A great overall value, despite a few weaknesses
Used to be that SUVs existed almost solely as big hulking monsters that flattened foliage, consumed multiple parking spaces and burned up fuel faster than a refinery fire.
Thing is, today's shopper is concerned with fuel price mayhem and environmental issues, while being smarter and more sensible than ever. As a result, the auto industry has started reacting by cranking out more and more machines like the Mitsubishi RVR.
This mini-ute might be as cute and cartoony as an episode of Pokemon, but it has the serious mission of putting the alternative Japanese brand on the mental radar of shoppers in the expanding new compact crossover scene.
Ready for a fight, normal styling and all
That's a big challenge, but RVR is well-equipped for a fight. On top of offering the best powertrain warranty in the industry, RVR has years of expertise with four-wheel drive and rally racing built right in. It's also sized just right, efficient on fuel, and roomier than it looks.
Perhaps most importantly, it's normal looking. If you can't digest the Mini Countryman's bubbly face or the Nissan Juke's overall visual weirdness, RVR makes a heap of sense. Don't miss the nicely proportioned and muscular looks, trademark Mitsubishi grille treatment, or the fancy xenon lights.
Four-cylinder, AWC, CVT
Power comes from a two-litre four-cylinder engine with 148 ponies. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) was fitted, and with no actual stepped gears to shift, power is delivered in a smooth and uninterrupted flow. It's sort of like a snowmobile.
This type of gearbox isn't a favourite amongst driving enthusiasts, though for the majority in this market, it will prove just fine. Drive gently, and the CVT feels just like a liquid-smooth automatic, and helps saving fuel. Full-throttle performance can take some getting used to as the engine gets its revs up and keeps them there.
The tester also included shift paddles like a race car, allowing drivers to control the transmission and shift between six pre-set 'pretend' gear ratios for a little more fun.
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