While not quite up to competitive standards, the 2008 Mitsubishi Endeavor’s performance is nonetheless capable and nimble.
The Mitsubishi’s sole engine is a 3.8-liter V-6 with an old-school iron block and aluminum head. Using Mitsubishi’s MIVEC variable valve timing, it churns out an accessible 225 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque to yield a smart pull away from the stoplight and strong midrange power, though it runs quickly out of breath in the upper reaches of the tachometer. Kelley Blue Book calls it “a powerful V6 that pulls strongly and achieves acceptable fuel economy,” and Car and Driver notes “the big engine's initial torque moves the Endeavor with grace.” MyRide.com praises its “verve thanks to generous torque and good mid-range punch” but warns that “the Endeavor delivers power somewhat coarsely, and models with front-wheel-drive suffer torque steer.” Car and Driver reveals that “the engine audibly gasps for air as it passes its torque peak.”
The Endeavor’s sole transmission makes do with four ratios, decidedly old school in an age where even GM offers a six-speed auto in many of its products. The ample torque of the V-6 makes it work, but a “heavy throttle foot” is required “to get a downshift from the smooth-acting transmission, making its manual-shift feature useful on congested freeways and in hilly terrain,” says ConsumerGuide. MyRide.com comments that “despite grade logic control, the transmission also has trouble deciding when to shift when climbing hills.”
Handling is a bright spot. The “Endeavor tracks straight and true, with no play felt in the direct and responsive steering,” according to Kelley Blue Book. They also praise its “easy parking and maneuverability.” Automobile lauds Endeavor’s “superb body control and a taut suspension that handles bumps and dips with aplomb,” and Edmunds appreciates its “adept handling in the corners and above-average capability on mildly rutted dirt roads.” Ride quality is good: “Soft but stable,” says ConsumerGuide, “never jarring over bumps, with a pleasing absence of undue float on the highway and minimal side-to-side or fore-aft rocking.” “Ride quality…is agreeable,” comments MyRide.com, which continues, “smoother than most SUVs we’ve driven, the Mitsubishi Endeavor soaked up all manner of pock-marked Los Angeles city streets and rippled California freeways during our one-week test drive.”
ConsumerGuide contends the Endeavor has “good stopping control, but the brake pedal travel is longer than ideal,” while Edmunds gripes that “fuel economy for 2008, however, is unimpressive” at an EPA-rated 15/22 mpg for front-wheel drive and 15/19 mpg for all-wheel drive.