The Mitsubishi Montero Sport is a famous nameplate among Filipinos. Alongside with its main rival, the Toyota Fortuner, this vehicle has become one of the primary choices of buyers who are looking into owning a midsize SUV with a diesel engine. We absolutely can’t blame them though, as the model spent years in the market already and it successfully earned the love and trust of many.
On the other corner is the Nissan Terra, which is one of the younger nameplates in its segment. Despite its late arrival, the Terra has successfully proven its potential as well, apart from the performance and capability, passengers are also provided with a comfortable ride all thanks to its rear multi-link coil spring suspension.
Range-topping trims of both SUVs shall go side-by-side. Specifically, the Nissan Terra 2.5 VL AT 4x4 and the Mitsubishi Montero Sport GT 2.4 4x4 AT. By that, we’re going to see just how good the rookie is when compared to the senior.
Apart from the ruggedness, both vehicles look good in their own way. While the Montero Sport sort of looks like a futuristic spaceship, the Nissan Terra looks less radical as it has a clean and straightforward design. Upfront, however, the Montero’s fascia looks more striking than the Terra. Worth noting though is that the Terra actually has larger dimensions than Montero Sport. Respectively, 4,885mm in length, 1,865mm in width, 1,835mm in height, and 2,850mm for the wheelbase. Those numbers have overtaken the dimensions of the Montero Sport, with its length only equating at 5,785mm, 1,815mm for the width, 1,805mm for the height, and lastly, 2,800mm for its wheelbase. The Terra also sits higher above the ground, all thanks to its 225mm ground clearance versus the Montero’s 218mm.
Standard exterior features on these range-topping variants include LED headlights, fog lights, turn-signal indicators on each side mirror, chrome door handles, a step board, and a rear spoiler. As for shoes, the Nissan gets a set of 18-inch alloys wrapped in 255/60 tires while the Montero Sport has 18-inch alloys with 265/60 tires.
The taillights are perhaps one of the most controversial parts of the Montero Sport, as its vertical lighting system does seem subjective to many, they’d either love it or hate it. Mitsubishi, however, has listened and shortened the lights while adding a bit of meat to the LEDs. The Terra, on the other hand, has simpler taillights accented with LEDs and halogen bulbs.
Overall, both models look aesthetically pleasing, that’s why we’re ending this round with a tie, as people have different preferences. That said, some would prefer the radical and compact looks of Montero Sport while others would consider the vanilla yet larger dimensions of the Terra.
Interior and technology
Both vehicles have dark-colored interiors, the Terra, however, gets a bit more contrast all thanks to the combination of brown leather. The Nissan also excels in terms of cabin space given its larger exterior dimension. While the Montero Sport may be less roomy inside, Mitsubishi did manage to come up with a more interesting layout.
These two SUVs are blessed with lots of convenience features including dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seats with power-adjustability for the driver, push-start button along with smart-keyless entry, steering wheel-mounted controls, and an 8-inch infotainment system that comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The following infotainment systems are then paired with a 6-speaker sound system. Additionally, the Nissan Terra comes with an 11-inch flip down monitor with HDMI input for rear occupants.
As for the cargo area, the Terra once again dominates this practical aspect. Both SUVs come with flat-folding seats, therefore, loading your precious or longer items won’t be much of a hassle. Montero Sport 4x4 buyers will even be more delighted by its power tailgate which is also foot-operated.
While the interior of the Montero Sport does seem more pleasing to the eye, the Nissan Terra managed to outrank the senior all thanks to its larger cabin. Then again, it’s still up to you. Whether you choose the more sophisticated interior of the Mitsubishi or the colossal-like cabin of the Nissan, but for us, the Terra is the winning SUV of this round.
WINNER: Nissan Terra
Being top-of-the-line trims allowed both models to acquire the 4x4 drivetrain that’s essential during unpredictable obstacles. In conjunction to that, these two were provided with tried and tested motors. For the Montero Sport, it gets a 2.4-liter turbo diesel engine that could produce 179 hp and 430 Nm of torque. The Terra, on the other hand, comes with a larger 2.5-liter turbo diesel engine that churns out a healthier 187 hp and 450 Nm of torque. For both 4x4 variants, the Mitsubishi gets an 8-speed automatic while the Nissan gets a 7-speed automatic.
It is worth noting that the Terra is heavier than the Montero Sport, with its weight just falling at 2,045 kg versus Nissan's 2,600 kg. This gives the Mitsubishi better power to weight ratio, not to mention, the MIVEC Clean Diesel is quieter than the Terra's, giving the Montero better engine refinement.
The Terra doesn’t fall short in terms of performance, in this case, the Montero just plays better with the numbers. With its better power to weight ratio, we hereby declare the Mitsubishi Montero Sport 4x4 as the overall winner of this round.
WINNER: Mitsubishi Montero Sport
When comparing both of these top trims in terms of safety, the Montero gets more airbags than the Terra, 7-airbags to be exact versus the Terra’s 6-airbags. Other standard safety equipment on both variants include Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), immobilizer, and ISOFIX child seat tethers. Additionally, the Terra gets a 360-degree monitor while the Montero comes with a multi around camera.
Both vehicles are fitted with a suite of autonomous driving features, which includes blindspot monitoring system and rear-cross traffic alert. The lane keep assist is only available on the Terra, while the Montero gets a few more extras such as ultrasonic misacceleration mitigation system and forward collision mitigation.
These SUVs do come with a wide range of safety features, but given the Montero’s well-packaged driver-assist technology and additional airbag, we then chose it as the overall achiever of this round.
WINNER: Mitsubishi Montero Sport
The midsize SUV segment has become highly competitive, with new nameplates such as the Nissan Terra challenging some of those established seniors like the Montero Sport. After a thorough assessment between these two, the Mitsubishi Montero managed to take home the crown leaving the Nissan Terra a second placer of this comparison.
Pricing for the Mitsubishi Montero Sport GT 2.4 4x4 is a bit more expensive, however, it does give you quite a lot at P2,450,000, including its advanced suite of driver-assist features. The Nissan Terra is less expensive, with it retailing at P2,211,000, and it's still a good deal though, considering you're not only getting the tried and trusted powerplant and Nissan Intelligent Mobility safety features, but you're also rewarded with so much space and practicality given the extensive dimensions. It's safe to say that you really can't go wrong with either of these two.