Mitsubishi’s RVR has long become a fixture on Canadian roads, having entered our market as far back as 2010 when its handful of subcompact crossover SUV rivals included Honda’s Element, Jeep’s Compass and Patriot, Kia’s Soul, Nissan’s Cube and Juke, plus Scion’s xB.
Initially the little utility did quite well, achieving third place in category sales during its first full year before attaining best-in-class deliveries for 2013, but nearly a decade of minimal updates, other than reworked grille and lower front fascia designs for the 2016 model year, have resulted in so-so sales ever since.
Mitsubishi hopes to change this with its much more dramatically refreshed 2020 RVR. Stylistic similarities to the edgy new Eclipse Cross were obviously intended, but the new RVR provides standard LED headlamps plus a pair of truly unique standard four-lens LED daytime running lamps, while down each side is an eye-catching chromed front fender “vent”, all before the SUV’s hind end gets new standard LED taillight clusters above a new bumper with more intricate detailing. This said the 2020 RVR’s highlight item might be the new standard 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen found in its updated interior.
To clear up an confusion, the RVR is also called Outlander Sport south of the 49th and ASX in the Europe markets and elsewhere. This new version was initially introduced at the Geneva motor show in March before arriving here in Canada, and now that we have pricing and all other details on the automaker’s Canadian retail site, it’s clear to see that there’s more about the redesign than some stylish new duds.
The 2020 RVR is also a better value, thanks to its base price staying at $22,998 plus destination and fees, yet its many new updates being included in the standard fare. On that note the 8.0-inch Smartphone Link Display Audio centre touchscreen also includes standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, plus a bigger backup camera.
Additionally, all new 2020 RVR trims get heatable power-adjustable exterior mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, heated front seats, Bluetooth, anti-theft security, a rooftop rear spoiler, hill start assist, traction control, active stability control, a brake override system, plus more.
Mitsubishi also makes its advanced All Wheel Control (AWC) all-wheel drive system more affordable this year, by providing it in new ES AWC trim that starts at only $25,498.
Mitsubishi offers seven trim levels for 2020, with the just-above-base $25,298 SE FWD now providing standard blindspot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, a combination only offered on pricier trims last year.
The all-wheel drive SE AWC, at $27,998, incorporates the same fuel-efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) as its more entry-level siblings, yet replaces the model’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine for a larger 2.4-litre version, which brings output up from 148 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque to a potent 168 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque, while this model also features standard LED fog lights.
Above this is $29,798 SEL AWC trim that replaces the 16-inch alloy wheels to a new sportier set of 18-inch alloys, while also adding plusher, more pampering microsuede upholstery.
Instead of the SEL AWC you may want to consider moving up to the $30,798 Limited Edition AWC (dubbed Black Edition last year), which provides a black headliner, a heated steering wheel rim, and a centre console kneepad with contrast red stitching.
The blackened headliner and heatable steering wheel are included in the top-line $33,998 GT AWC too (Mitsubishi has discontinued use of the “GT Premium” nameplate for 2020), as well as a new chrome beltline moulding.
Finally, new colour choices include standard Oak Brown and Sunshine Orange, which join carryover standard colours Sterling Silver and Titanium Grey, whereas a new Red Diamond exterior paint colour becomes available for $450, alongside $300 optional Labrador Black, Octane Blue, and Pearl White exterior paints.
“RVR is our number one selling nameplate,” stated Juyu Jeon, president and CEO, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, Inc. “As an entry-level SUV, RVR has done the important job of introducing new customers to the brand and these customers are staying and growing with Mitsubishi Motors. We believe with its new bold, rugged look, Canadians will want to revisit why RVR has become a Canadian favourite for Mitsubishi.”
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Mitsubishi