History and Generations
Few people anticipated that SUVs would soon become Americans’ preferred family vehicles when the Mitsubishi Montero initially hit the American market in 1983. A boxy two-door 4×4 with the off-road prowess of a Jeep Wrangler and a weatherproof interior, the original Montero was a curiosity. The Jeep Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner, Chevrolet S-10 Blazer, and Ford’s disastrous Bronco II were all brand-new models at the time.
Despite Isuzu’s four-door Trooper’s considerable popularity, Mitsubishi didn’t release the family-sized Montero on the American market until 1989. The 3.0 liter V-6 engine, which replaced the two-2.6 door’s liter four-cylinder engine and produced 105 horsepower, was well-prepared when it finally arrived.
Prior to the 1992 introduction of the second-generation Montero in the United States, the two-door Montero was discontinued in 1990. The 3.0-liter V-6 was improved to 151 horsepower, but even with the larger size and weight of the new Montero, it was still insufficient to move the bulk of the vehicle. It included adjustable shock absorbers and a full-time 4WD system, among other noteworthy characteristics.
In 1994, Mitsubishi added a new 3.5-liter DOHC V-6 engine with 215 horsepower for the top-of-the-line SR model to make up for the lack of power. For 1995, the 3.0-liter V-6 received an update to 24 cylinders and 177 horsepower while maintaining manual transmission availability. In 1997, a 200-horsepower SOHC 3.5-liter V-6 engine took the place of both, and the Montero switched exclusively to an automatic transmission. The Montero was beginning to show its age as the 2000 came to a conclusion. While rival SUVs were becoming more car-like in their driving, the Montero was still slow and cumbersome.
Mitsubishi reacted with a brand-new Montero for 2001, ditching the box-like appearance of the previous Monty in favor of sexier curves. The third-generation Montero was a unibody instead of a body-on-frame vehicle, and it swapped out its live rear axle and recirculating-ball steering for rack-and-pinion steering and four-wheel independent suspension. The top-tier Limited vehicles introduced a fifth gear to the automatic transmission, and the 3.5-liter V-6 delivered additional torque. With no loss in off-road capability, the Montero’s ride, handling, and wind noise all improved as a result, yet it continued to seem bulky and awkward in comparison to comparable modern SUVs.
The Montero received a new 3.8-liter V-6 engine with 215 horsepower for 2003, and the five-speed automated transmission was made standard across the whole Montero lineup. Safety has been considerably enhanced by a new electronic stability control system. However, Montero sales were in decline, as were those of all Mitsubishi vehicles, and when Mitsubishi unveiled a new version in 2006, it was excluded from the American market. Sales of the Montero in America ceased in 2006, but it is still manufactured in other markets around the world under the name Pajero.
Buying Tips and Highlights
The vehicle, known as the Montero in North America, is also known as the Shogun in the U.K. and the Pajero in other markets, including a number of Spanish-speaking nations where the term “Pajero” is slang and has a similar connotation to the word “wanker” in the UK.
The driver’s seat in the first-generation Montero came standard with its own spring suspension.
Between 1987 to 1990, the two-door Montero was rebadged as the Dodge Raider as part of Mitsubishi’s collaboration with Chrysler.
A Montero can be difficult to locate. The most recent Monteros are now 15 years old, and despite being durable automobiles, Mitsubishi didn’t sell that many of them. Older fashions were more well-liked, but many have passed away from old age.
If you locate a Montero you like, adhere to the same rules you would with any used vehicle: Search for corrosion, abuse indicators, and ideally, locate one with complete maintenance records. Although some V-6 engines may be prone to oil leaks or consumption, these are generally sturdy cars.
For off-road use, certain Monteros have undergone modifications. Monteros make fantastic off-road project cars, but watch out for amateurish work. Starting with an unmodified Montero is always preferable when doing an off-road project.
We advise purchasing a 2003 model or later Montero if you need it for family transportation because these models came with electronic stability control. In the event of a swerve or other unexpected emergency maneuver, ESC reduces the risk of a collision or rollover for the Montero.
Price and Specifications
|PRICE||$9,229 ($24,008 in 2020 dollars)|
|ENGINE||2.6L SOHC 8-valve I-4/105 hp @ 5,000 rpm, 139 lb-ft @ 2,900 rpm|
|LAYOUT||2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, 4WD SUV|
|L x W x H||157.3 x 66.1 x 74.0 in|
|0-60 MPH||13.1 sec|
Frequently Asked Questions about The Mitsubishi Montero
Is the Mitsubishi Montero a good car?
The Mitsubishi Montero was a well-built vehicle with exceptional off-road abilities. However, it was slower and had clumsier handling than similarly-sized competing SUVs.
What’s the difference between a Montero and a Pajero?
The Pajero is the name for the Montero sold in most other markets outside of North America and the United Kingdom (where it’s known as the Shogun). The Pajero was basically the same vehicle, though it offered different engine choices, including a diesel and a direct-injected V-6.
What’s the difference between a Montero and a Montero Sport?
The Montero Sport is a smaller five-seat SUV. Though the names are similar, the Montero and Montero Sport are very different vehicles.
Quick Facts About The Mitsubishi Montero
- First year of production: 1982
- First year of sale in U.S.: 1983
- Last year of sale in U.S.: 2006
- Original price (base): $9,229
- Characteristic feature: Large, off-road capable SUV