Thursday, September 8, 2016

Quickie Used Car Review - Mitsubishi Montero Sport (2008-2015)

2008-2015 Mitsubishi Montero Sport

The Good: Not matagtag, plenty of models in the market, numerous features available

The Bad: Limited space in the third row, not great off-road, does not like low revs

The Say: Definitely lives up to its sporty name.

Go For: 2.5 GLS/GLX (non VGT)
Avoid: 3.0 V6

Price Range: P600,000-P1,300,000
Our Rating: ****

Full Review: Used Car Review - Mitsubishi Montero Sport (2008-2015)
Latest vehicle profile: Mitsubishi Montero Sport

See the different versions of this vehicle:
2008-2013 non-VGT/VGT

Vehicle Overview
Mitsubishi's Pajero line is so successful that the car maker decided to name several SUVs that aren't related platform-wise to the vehicle. These vehicles include the Strada based Montero/Pajero/Shogun Sport (which we are reviewing), Pajero Mini, Pajero Junior, and Pajero iO mini SUVs.  As of now, the smaller siblings were killed while the larger ones are sold until today.

Similar to its main rival, the Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi kept this SUV fresh by providing exterior updates. Chrome door handles and side mirrors come standard among all variants sold from 2009 to 2010 and GLS-V (2014 models became body color door handles) upwards with side mirror signal repeaters becoming a standard equipment for all 2011 up models. Another thing is that GT-V models are distinguished by their honeycomb grille which was later added to the GLS-V in November 2012. A November 2014 update (sold as 2015 models) added daytime running lamp and body stickers to the mix while GLS-V and GT-V SE models in August 2015 add sunroof as standard.

Most Montero Sport units you'll encounter are diesels, which include a 2.5 having 134hp that is decent for everyday usage but is somewhat anemic at launch, the same 2.5 engine but with 176hp which gives you that sudden burst from the start, and a 3.2 that has ample power. The sole gasoline engine which is available through indent order is a 3.0 V6 that has more grunt and acceleration at the expense of fuel economy. Despite its truck origins, ride quality is excellent but steering is on the heavy side. When tackling corners, body roll is prevalent since the suspension is tuned towards comfort plus braking with the VGT models would surely wish you have better brakes.

Inside, there is decent space until the second row but the wheel wells are pushed towards it and relegates the third row bench for smaller built people which is marred with a poorly positioned bench. Depending on what year model, some get a basic JVC headunit while some utilize a touchscreen monitor and the air-con vents for the rear occupants are located sideways for pre-2012 models, as opposed to the later ones located at the front.

What Should I Get
The GLS/GLX is where you should start your search, especially this is the most popular variant. Going for the GLS sold from 2009 to 2010 gives you the 134hp 2.5, dual airbags, ABS brakes, fog lamps, CD player with MP3 function, alarm, keyless entry, side step board, power folding side mirrors, and steering wheel audio controls plus it is only available with an automatic. The similarly spec'ed GLX, launched in August 2010, has the same kit but is only available with a manual and carried on until it was upgraded in October 2011 as the GLX-V that produces 176hp. A relaunch of the GLX in 2012 retained most of the kit except for the steering wheel audio controls that the GLS had plus can be had in either transmission and added a touchscreen monitor, auxiliary jack, USB port, DVD function, tire pressure monitor, and daytime running lamps (last two items added in November 2014). The GLS 2WD became the GLS-V in February 2011 that adds the upgraded engine, navigation system, Bluetooth, and a touchscreen monitor with DVD/USB/AUX with other items such as cruise control, paddle shift (October 2011), reverse camera (August 2013), rear spoiler, WI-FI connectivity (November 2014), leather seats, and sunroof (August 2015). Another thing to remember that the GLS variant has a 4WD system that is either available with a 163hp 3.2 paired to an automatic from 2008 to 2009 then with a 2.5 engine partnered with a manual later on, the latter became also the GLS-V sharing most equipment except for the transmission and drivetrain. The GLS had a 3.0 V6 gasoline in February 2012, keeping the kit that the GLS-V 2WD gets. The top of the line models were the GLS SE that has a 3.2 engine, 4WD system, headlamp washers, HID headlamps with auto leveling, power driver's seat, leather seats, and multi-information display while its replacement, the GT-V chucks the larger engine in favor of the 2.5 and gains cruise control, stability control, and rear headrest monitors. In June 2013, a special edition model of the GT-V was made available which adds (with some became standard equipment later on) skid plate, front and rear airdam, window visors, body sticker, rear garnish, scuff plate, cargo tray, and headrest monitor.

How Much Would It Cost Me
When it comes to maintaining one, it would have similar costs with its Japanese and American rivals. Fuel consumption would range from the decent for the 2WD to the worst among 4WD and gasoline models. Recalls for this vehicle involving the tightening torque of the mounting bolts of the upper suspension arm among GLS and GLS SE models sold from September 2008 to February 2009 (issued in June 2010), weld condition of the front suspension lower arm for units sold between 2011 to 2012, weld condition of the front propeller shaft for 4WD models, and the power driver's seat switch for GLS SE and GT-V models, with the last three recalls issued in August 2013. Problem points of this vehicle include the smoky nature (check out for black smoke when driven hard), EGR valve due to low quality fuel, and the inhibitor switch of the automatic transmission models.

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