The Mitsubishi Montero also belongs to the Pajero family, but goes under a different name. In India the Pajero Montero is the largest SUV available from the Japanese car maker. It is larger in size than the Pajero Sport and also comes with a massive engine.
Even though the Montero is much larger than other SUVs, because of its price it competes with other SUVs such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Land Rover Freelander2, Mercedes M Class, and Volvo XC90.
The Montero is a massive brutish car. It looks like a large piece of muscle in a box. Definitely not the most visually appealing, but it gets our vote because it’s simple and not a ‘fashionista’, which is what a SUV should really be. It’s got a massive front hoot and a very prominent front grille with massive headlights next to it. Then there are the 17 inch alloy wheels to give it an added appeal. The spare wheel on the rear end gets a cover with the logo on it. The car is much longer than the Pajero Sport but ust a little large in terms of its width. It has got a very powerful stance and looks much larger than other SUVs in its segment. It really is a mean machine. It also has one of the best ground clearances at 235mm.
The interiors are also very nice in the Montero. There is just soo much space in the car that it feels more like a small room rather than a cabin. the seats are very large and comfortable and the dashboard looks nice and modern along with the steering wheel that is also quite large.
There is a huge boot that comes with folding seats just in case you need to fit some more people in. The overall feel is quite luxurious and there is all sorts of information displayed to the driver on the instrument cluster.
The Montero comes with a massive 3.2 litre diesel DOHC 16-valve, in-line, 4-cylinder, with intercooled turbocharger. This allows the engine to produce 198bhp and 441Nm of torque. The engine is further mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission with sports mode. It is a very well refined diesel engine and there is not much vibration or sound.
The Montero is a very heavy car, which means the steering needs to be a little more responsive than what it already is. It can be a nuisance to drive in the city, but thanks to the suspension setup it has a superb ride quality. Acceleration is quite good, even with the sheer size of the car. We had the privilege to drive the Montero to Leh ad back and it is perhaps the best car suited for the job. It takes on any road without a problem at all and you effortlessly can climb steep hills and rocky roads. There is however a lot of shaking on the dashboard, but overall the car performs really well. it can take on city roads, the highway and can also go off-road without breaking a sweat. The brakes are also very effective and the automatic transmission works well, with just a minor delay between gear changes.
Because of its large size and massive engine you can expect to get an average fuel economy of around 10kmpl.
The Montero comes with power steering, power windows, automatic climate control, an information display unit, a Rockford audio system with 12 speakers surround sound system, steering mounted controls, and leather seats.
Safety features include dual SRS and curtain airbags, multimode ABS with EBD and stability control and traction control.
The Montero features very good quality materials and a fantastic fit and finish on the interiors. The only problem we faced was the excess vibrations from the dashboard, but in the cars defense we were running on some rough roads at high speeds. The build quality of the chassis is really good and the car is very sturdy and comes with a brilliantly engineered diesel engine. Overall the quality is very good. The car is also very reliable and on our 3000km trip we only had one flat tyre. The car does have expensive running costs though, but nothing ever breaks, but you might have to wait for availability of parts.
The cost of the car makes the Montero compete with luxury SUVs, but it is much larger and much more capable. Therefore it has better value for its money. It also has the best space in tis price segment offering you plenty of comfort.
The Montero is the most capable car in tis price range and it is also the sturdiest and strongest. It is massive, which will make it appeal to most people. It doesn’t offer the best driving experience on the city streets, but on long trips it is a very comfortable car and very capable to take on the worst Indian roads without a problem. Basically you are getting a massive and strong full size SUV for the price of a mid-sized luxury SUV. It’s a steal really.