The Mitsubishi RVR is a range of cars produced by Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors from 1991 to 2002 and then from 2010 until present. The first two generations were classified as compact multi-purpose vehicles (MPV), and the model introduced in 2010 is a subcompact crossover SUV.
The RVR was Mitsubishi's Recreational Vehicle debut during the Japanese economic boom. The cars were sold at the Mitsubishi Japan dealership chain called Car Plaza. RVR is an acronym for "Recreation Vehicle Runner". In addition, the original logo had a Cyrillic Я on the first letter, so that it reads ЯVR. It had a convenient size passenger cabin and spacious 4–5 person capacity with a youth-oriented approach, making it appealing to young people. Television commercials in Japan used Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck as spokespeople. It was also developed and released during Japan's "bubble economy", and gained popularity due to the convenience of a passenger side sliding door.
It was a tall wagon with some off-road characteristics, targeting the "sports gear" or outdoor lifestyle market. This approach was similar to the one used by Honda when they introduced the Honda CR-V. The RVR had an especially good sales record in the beginning, even with the decline of the RV sales boom. Sales later declined, and the original RVR was discontinued in August 2002.
The reintroduction of the "Sports Gear" RVR nameplate is an attempt to inherit the popularity of the first generation vehicle. It was released in Japan on 17 February 2010. It does not feature a rear sliding door, due to the current perception that SUVs have conventional doors, and sliding doors are typically installed on family vehicles. The RVR logo no longer uses the inverted Cyrillic "Я" on the first letter.
The first generation RVR, introduced February 1991, is a compact MPV, manufactured from 1991 until 1997 and marketed as the Mitsubishi Space Runner in Europe and Mitsubishi Expo LRV in the United States. Export markets in Asia and Oceania used the Japanese market name. The RVR was also marketed by Chrysler as the Dodge/Plymouth Colt Wagon and Eagle Summit Wagon captive imports in North America. Its "tall wagon" configuration traces to Italdesign's 1978 Lancia Megagamma concept.
The Hyper Sports Gear R trim package in Japan used the drivetrain of the first Mitsubishi Galant VR-4; the 4G63T 2.0 L 16V DOHC turbo straight-4 mated to either a four-speed auto or a five speed manual which was not offered in North America. Open front and rear differentials were used on vehicles equipped with 4WD. Power output was rated at 170–184 kW (231–250 PS; 228–247 hp). In Japan, the RVR saw competition from the Nissan Rasheen, the Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V, the Subaru Forester, and the Suzuki Escudo.
The RVR was essentially a second generation Mitsubishi Chariot (marketed in some markets as the Space Wagon) with a shortened chassis but sharing the components of the longer variant. Its tall wagon body style featured two rows of seats, equipped with a single rear door and, in all markets, a single sliding door on the passenger side. The Mitsubishi sliding door latched to a "B" pillar, whereas those of the Toyota and Nissan vehicles did not. The rear windows did not retract but were forward hinged. The rear windows on the longer Chariot did retract into the doors.
The fuel tank access door was on the right side for all versions sold internationally. In the LHD models, which had the sliding door on the right side, an interlock prevented the door from opening too far when the fuel filler door was open.
The standard installed fixed position rear bench seat arrangement could accommodate three persons and the seatbacks had a 50:50 split: the reclining seat backs could be folded forward, flat upon the seats, and then the seat cushion could be detached at the rear and folded up and forward towards the front seats, leaving a flat floor for large cargo items. When the entire bench was removed, the flat floor extended all the way from the back of the front seats to the rear hatchback door. The optional sliding bench rear seats could accommodate three people, with the setup allowing rear seat passengers additional leg room by sliding the entire rear seat assembly back. Depending on seating arrangements, the rear seats can then produce a large enough interior space by sliding the seats completely forward, then extending the seatbacks completely flat.
