Mitsubishi’s Montero Sport has enjoyed a pretty good run in the seven-seater mid-sized SUV segment, consistently listing as one of the top ten best-selling cars in the country, which not only shows the strength of the product, but also the loyalty of its customer base. For 2020, the Montero Sport sees some significant updates to its exterior and interior, with the inclusion of some new features as well. We took the GT 2WD variant for a spin to see just how Mitsubishi plans to keep their Montero Sport relevant in an increasingly competitive segment.
The new Montero Sport aligns itself with the Mitsubishi Strada and Xpander with a new “Dynamic Shield” front grille, a redesigned bumper, and large, distinct lighting elements below sleek headlights. Combined with a higher hood, the new elements to the Montero Sport’s fascia give it a more imposing presence on the road, and a more masculine stance overall. At the rear, the infamous taillights get a welcome redesign as well, reshaped to a more compact design.
Inside, the new eight-inch all-digital LCD instrument cluster is immediately noticeable, replacing the outgoing model’s traditional analog gauges. It’s an easy-to-read display that does a great job showing all the important information you need by splitting the screen on demand between the speedometer and tachometer while making room for things like fuel economy or audio and communications when you need it.
An eight-inch touchscreen dominates the center dash with a new-and-improved operating system that now supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay powering six speakers.
The seats up front continue to be one of the industry’s best, offering comfortable seating and a commanding position for both driver and front passenger. While they can’t slide, the second row cushions are capable of tumbling forward which allows the back rest and third row to fold down completely flat, opening a cavernous amount of space. The third row cushions can also tumble forward allowing the back rests to fold down flat, leaving quite a considerable amount of space for cargo if you have no plans of using the third row.
The new Montero Sport’s powertrain remains largely unchanged, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The current 4N15 2.4-liter inline-four MIVEC diesel engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission continues to provide plenty of pushing power from the rear wheels, producing 178 hp and 420 Nm of torque. It’s a highly refined engine perfectly suitable in both city and highway conditions and does its job quietly and with minimal vibrations or harshness.
Stopping power is handled by disc brakes all around. The Montero Sport handles predictably even when thrown around corners, with its rack and pinion power steering system feeling nicely weighted and returning great feedback.
New safety and convenience features
The 2020 Mitsubishi Montero Sport adds some welcome new features to its package, giving its customers even more value for their money. The GT line of the Montero Sport now features an automatic power tailgate with a handsfree function, keeping it up to date with the rest of the segment. The Montero Sport’s safety suite now includes Active Stability and Traction Control (M-ASTC), which was previously unavailable in the outgoing model, together with hill start assist, hill descent control, trailer stability assist, six airbags, reverse sensors and a reverse camera.
Mitsubishi has improved an already excellent product with the Montero Sport, updating it with technologies that manage to keep it fresh in a segment filled with products that are eager to take its place. For now, however, the Montero Sport remains one of the country’s best-selling vehicles, and it looks to stay that way.
Text and photos by Chris Van Hoven