|
|2005||Endeavor LS AWD||$12,450||$37,298|
|2004||Endeavor LS AWD||$10,525||$36,998|
The most useful Endeavor resource I came across was at Mitsubishi-Forums.com. The similarly-named MitsubishiForums.com offers an Endeavor section too but it’s not as busy. Both are worth a look, however.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2005047; Units affected: 1,376
2004-2005: On certain vehicles, the parking brake pedal cable lock nut may not have been tightened to the proper torque specification during assembly. The lock nut may loosen and come off, which will reduce the effectiveness of the parking brake. This condition could allow the vehicle to roll if the automatic transmission is not placed into the PARK position. Correction: Dealers will tighten the lock nut.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2004254; Units affected: 878
2004: On certain vehicles, the retaining bolts that attach the propeller shaft to the center bearing flange and/or the rear differential flange may be missing, not sufficiently tightened or over tightened. If the retaining bolts were to fall out, the drive to the rear wheels may be interrupted. In the worst case, the drive shaft may fall down, increasing the potential for a vehicle crash. Correction: Dealers will install new retaining bolts.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2004253; Units affected: 3
2004: On certain vehicles, the rear foot of the driver’s side seat bracket may develop a crack, resulting in reduced strength of the seat anchorage. In the event of a crash, the seat could become detached, increasing the risk of occupant injury. Correction: Dealers will inspect the driver’s seat bracket to determine whether it requires replacement.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2006056; Units affected: 122
2005: On certain vehicles, the metal used to manufacture the front disc brake caliper may be brittle due to improper metallurgy. This could lead to breakage of the brake caliper and subsequent unexpected partial loss of braking force. Unexpected partial loss of braking force could result in a vehicle crash. Correction: Dealers will inspect and, if required, replace the front brake calipers.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2005268; Units affected: 122
2005: On certain vehicles, the brake master cylinder was improperly assembled which can result in reduced braking pressure and increase brake pedal stroke. Should this condition occur, the braking distance required to stop the vehicle will increase and may lead to a vehicle crash. Correction: Dealers will replace the brake master cylinder.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2008017; Units affected: 468
2007: On certain vehicles, the passenger-side outboard seatbelt anchor may separate during a vehicle crash. As a result, the seat occupant may not be properly restrained, increasing the risk of personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will replace the right front seatbelt assembly.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2008100; Units affected: 4,353
2004-2008: On certain vehicles, the ignition key interlock cable may allow the interlocking cam to fall forward and allow the ignition key to be removed from the ignition when the gearshift mechanism is not in the PARK position. If the driver does not shift to PARK before removing the key, and fails to engage the parking brake, the vehicle could roll and a crash could occur. This could result in property damage, personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will affect repairs.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2008374; Units affected: 2,366 (includes other models)
2005-2007: On certain vehicles, the bracket that is the anchor point for the left rear fuel tank mounting strap may have been improperly formed during the manufacturing process. This may have caused the metal to spilt in the area where the bolt holds the fuel strap to the underside of the vehicle. In the event the tank is full of fuel and the vehicle is involved in a serious collision the bracket could break and the tank could drop down. This situation could result in a fuel leak and the possibility of a fire. Correction: Dealers will inspect and if necessary install a reinforcement cap to the fuel tank bracket.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2010362; Units affected: 797
2006-2008: On certain vehicles, the software programming in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) controller may allow a combination of numerous data inputs to temporarily overload the calculation capacity of the controller, resulting in incorrect signals to be transmitted to the heater case mode door. This may cause the mode door to move to unselected positions during heater operation until the controller recovers and returns to proper operation. Over time, this excessive movement may damage the mode door shaft. These conditions could affect defroster performance, resulting in delayed clearing of the windshield, which could compromise safe vehicle operation and increase the risk of a crash. Correction: Dealers will replace the HVAC controller assembly, inspect the mode-door shaft for possible damage, and repair the mode-door shaft if necessary.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2011012; Units affected: 4,969
2004-2010: Certain vehicles, operated in areas where road salts are frequently used in winter, may be exposed to road debris (mud) mixed with road salt. This material can become trapped between a reinforcing bracket and the fuel filler pipe, potentially causing corrosion. Over time, corrosion could create a leak in the fuel filler pipe that could result in fuel leakage when fueling the vehicle. Fuel leakage, in the presence of an ignition source, could result in a fire causing property damage and/or personal injury. Correction: Dealers will replace the fuel filler pipe of vehicles equipped with the first-generation version. Vehicles assembled with the second-generation filler pipe will be inspected and, if severe corrosion on the fuel filler pipe is observed, the pipe will be replaced with a third-generation version. For vehicles where corrosion of the fuel filler pipe is not observed, an anti-corrosion wax-like material will be applied to the filler pipe, and the inner wheel well shield will be replaced with an updated part that provides improved protection against mud intrusion and accumulation. ** Note: This recall supersedes recall 2010050.**
Crash test results
Used vehicle prices vary depending on factors such as general condition, odometer reading, usage history and options fitted. Always have a used vehicle checked by an experienced auto technician before you buy.
For information on vehicle service bulletins issued by the manufacturer, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
For information on consumer complaints about specific models, see www.lemonaidcars.com.