The Mitsubishi Montero Sport is a beloved nameplate in the Philippine market, gathering a legion of fans that do everything in this versatile vehicle. It's a midsize SUV that ticks many boxes for many Filipinos, and it's quite handsome to boot.
Let's go over a few facts you might not have known about one of Mitsubishi's best-sellers.
In other countries, it is as if the Montero Sport wants to keep a low profile. Also known as a Pajero Sport, Shogun, or a Challenger, the SUV is essentially the same across the pond save for a few features and configurations.
The design has come a long way
In 1996, Mitsubishi launched a midsize SUV that looked like nothing else. Years later, they gave us the second-generation Montero Sport with rounded corners that looked a little like its predecessor.
Fast forward to the present day, all those corners have been creased and defined. Every generation introduced a very interesting design language from the brand and no two generations are incremental. It is the first-ever vehicle in the Mitsubishi Philippines lineup to don the Dynamic Shield fascia which has seemingly reinvigorated Filipino interest in Mitsubishi cars.
Frugal in more than one way
In our pickup truck comparo, the most impressive fuel economy went to the Montero Sports’ cousin, the Strada. Equipped with the company’s 4N15 MIVEC Clean Diesel motor, the pickup managed to edge out the rest of its rivals with a fuel economy figure of 17.9 km/L as per our testing on the highway. When plopped into the SUV, the figures are roughly the same also hovering above the 17 km/L mark.
Measuring in at 2.4L in displacement, the Montero Sport has 179 hp, and 430 Nm of torque which slots it under some of its rivals, and over a few others. Though, the good thing that Mitsubishi Philippines did was that they made this engine standard throughout the lineup, which means that even lower-end variants get the same performance and fuel economy as top-spec brothers.
Instead of insisting that the brand’s design decisions take precedence over the customer’s, Mitsubishi put an ear to the ground and made slight, yet novel changes to the new Montero’s exterior design. The taillamps are less elongated and beefed up, which make it look more like a taillight, and not a robot’s crying eyes. In our opinion, this is what it should have looked like from the start.
And tech-savvy buyers will also enjoy the fact that the Montero will pair seamlessly with their smartphones through the use of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a feature that was only recently added to the lineup.
To address the elephant in the room, Mitsubishi has bolstered the Montero Sport’s safety systems immensely in keeping with the times. Try saying this ten times fast, Ultrasonic MIssacceleration Mitigation System.
There is a 3.0L V6 variant of the Montero Sport, but it is obviously not available in the Philippine market. Instead, it is a Middle-Eastern variant with the brand’s 6B31 V6 engine which produces 217 hp and 276 Nm of torque. It would be interesting to drive a Montero Sport without the thump of a diesel motor under the hood.