Originally installed with a naturally aspirated 2.0L/1.8L petrol engine, it was later introduced with a diesel turbo engine model thereafter. The mid-model sports model with a detuned type of turbo engine 4G63 is also carried on the Lancer Evolution its "X3" and "Super Sport Gear" and offered an optional sliding metal sunroof. In North America, a 2.4L (2,351cc) 101 kW engine was available on FWD versions, and standard on AWD versions at least as early as MY 1993. The final and most powerful model, the "Hyper Sports Gear", was added in January 1997.
Due to platform sharing with the longer Chariot, and the benefit of development time, many of the mechanical components from past Galant contributions with new mechanism improvements, the RVR is basically reliable and robust. However, the individual is about 60,000 km Automatic Transmission capable, greet life with a plug cord about three years, would upset the sensors and around the throttle servo mechanism (such as not idling as symptoms appear), etc.
Automatic Transmission shift lock was mechanism instead of an electrical control, a unique method that deregulation was mechanically wire extending from the brake pedal. This was also the advantage of being unaffected by the battery.
The Mitsubishi RVR was sold at north american Mitsubishi dealerships under the Expo nameplate, they were available in a few different trim levels, all wheel drive or front wheel drive were offered, 2.4 4G64 and 1.8 4G93 four cylinder engines, diesel engines were not offered, transmission options were 4 speed auto or a 5 speed manual, the expo models were sold from 1991-1995 at the end of 1995 year the expo model was discontinued in north america.
In North America the RVR was also sold and marketed by Chrysler as the Dodge/Plymouth Colt Vista Wagon and Eagle Summit Wagon captive imports in North America. as station wagon models of the Dodge/Plymouth Colt and the Eagle Summit. As those were rebadgings of the Mitsubishi Mirage and Lancer, the cars didn't share much beyond the nameplate. These Wagons were sold for model years 1992-1996 and replaced the Dodge/Plymouth Colt Vista and the Canada-only Eagle Vista Wagon, all based on the previous generation Mitsubishi Chariot.
The Summit Wagon was available in DL and LX trims, as well as in a four-wheel drive version considered a trim level of its own. As a compact MPV, it was marketed as a small car with the roominess of a minivan with its interior offering high seating positions and removable rear seats.
The second generation was introduced in 1997. This generation was split into the regular, more minivan-like RVR GDI and the RVR Sports Gear with sporting off-road pretensions. Thanks to various bumper and fender extensions, the Sports Gear was too large to classify as a compact car in Japan and was thus placed in a considerably higher tax grouping. This generation RVR was not sold in North America (except Mexico). In Europe, this car was restyled and sold as the Mitsubishi Space Runner.
The model offers a significant facelift, which was done to mirror the image design of the Chariot Grandis and its brisk sales in 1999 at the time. Standard grades of "X" (later the "Exceed") and type of sport "sports gear" is classified into, the standard type "X" is a 1.8L gasoline engine, "Sports Gear" is a 2.4L GDI engine with a turbo engine or 2L 4G63. Vehicles installed with the 2.4 L. engine were liable for additional yearly tax charges in Japan due to the engine size exceeding the Japanese regulations concerning engine displacement, and the width of the vehicle was 1,780 millimetres (70 in). Vehicles with the smaller engines were installed in vehicles with reduced width at 1,695 millimetres (66.7 in) so that buyers weren't liable for additional taxes. The high performance model "Sports Gear X3", came with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob with self-leveling xenon headlights, and the original seat had been an interwoven pattern image of hummingbirds.
The third-generation RVR, which is a subcompact crossover SUV, first released in the Japanese domestic market on 17 February 2010. The name RVR is only used in Japan, South Korea, and Canada. In most markets, it is sold as the Mitsubishi ASX (an abbreviation of "Active Sports Crossover"), and as the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport in the United States, Argentina, Brazil, and Indonesia. The design was influenced from the Concept-cX prototype first exhibited at the 62nd Frankfurt Motor Show in July 2007.
Mitsubishi has concentrated on emphasizing the RVR's fuel economy and low emissions, as part of the company's plan to reposition itself as a maker of smaller and more efficient cars, in contrast to its previous successes building large SUVs.
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