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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Edmunds 2003 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test
http://www.edmunds.com/reviews....html
I don't think I've ever been so stunned by a comparison test result before.
4th - Toyota Highlander
Ups: Competent V6, excellent transmission, nimble handling.
Downs: Outdated, slow, unexciting to drive, mundane design, utilitarian interior.
The Bottom Line: Practical and user-friendly, the Highlander was our defending champion of midsize crossover SUVs. But with three eager new players on the scene, it needs a major overhaul to stay in the game.

3rd - Nissan Murano
Ups: Great driving dynamics, distinctive looks, comfortable and practical interior.
Downs: Continuously variable transmission is Achilles' heel, suspension a tad stiff over bumps.
The Bottom Line: Its driving dynamics are great, the 3.5-liter V6 is a proven winner, the exterior design is progressive and the cabin is comfy but the continuously variable transmission just doesn't cut it.

2nd - Honda Pilot
Ups: Third-row seating, loaded with standard features, spacious, Honda reliability.
Downs: Feels big and heavy compared with the others, bland personality.
The Bottom Line: The Honda Pilot is an impressive vehicle that offers top-notch build quality, a commodious cabin and maximum utility in its class; but it lacks mojo.

1st - Mitsubishi Endeavor

Ups: Peppy power plant, compliant ride, decent handling, unique design, roomy, good brakes.
Downs: Polarizing interior design.
The Bottom Line: Despite competition from Japan's Big Three, the Endeavor stole top honors for performance, comfort and handling.

Quote »
We were as surprised as anyone. When we first set off from lovely Newark, New Jersey, for our New England adventure, we all thought the Honda Pilot would take the top prize, with maybe the Nissan Murano in second and then a scrap for the final two spots.
The Endeavor crept up on us. It wasn't so much that it dominated every aspect of the comparison test to win outright, but rather that it scored well in a majority of categories.
On paper, the Endeavor's powertrain seems the weakest of the group. Its 215 horsepower is well behind the Pilot (240 hp) and the Murano (245 hp). But it leads in a more important category: torque. At 250 pound-feet at 3,750 rpm, the Mitsu has the highest torque rating of all, getting more power at lower revs than all the others. This imbues the Endeavor with surprising speed off the mark, accompanied by a throaty roar to let you know it's taking control. Judging by our on-road experience of winning every streetlight derby we waged, we weren't too shocked when the Endeavor posted an 8.0-second 0-to-60-mph time to take first place.
The Mitsu had to settle for second in the quarter-mile acceleration test at 16.3 seconds, as its lack of horsepower became apparent toward the top of the rpm range. Also, it should be noted that the Endeavor, at 4,156 pounds, is second only to the Honda in weight. So, it's little wonder its performance tapered off over the quarter-mile. This diminishing power plays out on the street, too, where the Mitsu loses guts at higher rpm.
However, thanks to its powerful four-wheel disc brakes the Endeavor was able to stop from 60 mph in just 120.7 feet. This was good enough for first place and nearly 14 feet better than the Honda and three feet better than the Murano. None of us cared for the feel of the brake pedal, calling it mushy, soft and cumbersome. We would have liked it to be more progressive in feel like the Toyota's.
Power from the Endeavor's 3.8-liter V6 is controlled by a four-speed automatic transmission that was praised for being unobtrusive most of the time. However, under duress, such as with the gas pedal matted going uphill, the tranny had a tendency to wait too long to downshift and sometimes clunked when it did. There is also an automanual feature, which Mitsubishi calls Sportronic, that allows the driver to choose his own gears — fun in the curves, but we found it was usually easier just to let the automatic shifter do its job.
The Mitsu scored top marks for its well-sorted suspension, which provided a carlike ride that was the class of the test. There was a little too much body roll (as demonstrated by its second-place showing in the 600-foot slalom), but otherwise we were impressed by the Endeavor's exemplary road manners. The power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering afforded good balance and response, but was docked marks for being a tad too numb and lacking in on-center feel.
The Endeavor scored well for the comfort of its front seats, but some of us wanted more lateral support and a little more cushioning and width (some of us need to cut back on trips to Krispy Kreme). The rear seat also received good marks for its generous legroom (38.5 inches — best in the test), head- and shoulder room. The Mitsu's cargo capacity was the stingiest in the test (76.4 cubic feet with the seats folded), but we liked the large rear opening and thigh-level, slide-in loading.
The Endeavor's cabin design was definitely polarizing. We all agreed that it uses a good mix of tactile, soft materials, and some of us liked the silver plastic cascading center dash, which houses the audio and HVAC controls. Others thought its big round buttons and blue-light graphics looked too much like a boom box from the 1980s. One editor wondered if it would play any music other than Wham! and the SugarHill Gang. Regardless of your opinion, we worry that the painted-on silver finish will wear over time and leave unsightly scars of black plastic showing from underneath.
Opinion regarding the Endeavor's exterior design was less contentious. While most of us thought it was heavily derivative of a Jeep Grand Cherokee (especially the rear end, square fenders and wheel design), it received high marks for its distinctive, rugged and muscular appearance. Like the center stack, the grille is certainly unique and set the Mitsu apart from the Honda and Toyota. Only the out-there Murano was more distinctive.
The Endeavor's all-wheel drive uses a mechanically actuated center viscous coupling that employs a 50/50 front/rear split under normal traction conditions. With a generous 8.3 inches of ground clearance (the most in the test), the Mitsu climbed, crawled, traversed and absorbed all the off-road obstacles it encountered. This combined with its supple suspension provided the most compliant and enjoyable off-road experience. Of all the vehicles in the test, the Endeavor was the one we're most comfortable taking off-road. It never once bottomed out and seemed completely at ease.
We're told that Mitsubishi plans to spend $60 million to advertise the Endeavor. That may not be necessary. Once word gets out about its blend of performance, handling and comfort, it should advertise itself.
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (Sporin)

