Joe Duarte

2011 Mitsubishi RVR

Sportier Mitsu crossover for the city

2011 Mitsubishi RVR

Sportier Mitsu crossover for the city

Mitsubishi is expanding its crossover family with an all-new CUV that bears a passing resemblance to the current Outlander, but varies in just about every other way.

Introduced at the 2010 New York International Auto Show as the Outlander Sport, the smaller, lighter and more rigid RVR crossover is designed for the city user, combining fuel efficiency with feature-rich premium-quality performance. Using lightweight, dent-resistant plastic front fenders, regenerative braking and enhanced aerodynamics, engineers have brought estimated highway fuel economy into the 7.6 L/100km range (31 mpg).

Aerodynamics is reportedly class-leading, with the 0.33 coefficient of drag beating the Mazda CX-7 (0.34), Hyundai Tucson (0.37), and Subaru Forester (0.38). The slippery shape allows RVR to cut through air with less effort, to the benefit of both fuel economy and acceleration.

Essentially the Outlander’s “little brother”, the entry-level crossover transfers the Outlander family’s real world capabilities into a smaller, more manoeuvrable urban package. The all new RVR mixes the easy entry, exit, and turning radius of a smaller vehicle with the higher sightline and interior volume of the larger CUV.

The five-passenger RVR is 3,710 mm (14.6 inches) shorter than its namesake and nearly five inches taller than the similarly sized Lancer sedan. The rear seat is a 60/40 split bench that also has a centre armrest pass-through for cargo handling versatility.

Among the list of premium standard features are such technologies as stability control (ASC), hill start assist (HSA), electric power steering (EPS), LCD instrument display and a seven-airbag safety system. Automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers and the keyless entry system with push-button start are all also standard.

Options include LED-accented panoramic glass roof, 710W nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system, navigation system with 40 GB hard drive storage, and a hands-free link system for control over audio, phone and navigation functions.

Power comes from a 148 hp MIVEC 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, sending power to the front wheels via a standard five speed manual transmission. A CVT transmission and the much-praised electronically controlled All-Wheel Control system (all wheel drive) are available. It rides on a fully-independent front MacPherson strut, rear multi-link suspension.

Standard 16-inch wheels, available in either steel or aluminum alloy, can be upgraded to 18-inch alloys. Further customization is available in the form of an Exterior Sport Package that adds an alloy fuel door, tailgate spoiler, front skid plate, rear diffuser garnish, and front corner extensions.

The new crossover is expected in fall 2010.

Fact file

  • Price range: not yet set
  • Year/Make/Model: 2011 Mitsubishi RVR
  • Options: all-wheel drive; panoramic glass roof; premium Rockford Fosgate audio system; navigation system; FUSE hands-free link system.
  • EnerGuide fuel economy ratings: Est. 7.6 combined.
  • Warranty (powertrain): Exp. 10 years/160,000 km
  • Competitors: Subaru Impreza; Suzuki SX4
  • Warranty (basic): Exp. 5 years/100,000 km