VIDEO: The Mitsubishi Montero Sport was a nice truck

With Land Cruiser pricing getting into nosebleed territory, 4×4 fans have moved onto Lexus GXes, Monteros, and even the occasional Trooper, driving all their prices up. So far, the Mitsubishi Montero Sport seems to have evaded their gaze. Debuting at the height of the SUV craze, it was a ladder-frame, leaf-sprung, and lower-priced alternative to the 4Runner and Explorer.

The Montero sport was based on the chassis of the very capable Pajero, except with (arguably preferable) leaf springs so the spare tire could be located between the frame rails. The base ES with a 2.4-liter, 134-horsepower inline-four could be had for just $18,065, an irresistible flame guiding low credit score moths to their financial deaths when combined with Mitsubishi’s notoriously lax loan schemes of the 90s.

Sadly, many were driven into the ground as a result of owners who took advantage of such financing offers but didn’t keep up with repairs that could have prevented a lot of heartache but were fairly expensive. The Montero wasn’t as bulletproof as a Toyota, but for those who don’t mind getting their fingernails dirty it can still serve as a very good off roader. Even in 2002, it was a nice truck for the Barksdale crew.

Four-wheelers would have to opt for the $23,575 LS or $31,555 XLS trim levels, with their 4WD and their 3.0-liter DOHC V6, making 173-horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque. They even came with tow hooks and skid plates pre-installed. The Motorweek critics deemed it a competitive rival to the Explorer and Grand Cherokee. These things are still dirt cheap, which makes them an interesting candidate for a budget trail rig project.

This post is filed under: News.

8 Responses to VIDEO: The Mitsubishi Montero Sport was a nice truck

  1. GeorgeL says:

    Also known as the Challenger in Japan. I really liked these, but never owned one. Sadly, we never got the 2nd generation of these, which were drop dead gorgeous. It’s a shame that Mitsubishi never really was able to launch itself into Toyota/Nissan sales territory, but perhaps their perceived quality was what kept them from really growing in the US.

    It’s too bad they don’t relaunch themselves as primarily a truck/SUV brand in the US, where those vehicles sell well. Mitsubishi still sells the successor to the Montero Sport as the Shogun in Europe and it seems like that and the L200 pickup would do well here.

    Oh well.

    • Mark F Newton-John says:

      Oh, like Isuzu? I don’t think so.

      • GeorgeL says:

        No, not like Isuzu. Isuzu doesn’t sell light trucks in the US anymore. They sell medium commercial trucks. I’m talking pickups, SUVs and 4x4s. Mitsubishi had a great reputation for off-roading with the original Montero/Pajero.

        Seems like if they were going to have any success in the US, that would be one of their strengths, not crappy little econoboxes like the Mirage. But it’s probably already too late for Mitsubishi even if they were to go more in that direction.

        Feel free to have a different opinion, but Mitsubishi isn’t even a blip on the radar screen of passenger vehicle sales in the US, so what they’ve been doing the last several years isn’t really working.

        • Jim Klein says:

          Mitsubishi’s market share has been increasing year over year for about a decade now (except for last year likely due to Covid), I believe they were the fastest growing brand at least a couple of times over that timespan.

          However, I’ve too long thought that they really do need to have a pickup as well and the L is well-received elsewhere. Perhaps with the Nissan tie-up they could possibly get a Frontier clone as they are doing with the new Rogue…

  2. Mark F Newton-John says:

    Don’t forget that FJ Cruiser prices are getting up there too.

  3. harshith says:

    imagine this truck in white or light blue color, with two antennas at the back. this truck dark night background with two spacesuit people. it would look so cool.

  4. Jim Klein says:

    Excellent job incorporating “The Wire” reference/video here. Curiously both Marlo Stanfield and Lt. Daniels are main characters in “Bosch” (Amazon), but both on the same side of the aisle as police. Took me a few seasons to get used to that. Even better, in the season 7 trailer there’s an actual reference to Stringer Bell…Probably the best show on HBO and now the best show on Amazon. Both sadly without much JNC content though.

  5. f31roger says:

    I’ve always liked Mitsubishi’s SUV line.

    I had a 1st gen Mitsubishi Outlander and we used that for years. We then gave it to my sister in law when they moved from Ireland to Vancouver BC.

    They used it for a few years until it got hit. They were actually teary eyed when it was towed away.

    But they got a new Mitsubishi Outlander sport (smaller one) and they love it.

    I’d like to get a Montero one of these days. I run into them in the junkyards and I know someday I’ll regret not getting stuff lol.

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