Top Gear has been a go-to show at our house since my husband and I discovered British Television in Canada. Albeit it is challenging since the Canadian TV carriers are about as reliable in-service delivery as ice cream staying consistent on a hot day.
Today, I am going to channel Richard Hammond. Richard and I have a lot in common. We both belong to the vertically challenged club. He also didn’t hold back when he reviewed a vehicle. He knew what he liked and wasn’t shy about letting you know.
I want to meet the wizards that design vehicles. I am positive that they are in a bubble that is all about look and nothing about function. Which brings me to the Mitsubishi RVR (AWD).
I rented this vehicle from Enterprise Rent A Car. I want to make sure that you understand that the individual vehicle pickup drops don’t have a lot of influence on the cars that are part of the fleet. So, give Enterprise a break for the following review.
I am in the market for a new vehicle. My strategy has always been to rent a vehicle and take it for a road trip. In this case, it was a 2,000-mile trip from Winnipeg through Wisconsin and back. Let me share my observations of the RVR in no particular order.
Pros: Things that are okay but not exceptional
- It starts.
- The doors open but the key fobs need work. The door lock signal took 4 activations on the fob before any confirmation was sounded.
- It is easy to synchronize your Bluetooth device.
- The outside looks great. It isn’t a standout on the road. It really means that imagination has been held hostage to making it look like everything else on the road. By the way, white completely stinks as a vehicle colour. Let me put this in perspective, I left after a blizzard. White is the colour of blowing snow. Stand-out isn’t an option.
- Gas mileage was tolerable. It depends on whether you are buying the gas in Canada or the USA.
- The head rests are positioned so that a short person isn’t forced into a crouch like Quasimodo of Hunchback of Notre Dame fame.
- The pros end here.
Cons: Things that just plain are unacceptable and unexceptional
- The version that I rented is considered an intermediate rental. Yah! no! Heated seats don’t make a vehicle an Intermediate SUV. What it does make it is convenient when the temperature is -30C and you have to scrape the ice off the windshield. At least, your backside is warm.
- The CVT, continuously variable transmission, is anemic at best and dangerous at worst. The technology has potential. However, the 2.4 litre engine can’t get out of its own way. Merging on I94 can be a challenge in a Ferrari, never mind a vehicle that is wheezing like a patient with lung cancer.
- The seats were designed by a someone who has never driven more than 20 miles in a single trip. The seats are so uncomfortable that a 3-hour trip renders you incapable of getting out of the RVR without needing a Tylenol 3. In case, you wonder T3’s contain codeine and make you look for a place to park your helicopter. You know, the helicopter than you don’t own and can’t fly but see anyway.
- The entertainment centre is pathetic. The options are very limited and have no impact on what you actually see.
- The Bluetooth function allows you can add things but not delete them. As near as I can tell, you need to disconnect the battery to get rid of the mobile phones that you have added. On the plus side, it was rather easy to add my mobile phone. Except, when I didn’t want to add my contacts, it went into some vortex that could only be reset by restarting the vehicle.
- You can select the units, such as kilometres or miles, but nothing changes in the displays. If you really want a vehicle that operates on both sides of the border, this version of the RVR isn’t it. The ‘digital’ display in the instrument panel remained in kilometres after being changed to miles. On the plus side, I got 24 hour time.
- Who designed the cruise control? You can turn it on, but you don’t know the speed that it is set to. At best, you hope that the fact that a stable gas pedal is a good thing. At worst, you have no idea what the speed is the cruise control is set to. I am sure that won’t get you out of a traffic ticket.
- By the way, a manual control for the smart cruise control is entertaining. I check all the controls. I was surprised to find out that the little push button by the speedometer was the way to control the distance between the vehicle in front of me and my vehicle. No messages to give you an indicator of behaviour. As an aside, the speedometer showed 5 miles more than my GPS. Go figure.
- No one in their right mind would design the rear hatch opener so that anyone with fingernails longer than ¼ inch would have a problem opening the hatch. The opener is a solid, rubber-covered latch and difficult to operate. I don’t have long fingernails but opening the latch and opening the door is damned inconvenient. I couldn’t open the latch and open the door at the same time. It took at least two tries to get the latch to release. Then, I had to force the hatch door up. A great feature when your hands are full of grocery bags (Just a little sarcasm here!).
As an aside, my husband is 6’4” tall. He can’t sit in either the passenger or driver’s seat comfortably. Picture this man folded into a Mazda Miata. Same challenge with the RVR. Comfort isn’t an option in the RVR at his height, or my 5′ 3″ either. In fact, after 2,000 miles, it isn’t the vehicle for me.
In conclusion, this vehicle was a rush to judgement. Someone from Mitsubishi should have taken this vehicle on a road trip while it is still a concept vehicle. It is the most uncomfortable vehicle that I have driven in the last 20 years. If you are going to drive any distance except to the grocery store around the corner find another vehicle. Mitsubishi dropped the ball on this one.
Overall, rating is 1 star out of 5.