The Mitsubishi Montero is the full-size luxury SUV from the Japanese car maker. Also sold as the Pajero in some global markets, the Montero carries forward the Mitsubishi legacy of building all-terrain vehicles. The Montero was introduced to the Indian market in the first half of the last decade. Mitsubishi has brought the Montero back after a two year hiatus to compete in the lucrative luxury SUV segment in the country
The Mitsubishi Montero exteriors have high discharge headlamps with automatic level and light control feature for enhanced visibility in varying driving conditions. The fog lamps at the front and rear, the LED daytime running lights at the front and rear combination lamps give it a distinctive appearance. The special design of the body counters, electrically-foldable ORVMs, side sill and side door garnish, and the stylish alloy wheels with ornament get a bold and stylish SUV image on the road.
The interiors have a few changes as well and the 2012 Montero gets updated stitching design on leather seats and new finish on power window-switch panel. Another addition is the new interior illumination colour and the instrument-cluster gets an updated look as well and the dials too get new colour.Compared to when the Montero was first launched, the SUV now boasts of much better interior quality and the cabin is now a nicer place to live in. The décor is a mix of wood and black and suede leather and the new interior illumination definitely livens up things.Equipment levels are pretty good as well and you get electric adjusters for front seats, airbags, a CD/MP3 player and an ‘RV meter’ that gives outdoor information. On the top of the centre console is a bright LCD screen which displays altitude and atmospheric pressure. The SUV also gets an awesome Rockford Fosgate audio system that comes standard. The steering gets controls for cruise control and for the audio system.The front seats are extremely comfortable and supportive and the driver gets good road visibility. The Montero is a 7 seater and the middle row passengers get good leg and head support. The last row however is sufficient only for kids.
Powering the Montero is the same 3.2-litre, direct-injection diesel engine that has been tweaked for more refined performance and smoother torque delivery. This engine churns out a peak power of 192hp at 3,800rpm, and has a peak torque output of 441Nm at 2,000rpm. It gets a five-speed automatic gearbox and true to its off-road credentials, gets four driveline modes – 2WD High (2-H), 4WD High (4-H), 4WD High with locked center differential (4-HLc), and 4WD low with locked center differential (4-LLc) for the really gnarly stuff. All modes can be changed when on the go up to 90kph, except for the 4-LLc mode. However, operating the lever can be a bit daunting while driving and may take a few tries before you get it right. There’s even a button located on the central dashboard to lock the front differential as well. One neat off-road function is the sonar which helps in detecting large submerged rocks while crossing through water.
DRIVING DYNAMICS ;
Of course, out on the dry roads is where most owners would keep the Montero. Driving on the highway, the SUV feels calm and composed and is relatively stable at high speeds. It does, however, get a bit bouncy at low speeds and there is a bit of body roll which is characteristic of the robust, body-on-ladder frame chassis setup. But, despite its large size, the Mitsubishi doesn’t feel very intimidating to drive; which is definitely a bonus for city driving. But on the other hand, the large steering wheel feels quite heavy to operate. It is also a bit vague with initial inputs from the center. The double-wishbone suspension setup at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear, soak up bumps pretty well. Safety features include AWC (All Wheel Control) and switchable ATSC (Active Stability and Traction Control), as well as a multi-mode ABS and EBD. While the 17-inch ventilated discs do a stellar job in bringing you to a halt, keeping untowardly incidents at bay.Civil behaviour aside, the car’s real talent lies at the point where the tarmac ends. It is immensely fun to drive off-road, making gravel and dirt roads seem like child’s play. With 4WD engaged, the Montero absolutely gobbles up difficult terrain; it’s no wonder then that Mitsubishi has dubbed it ‘King of Terrains’. The levels of traction and stability give you the confidence to push it hard and still be in control of what’s going on, within sane limits, of course. And for when the stuff gets really difficult, there’s that 4LLc mode grinning at you, waiting to lug you out of whatever conundrum you’ve gotten yourself into. We didn’t get the chance to test its capability in deep sand, but Mitsubishi’s success at the Dakar Rally does say a thing or two.
SAFETY AND SECURITY ;
The manufacturer has blessed this stylish Mitsubishi Montero sports utility vehicle with many advanced protective aspects. The seat belts in the front row has 3-point ELR with per-tensioner and height adjustable anchors, while the second and third row has 3-point ELR seat belts for added protection in case of any collision. This captivating SUV is equipped with dual front airbags on both the sides with cut off switch for the co-passenger and also has side and curtain airbags, which further augments the protection during any crash. It has a sturdy ‘RISE’ body, which adds to the safety quotient. Further it is fitted with multi mode ABS, EBD and hydraulic brake support. There is a ‘safety design’ based fuel tank, which is strategically placed on the rear axle to prevent leakage. A rear corner sensor is fitted to the bumper that shows if there are any obstacles behind. Other features include a central door locking system with keyless entry that includes tailgate lock as well. It also has a collapsible steering column, engine immobilizer, theft alarm, sensor and child protection rear locks.
The bold and tough on-road and off-road capability of the vehicle blended with amazing luxury and comfort features make it a worthy selection.