Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Review: 2020 Mitsubishi Montero Sport 4WD GT


The arrival of the Xpander has put a lot less pressure on the Montero Sport, particularly when it comes to its market positioning. Before, Mitsubishi has had to offer a dizzying array of variants including three engine choices, two gearboxes, and four trims. With the arrival of their MPV though, they’ve managed to trim back the Monty variants to a more manageable four with one manual (GLX), and three automatics (GLS, 2WD GT, and 4WD GT); all powered by the same 2.4-liter MIVEC diesel. In the greater scheme of things though, this has enabled them to position their mid-sized SUV as a technology leader of sorts. The question is: would this be enough to entice the typical SUV buyer?

The answer to that question entirely depends on one thing: how much interior space do you need? If you happen to need all three rows of seats regularly or you haul lots of cargo, then you’re out of luck here. Despite measuring up similarly to its mid-sized SUV rivals, you’ll question where all that girth went. The Montero Sport’s headroom is already tight, but add the sunroof on the 4WD GT, and it’ll have difficulty accommodating long-limbed individuals. It’s even worse in the third row where people even of average Filipino height may find themselves brushing their head against the ceiling. It’s exacerbated by the knees up seating, and the protruding wheel arches that rob shoulder room. The same wheel arches, coupled with a high load height mean difficulty in accommodating wide, heavy items sideways like a set of golf clubs.



Be that as it may, the newest version of the Montero Sport impresses in other areas. For starters, the cabin looks and feels well-built with solid materials, and impeccable fit and finish. There are still remnants of old school Mitsubishi parts, but they’ve now few and far between. The major touchpoints such as the steering wheel, shifter, and even the ergonomic seats are easily the best parts of the cabin.

There is new stuff for this Monty’s update, but it’s best to focus on two here: the gauges and the infotainment system. Replacing the straightforward analog gauges is a new 8-inch all-digital TFT display. Compared to other carmaker efforts, this one gets a score of B minus. The information is presented in a clear, concise manner, but the graphics aren’t exactly high-def or cutting edge, and do tend to wash out in harsh sunlight. It’s the same story with the new infotainment system. The new 8-inch system is leagues better than previous efforts, but again, the graphics aren’t as sharp, and like the gauge cluster, tends to washout in sunlight. Oh, and while Apple CarPlay (as well as Android Auto) is now standard, it’s odd to hear things like map prompts and voice calls on the right set of speakers; as if Mitsubishi didn’t bother recalibrating it for left-hand drive.



Those grievances aside, the rest of the Montero Sport package remains quite solid. The 2.4-liter MIVEC diesel is one smooth operator that rarely becomes clattery. Power delivery isn’t linear as it clearly relies on boost, but it does exhibit excellent tractability around town. Punch the accelerator, and there’s a bit of hesitation before it hits its stride. The accompanying 8-speed automatic is, by far, the best in the pickup-based SUV segment with smooth, decisive shifts. Moreover, it stays relatively efficient be it in heavy—7.63 km/L at 15 km/h or light—9.17 km/L at 24 km/h traffic.

Around town, the Montero Sport delivers a generally decent ride. It doesn’t get upset by small, undulating ruts, but it also manages to absorb larger and sharper ones too. There are times where it can feel jittery, especially when unladen, but it’s never unruly. And despite carrying a hydraulic power steering system, the effort is light making this SUV feel quicker than it is. It’s only at higher speeds that it experiences the occasional choppiness, and on the twisty backroads that body roll occasionally feels a little undisciplined.



For those going off the beaten path, the Montero Sport offers a whole slew of features that promises to make it surefooted. Not only does it have Super Select 4WD-II which integrates a center locking differential, but it also has various off-road modes that change throttle and gearing that suits one of five preset terrains. It also comes with a rear differential lock.

