Mitsubishi Montero

The Mitsubishi Montero is a sport utility vehicle (SUV) manufactured by Japan-based Mitsubishi Motors. The car is sold under different names across various markets. For instance, it is sold as: the Mitsubishi Pajero in Japan; Montero in America, Spain, and India; and Shogun in the United Kingdom. The vehicle was introduced in 1982 as a Pajero prototype in the 1973 Tokyo Motor Show. The Pajero II prototype was launched in 1978. The first generation Mitsubishi Montero finally made its debut in the 1981 Tokyo Motor Show. Throughout its design phase, the company focused on creating a vehicle that was more of a recreational vehicle rather than an SUV.

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About the Mitsubishi Montero

The Mitsubishi Montero was known for its offroad capabilities, rugged design, and classy interiors. Although the SUV did not have great initial sales figures, Mitsubishi continuously changed its features and design. The vehicle was sold over a span of two decades, during which it created a niche for itself and gained a loyal fan base in the U.S. The engine was not particularly powerful, but the Montero made up for it by offering superb offroad performance.

However, gas consumption was not one the positives of the SUV; in fact, the vehicle guzzled quite a bit of fuel. The vehicle also relied heavily on its classic nature, which meant that it eventually lost out to its more modern rivals.

Mitsubishi Montero Features

The last Mitsubishi Montero to be sold in the U.S. belonged to the third generation. This generation was launched in 2000 with a complete redesign of the interior and exterior. The SUV got a wider and lower stance, which translated to a lower center of gravity. This made the Montero easier to drive on-road. The chassis had 300 percent more torsional rigidity due to the unibody construction. This allowed the suspension stroke to be longer. The fuel tank was shifted between the axles for safety. More importantly, the 2006 Mitsubishi Montero was no longer a midsize SUV; it became a full-sized one.

The ActivTrak system was also refined further from the previous generation, and this translated to better front-to-rear torque settings in the 2006 Mitsubishi Montero. The system became completely electronic, so the vehicle was not required to be in gear for switching between drive modes.

The third generation Montero was initially driven by a 3.5-liter direct injection gasoline engine that delivered 217 hp of power. However, this engine was changed by 2003 and replaced by a more powerful 3.8-liter engine that delivered 215 hp. This was the same engine used in the 2006 Mitsubishi Montero as well. Although the short wheelbase variant of the SUV was still being manufactured at the time, the U.S. market remained devoid of this particular model. The 2006 Mitsubishi Montero witnessed declining sales, due to which production was halted in the U.S. market even though the Pajero would continue with the fourth generation in other markets.

Mitsubishi Montero Evolution

The first generation of the Mitsubishi Montero was unveiled at the 1981 Tokyo Motor Show and went into production the following year. It was initially offered as a three-door model with a short wheelbase and a metal or canvas top. The SUV could be powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline, Astron 2.6 gasoline, 2.3-liter naturally-aspirated diesel, 2.5-liter turbocharged diesel, or 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline engine.

The SUV had certain features that were not seen in other Japan manufactured four-wheel vehicles. These features included a turbocharged diesel engine option, power steering, front-double wishbone suspension fitted with torsion bar springs, and suspension seats. In other words, the Mitsubishi Montero was a four-wheel drive vehicle that had the features of a regular passenger car.

The first generation Mitsubishi Montero was not very popular as a passenger vehicle. It was seen as more of a commercial vehicle because of its short wheelbase and did not appeal to many as a family SUV. Mitsubishi realized this and released a five-door model with a larger wheelbase in 1983. This new Montero could be powered either by a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine or a 2.3-liter turbocharged diesel engine. It was available in High Roof, Semi-High Roof, and Standard body styles.

Various changes over the years refined the Mitsubishi Montero even further. By 1988, a new 3.0-liter SOHC V-6 engine was launched alongside a 2.5-liter turbocharged diesel engine with a 4X4 intercooler.

The second generation Mitsubishi Montero was introduced in January 1991, but it was exported to the U.S. much later. The new Montero was completely enhanced. The new body was larger and available in four versions: the High Roof Wagon, the Semi-High Roof Wagon, the Canvas Top Convertible, and the Metal Top. This new generation Mitsubishi Montero was also fitted with the ActivTrak four-wheel-drive system that combined the advantages of a full-time and a part-time four-wheel drive system. By July 1993, a new 3.5-liter, 24-valve DOHC turbocharged engine was made available. The transmission and transfer case were also improved.

Select a Mitsubishi Montero Year

2006 Mitsubishi Montero

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The rugged 2006 Mitsubishi Montero is an SUV that really stands out from other sport utility vehicles in its class.

2005 Mitsubishi Montero

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2005 Mitsubishi Montero is an off road SUV with interior design quality.

2004 Mitsubishi Montero

SUV, Utility/Offroad

There is no doubt that the Montero SUV from Mitsubishi has some good qualities going for it.

2003 Mitsubishi Montero

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2003 Mitsubishi Montero is the company’s answer to the midsize SUV craze.

2002 Mitsubishi Montero

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2002 Mitsubishi Montero is an off-road champion.

2001 Mitsubishi Montero

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Mitsubishi Montero has been drastically redesigned for 2001.

2000 Mitsubishi Montero

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2000 Mitsubishi Montero is the legacy of one of the oldest SUV models on the market.

1999 Mitsubishi Montero

SUV, Utility/Offroad

Mitsubishi’s full-size sport utility vehicle, the Montero Sport, has been on the market since 1983.

1998 Mitsubishi Montero

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 1998 Mitsubishi Montero is an SUV known as the Pajero in other markets and as the Shogun in the United Kingdom.

1997 Mitsubishi Montero

SUV, Utility/Offroad

Starting as a much more performance-oriented vehicle, the Mitsubishi Montero has evolved over time to combine luxury features with performance.

1996 Mitsubishi Montero

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 1996 Mitsubishi Montero comes with two engine and transmission choices and two trim levels.

1995 Mitsubishi Montero

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Mitsubishi Montero is one of the longest-running sport utility vehicles (SUV) on the market.