1997-2002 Mitsubishi RVR: A Comprehensive Guide to this Iconic Vehicle

July 3, 2023 1:08 PM

1997-2002 Mitsubishi RVR

The 1997-2002 Mitsubishi RVR is a compact SUV that was introduced by Mitsubishi Motors, a renowned Japanese automaker. The RVR, also known as the Mitsubishi Space Runner or the Mitsubishi Expo LRV in some markets, was specifically designed to cater to the needs of urban drivers seeking a versatile and spacious vehicle.

Design and Features

From a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) perspective, the 1997-2002 Mitsubishi RVR showcases a unique and distinctive design, blending functionality with a touch of sportiness. This compact SUV features a boxy yet aerodynamic shape, allowing for excellent interior space utilization without compromising its visual appeal.

The RVR is equipped with a range of features that enhance its practicality and convenience. These include a high seating position, providing drivers with improved visibility and a commanding view of the road. The interior offers ample headroom and legroom for both the driver and passengers, ensuring a comfortable ride even on long journeys.

Engine and Performance

Under the hood, the 1997-2002 Mitsubishi RVR is powered by a range of engines, catering to various performance needs and fuel efficiency requirements in the JDM market. One of the popular engine options during this period was a 2.0-liter inline-four engine, delivering a balance between power and fuel economy.

For those seeking more power, Mitsubishi also offered a turbocharged version of the RVR known as the RVR Hyper Sports Gear. This variant featured a 4G63T engine, which was the same engine used in the legendary Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

Technology and Safety

Despite being from the late 90s and early 2000s, the 1997-2002 Mitsubishi RVR incorporated several innovative technologies that enhanced its safety and performance. These technologies included advanced four-wheel-drive systems, which provided improved traction and stability on various surfaces.

Furthermore, the RVR was equipped with standard safety features such as dual front airbags, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), and seat belt pretensioners. These features contributed to the overall safety of the vehicle and provided peace of mind to JDM drivers.

Popularity and Legacy

The 1997-2002 Mitsubishi RVR gained significant popularity in the JDM market due to its reliability, versatility, and affordable pricing. Its compact size, combined with generous cargo space, made it an ideal choice for urban families and outdoor enthusiasts.

While the RVR was primarily sold in the Japanese market, it also gained popularity in several other countries, including Canada and some European nations. Its versatile nature and reputation for durability have contributed to a strong following among Mitsubishi enthusiasts around the world.


The 1997-2002 Mitsubishi RVR, also known as the Mitsubishi Space Runner or Mitsubishi Expo LRV, is a compact SUV that catered to the needs of urban drivers. With its unique design, spacious interior, various engine options, advanced technologies, and safety features, the RVR became a popular choice for JDM drivers. Its legacy continues to thrive among Mitsubishi enthusiasts, thanks to its reliability and versatility. Whether used for city commutes or outdoor adventures, the 1997-2002 Mitsubishi RVR remains an iconic and sought-after vehicle.