Hmmmmm...looks like they didn't factor in a couple of "insignificant"
little factors: reliability and trade-in value.
Add those to the mix and the ratings get totally reversed.
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (Vision)

Quote, originally posted by Vision »
Edmunds is full of crap as usual.

Oh I don't know... I certainly haven't driven all 4 back to back and over again.. have you?
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (Sporin)

Thank you!
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (VeeDubDriver)

There was a topic awhile ago where someone was asking about the Endeavor as their girlfriend or whoever was getting one.
I was defending it pretty hard based on a couple of things...
1. It has received very solid reviews with very few negatives
2. Mitsu builds pretty damn good trucks that offer tremendous value
3. Mitsu trucks are very highly regarded overseas
The Edmunds review backs that all up pretty much.
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (Sporin)

Interior shots.....
Toyota Highlander:

Nissan Murano:

Honda Pilot:

Mitsubishi Endeavor:
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (BlueyedBoi69)

Quote, originally posted by BlueyedBoi69 »
Mitsubishi Endeavor:


Why is there a ghettoblaster in the centre of that dash?
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (Vision)

Quote »
Edmunds is full of crap as usual.

I agree. They always have weird rankings.
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (GMoney)

Endeavor did extremely lousy in crash tests. Wouldn't want to be in one.
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (randy)

Quote, originally posted by randy »
Endeavor did extremely lousy in crash tests. Wouldn't want to be in one.


You have a 20 year old Jetta, and think the Endeavor would be unsafe?
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (Sporin)

Quote, originally posted by Sporin »

Oh I don't know... I certainly haven't driven all 4 back to back and over again.. have you?

More than your perceived notion that "Edumunds" should be given "Credibility" when looking for a automobile in for the long term investments you are going to make on it, no?
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (fitch)

Congrats to the Mitsu. However if I were to choose one of those it would most definitely be the Murano. I am not to keen on the styling on the Mitsu though.
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (Sporin)

As odd as it may be for some of you to cope with their pick, you should respect it. It would have been too easy to give the win to the Honda--it would have been expected.
But, Edmunds actually compared the vehicles based on their merits, and chose the Mitsu.
Complaints: the Mitsu is ugly. But, then again, the Murano is as well. The Honda and Toyota are too bland to be beautiful. From what I've read of your criticisms against the Mitsu, that is pretty much where it ends. Fortunately for Edmunds, they didn't let this become a fashion show.
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (GLS_VR6)

Quote, originally posted by GLS_VR6 »
From what I've read of your criticisms against the Mitsu, that is pretty much where it ends.

That is all that I am complaining about. If the body style was a tad different it would get http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif . For now though, http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif .
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (Sporin)

Got the new CR in the mail today (thanks Tom). Coincedentally they test midsized SUVs. They rank them this way.
1. Honda Pilot EX
2. Nissan Murano SL
3. Toyota Highlander Limited V6
4. Mitsubishi Endeavor XLS
All CR's opinions, not my own.
Bob, who almost never refers to himself in the 3rd person
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (Roberto)

Downs: Outdated, slow, ----quote
The highlander has only been out for 2 years , just because it isnt on the new camry platform doesn't make it dated sounds like ka-ka
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (Hajduk)

Quote, originally posted by Hajduk »

Why is there a ghettoblaster in the centre of that dash?

LMAO


a week or so ago I checked out the Endeavor. The last Mistu I had driven was my DSM so I was expecting the absolute worst. shockingly, the truck was pretty damn nice.
oh, and inside it is absolutely fricken huge!
 

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Re: Edmunds '03 Midsize Crossover SUVs Comparison Test (Sporin)

By far one of the lamest comparison tests I have seen. I have little respect for what those automotive journalists said. Too many cliché's and not enough common sense.
(they must be MKIV owners
)
My choices would have almost been backwards, with the pilot #1.
 
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