The Mitsubishi Montero started as a much more performance-oriented vehicle and has evolved over time to combine luxury features with performance. Since then, the price has increased as a result of the increased emphasis on comfort and luxury. The higher cost of the current Mitsubishi Montero resulted in lost sales. Realizing this, the smaller, less-expensive Mitsubishi Montero Sport was introduced in 1997.
The Mitsubishi Montero Sport focuses on trying to maintain the comfort level of the Montero rather than the performance. The smaller design and less powerful engines do not offer the same level of performance as the Montero but do offer a substantial price decrease. For drivers that are not interested in off-road performance or the ability to carry seven passengers, the Montero Sport is potentially a more economic option than the full-size Montero. The LS and XLS models offer a much better value than the bargain priced ES due to the larger amount of standard features. The ES is not much less expensive than the LS, but lacks four-wheel drive, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and numerous amenities found standard on the other models.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Mitsubishi Montero Sport ES, Mitsubishi Montero Sport LS, Mitsubishi Montero Sport XLS
The 1998 Mitsubishi Montero Sport adds numerous optional features that were not previously available. The Montero Sport LS and Montero Sport XLS now have four-wheel anti-lock brakes as standard equipment.
The Mitsubishi Montero Sport is a very short SUV that measures in at 178.3 inches long, approximately eight inches shorter than the Montero. The Montero Sport still retains the same 107.3-inch wheel-base. It has a boxy silhouette, which is fairly typical for the SUV design, but the curves, while subtle, do mark it as a Mitsubishi design. Alloy wheels are available as standard equipment for the Montero Sport XLS. A trailer hitch, roof rack, two-tone paint, and side steps are available as optional equipment on all models.
The Mitsubishi Montero Sport has a spacious interior. The passenger room is still decent compared to the full-size Montero, since the Montero Sport reduces seating from seven passengers to five. The Montero is still roomier, but the Montero Sport is still large. The Montero Sport ES offers the least amount of options with only a cassette player and AM/FM radio as standard equipment and air-conditioning as an option. The other models offer a cassette player, AM/FM radio, cruise control, air-conditioning, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, and leather trim steering wheel are standard equipment. Heated mirrors, leather seating, CD player, CD changer, heated seats, power moonroof, power seats, and an Infinity audio system are available as optional features.
Performance & Handling
The Mitsubishi Montero Sport offers relatively unimpressive performance, especially compared to its full-size predecessor. The four-cylinder engine is underpowered and provides fairly weak acceleration. The six-cylinder engine is an improvement, but not a significant one. It is still underpowered, but not as bad as the four-cylinder option. The Montero Sport does turn fairly well despite though, so it really only struggles getting up to speed. In off-road situations where power is not too important, such as dry, relatively even terrain, the Montero Sport does perform fairly well off road. However, it does not have enough power to get through hazards like mud or heavily broken terrain very well, if at all.
The Mitsubishi Montero Sport is equipped with dual-front airbags. The Montero Sport LS and XLS come with four-wheel drive and four-wheel anti-lock brakes as standard equipment.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mitsubishi Montero Sport 2.4-liter four-cylinder: 20/23 mpg city/highway
Mitsubishi Montero Sport 3.0-liter six-cylinder: 17/20 mpg city/highway
- Spacious interior
- Affordable price
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