Mitsubishi's compact crossover, the RVR, gets a signiicant refresh for 2016. Outside there is a new front end, and the GT trim gets LED headlights. Inside there is piano black trim in place of the wood of the old model. There is contrast stitching on the seats, a higher quality steering wheel, and more padding on the center console. Mitsubishi has added an acoustic glass windshield, thicker rear door glass, and extra sound insulation throughout the vehicle. All to make it a nicer place to be. Against the Ford Escape, Hyundai Tuscon, Kia Sportage and Mazda CX-5, the RVR isn't the biggest inside, or the most fun to drive, but the increased refinement, low price, and long warranty make for a very appealing package. The all-wheel drive is also unique in the segment in that it can lock the front and rear axles together. This gives you full traction for off road, or, more likely, the snowbank at the end of your driveway. Most of the competition gives you a system that can end up with only one wheel drive when the going gets slippery.
The RVR comes in five trims. ES which comes in front-wheel drive only, SE which is available in front or all-wheel drive, SE Limited Edition which is all-wheel drive only, and GT AWC which is all-wheel drive only as well. The base engine is a 2.0L four cylinder that makes 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. It's mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or a CVT. SE Limited and GT come with a 2.4L four that makes 168 hp and 167 lb-ft. The bigger engine is CVT and all-wheel drive only. The CVT is well programmed, and doesn't give the feeling of slippage that plagued older models. It delivers adequate performance for the class, and with the new interior, has lower noise levels as well.
ES trim starts at $19,998 and has 16-inch wheels, heated and power side mirrors, heated front seats, AC, power windows and locks, and a four speaker stereo. The manual transmission is standard, and the CVT is an option. The SE model starts at $22,698 and gets alloy wheels, automatic headlights, fog lights, tinted rear glass, a center armrest, and a leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter. There is also bluetooth and a rear-view camera. The SE AWC adds all-wheel drive to the equation.
Jumping up to the $27,498 SE Limited gives you the 2.4L engine, 18-inch alloys, and roof rails. Inside there is upgraded cloth seating, chrome accents on the heater controls, and a fancier gauge cluster.
At the top of the range is the $29,698 GT AWC and it gets lots of upgrades. There are HID headlights, power folding mirrors, and look up to see the panoramic fixed glass roof with shade. The locks get proximity keyless entry and the ignition is now a push-button start. There is an optional navigation system with a 7.0-inch screen. Finally, a premium package gets a power driver's seat, leather seats all around, and a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate stereo.
Mileage ratings are 10.3 L/100 km city, 8.0 highway for the small engine and the manual transmission, 9.6/7.6 for the four-wheel drive CVT, and 10.5/8.6 for the big engine with the CVT.