2011 Mitsubishi RVR GT 4WD Review

The all-new 2011 Mitsubishi RVR may be a bit late to the exploding CUV party, it is certainly a contender with beefy styling and proven AWD

Next time you’re driving, take a quick look around and you’ll agree there is no shortage of compact CUVs on the roads these days; nearly every manufacturer with something to offer. And while the all-new 2011 Mitsubishi RVR may be a bit late to the party, it is certainly a contender. In fact, the relatively unknown RVR is perhaps the best styled, most fuel efficient in the segment.

RVR Trims

Available in three trims, The 2011 Mitsubishi RVR starts at $21,998 MSRP CAD for the base SE 2WD (front wheel) version; $24,998 for the SE 4WD; and  $28,498 for the GT 4WD (as tested here). All three RVR versions are powered by the same 2.0-litre, 4-cyclinder MIVEC engine, producing 149-hp at 6000 rpm and 145-lb ft of torque at 4200 rpm. A 5-speed manual transmission comes standard with the entry-level SE 2WD, or go for the optional Sportronic CVT with 6-speed and wheel paddle shifters, a welcomed standard feature on the 4WD versions.

These all-wheel drive trims find a control knob in the cabin, allowing driver to electronically toggle between 2WD and/or 4WD/4WD-lock modes—a tremendously useful, fuel saving, function all compact CUVs should employ, but don’t. And not all CVT systems are built equal, but my RVR GT felt great, shifting on-point, getting the most out this 2.0-litre engine.

Styling

From front to back, the 2011 Mitsubishi RVR GT is proportioned just right with aggressive overall styling without going overboard or overcompensating for it’s smaller size (as a few competitors are guilty of doing). The front end is stout yet stylish with the classic Mitsu-styled front grill. The side shoulderlines running along the doors are boldly indented and flow on an angle giving the beefy RVR a more sporty appeal.  The super-wide range HID headlights come standard on the GT version, along with the chrome grille surround, a single exhaust outlet with a chrome tip, rain sensing windshield wipers, and a panoramic roof with power sliding sunshade and LED lighting. The RVR GT also finds larger, standard 18-inch aluminum rims over the 16-inch wheels. Offered in seven colours, the Kingfisher Blue Metallic looks hot, but so did my tester in the Diamond White Pearl.

Interior

The 2011 RVR cabin is spacious with a simple, easy-to-use centre console layout including three large dials nestled below leading to a cleaner setup above. Magnesium-alloy paddle shifters for the CVT; a high-contrast meter with full-colour display; and a Multi-Information Display (in colour) all come standard with the GT (the lower trims also find this MID but without colour and a few less features). All three RVR versions find a healthy dose of included cabin features, but a few exclusive to the GT, as per my tester for the week, include an automatic climate control with pollen filter; a one-touch Start/Stop engine switch; visor vanity mirror with illumination; a rear seat centre armrest with two cup holders and a pass-through; the FAST-key passive entry system with panic feature; and premium 3D emboss fabric trimmed seats.

Perhaps the greatest leap from the SE models is the audio system, going from a 140-watt, 4-speaker setup to the GT’s 710-watt, Rockford-Fosgate 9-speaker system with a 10-inch sub, including Sirius satellite radio with a 6-month free subscription. This sound system is stellar, but this large 10-inch sub eats into the cargo space behind the rear seat, offering 569-litre (20.1 cu.ft) of storage real estate.

Takeaway

Consumers today have an array of choices when shopping for that more-storage-than-a-sedan but not-as-overwhelming-as-an-SUV vehicle. And if Mitsubishi’s reputable, next step up Outlander SUV is perhaps a bit much, then the 2011 Mitsubishi RVR is the perfect compromise—with excellent fuel efficiency, stunning looks, and the company’s 10-5-5 Warranty with limited 5 years for 100,000km and 10 year/160,000km coverage, it’s easy to see why.

Learn More – Mitsubishi RVR

Shooting motors professionally since film was a thing, Amee's work has been published in various outlets including NBC Sports, Chicago Tribune, SuperStreet, GlobeDrive, MotorTrend, and others. He's a writer, editor at TractionLife.com, AJAC member, and full-time digital marketer at Traction Media working with national brands. Find him traveling, spending time with his kids and family. Or golfing, badly.