By Antony Dickson
In a market so competitive, consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to automobiles. There’s something for everyone out there catering to every budget and segment. However, over the past decade or so, there as been one category where car manufacturers saw massive potential and have been successfully tapping into it. Crossovers is the name of the game now.
Mitsubishi’s Outlander is one such example that has a large fan following ever since it was launched nearly a decade ago. But Mitsubishi have found another winner on their hands with its RVR, introduced to Canada last year, and sales figures say it all. Mitsubishi recorded its best-ever January sales across Canada. Sales strength in January came from Mitsubishi’s newest four-door, five-passenger compact crossover, the Mitsubishi RVR (Recreation Vehicle Runner), with 459 deliveries.
The RVR is a definitely smart looking SUV with cosmetic characteristics adapted from its big brother the Outlander. Eighteen-inch aluminum alloy wheels, chrome grille and a single exhaust outlet with chrome trim add to its good looks. One can easily mistake the RVR for the Outlander if seen from the front end. It looks sporty yet elegant and equally appeals to both genders. The tester I had was the top of the line Mitsubishi RVR GT 4WD. The RVR seats five adult passengers comfortably with cargo room to spare. The rear sears fold flat for a larger cargo area and also recline for added comfort. Customers with children will find the rear seats also equipped with LATCH child safety seat anchors and upper tethers and child-safety rear door locks. There’s lots of little storage spaces besides cup holders all around the vehicle.
Getting in and out of the vehicle is a breeze thanks to its perfect ride height. Once inside, you’ll find the interiors are of good qualtiy and the dash is laid out in standard Mistsubishi style. The dashboard is well-laid out with modern touches such as a push start/stop button to fire up the engine. The fabric-layered seats are comfortable and on cold winter nights, the seat warmers are a treat. But trying to get to the seat-warmer switches is a task.
The GT comes equipped with powerful 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate audio system with nine speakers including a subwoofer, six-disc CD player, navigation, rear-view camera and connectivity to personal phones and music players. Sound quality is surprisingly very impressive that is sure to bring a smile to music lovers. The highlight of the interiors is however the huge panoramic glass sunroof that runs from the front seats to all the way to the rear seats. Sadly though, you can’t tilt or slide open the roof for some fresh air.
Driving it around town is the least stressful and I’m sure most drivers will find parking this cute Mitsubishi a cake walk. Steering feels slighty heavy and responsive. Negotiating sharp turns doesn’t send the RVR into oversteer or understeer, even in snowy conditions, provided the large dial on the central console is set to 4WD. This dial enables the RVR to switch from two-wheel-drive to four-wheel-drive or into 50-50 lock mode. Keeping it on 2WD on regular city runs does give a higher fuel efficiency.
The power coming to the wheels is from a 2.0 litre inline-four engine pumping 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque married to a Sportronic CVT. Yes, the RVR does struggle for power during an overtaking move on the highway. Floor the pedal to the metal and the engine groans for quite a bit before it can actually bring you up to desired speed. But then again, the lack of power is not missed during city runs. I found fuel consumption on the higher side for an engine this small. I averaged 10.8 L/100 km during the week I tested it. The RVR is loaded with safety equipment such as seven airbags, active stability control, traction control, a tire-pressure monitoring system, and ABS with electronic brake force distribution.
Overall, the RVR is a great choice for an average family – not too big, not too small. It offers almost all the gizmos you would need in this day and era while being efficient in most departments. Though the RVR starts from $19,998, our tester featured here – the Mitsubishi RVR GT 4WD – totaled to $33,948.
By Antony Dickson