Mitsubishi updated the styling in late 2019 to beef up its road presence. The revamped front-end definitely looks better now, adding a dose of aggression to the Gundam-inspired design. Even the rear-end didn’t escape scrutiny with the tear-shaped LED taillights re-shaped and smoked to visually improve its flow. Together with the more aggressive-looking rear spoiler and reworked license plate garnish, this Montero Sport update is the most futuristic yet.



It's only fitting therefore that Mitsubishi outfit the Montero Sport, particularly its flagship 4WD GT with all the bells and whistles. Aside from the usuals like automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, and a push-button start/stop, it also gets a power front seat, power tailgate with kick sensor, and a unique app-based remote control. Called the Mitsubishi Remote Control App, it allows you to lock/unlock doors, open/close windows, switch on/off engine, headlights, position lights, and hazard lights all with just a swipe of your finger. It also reminds you in case you forgot to lock the doors and/or switch off the headlights. Even more useful, it can help you locate your vehicle in a large parking lot and display various information about your vehicle.

Aside from all this, the 4WD GT adds radar-based driver assist technology such as Blindspot Warning with Lane Change Assist, Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Forward Collision Mitigation. These, together with 7 SRS airbags, ABS with EBD, electronic stability control, and front and rear parking sensors with a 360-degree camera make it one of the most safety conscious 7-seater SUVs in the market.



As a range, the Montero Sport, despite its tight cabin and occasional truck-like ride and handling, is still one of the better mid-sized SUVs out there. However, listed at P 2.45-million, this particular variant, the 4WD GT is hard to recommend. As it stands, it has the dubious honor of being the most expensive in its class. And despite the slew of added features and two additional driven wheels, it doesn’t really justify the P 452,000 premium (P 392,000 with the optional Sports body kit). It’s worth noting that a P 230,000 discount has adjusted the Montero Sport 4WD GT’s price to P 2.22 million. At this price, it’s become much more aligned vis-à-vis its features and positioning.



2020 Mitsubishi Montero Sport 4WD GT

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Ownership 2020 Mitsubishi Montero Sport 4WD GT
Year Introduced 2016 (Refreshed: 2017, 2019)
Vehicle Classification Mid-Sized SUV
Warranty 3-years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basic
Body Type 5-door SUV
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/4WD, Part-Time, Low with Locking Center, Rear Differential
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.4
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Common Rail
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 181 @ 3,500
Nm @ rpm 430 @ 2,500
Fuel / Min. Octane Diesel
Transmission 8 AT
Cruise Control Yes, Adaptive
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 7.63 km/L @ 15 km/h,
9.17 km/L @ 24 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,785
Width (mm) 1,815
Height (mm) 1,805
Wheelbase (mm) 2,800
Curb Weight (kg) 2,075
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, Double Wishbone
Rear Suspension 3-Link Coil Spring
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Tires Toyo Open Country A32 265/60 R 18 H (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 7
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear, w/ 360-degree Camera
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR with pre-tensioner x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3 (2nd row),
3-spt ELR x 2 (3rd row)
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Hold Assist
Hill Descent Control
Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System
Forward Collision Mitigation
Blindspot Warning w/ Lane Change Assist
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Front & Rear
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers Yes
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Electric, 8-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Electric, 8-way
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40 w/ Slide (2nd row),
50/50 (3rd row)
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Yes, Dual Zone w/ Ionizer (front),
Manual w/ Vents (rear)
Audio System Stereo
USB
HDMI
GPS
Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes

3 comments:

  1. With the introduction of newer midsized SUVs, I don't think the Montero Sport is one of the better in its class anymore. It is probably better than the MU-X and Fortuner, but it's behind the Terra, Trailblazer, Rexton and Everest, atleast based on reviews I've read from this site. Good and fair review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Where does this rank in terms of technology vs the Fortuner, MUX, Everest, Terra & Trailblazer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmmm...I'd say:

      1. Everest 4WD
      2. Montero Sport 4WD
      3. Fortuner LTD 4WD
      4. TIE: Trailblazer 4WD / Terra 4WD
      5. Isuzu mu-X

      Delete

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