1997 mitsubishi montero sport ls 103

From the April 1997 situation of Car and Driver.

If you are not a Tibetan Bud­dhist or a Chinese Taoist, this will sound international: Mi­tsubishi’s newest sport-utility automobile adheres to feng shui (pronounced fung shway). Literally, meaning “wind and water,” however its standard that means has to do with the “Chinese artwork of placement,” the act of enhancing one’s atmosphere by placing issues of their most advantageous locations. It shouldn’t be merely the latest buzz­phrase to look in metro-news­paper life-style sections, though it’s utilized most frequently to inside design.

The new Mitsubishi Montero Sport’s attributes observe the prin­ciples of automotive feng shui:
(1) The pedals are shut collectively, and the management motion of the brakes, clutch, and throttle is clean on the street. Big ft can simply tap-dance on these controls to maintain the wagon poised on slick surfaces. (2) The steering wheel is angled as much as go away room for lengthy legs, but you needn’t have lengthy gorilla arms to succeed in it. The wheel additionally is not as buslike horizontal because the bigger Montero’s. (3) The entrance seats are agency, however they work a superb compro­mise between holding you in place on bumps and in corners and permitting simple entry and exit—even whereas carrying an expedition-grade parka. (4) The Montero Sport, though shorter than its large brother, nonetheless sits tall sufficient to offer wonderful visibility over site visitors. (5) The flooring peak is above the street floor sufficient to offer a tall 8.5 inches of floor clearance, though the climb might impair Grandma’s getting into and exiting.

HIGHS: Macho physique will get double takes on whistles of admiration, however inside, it feels surprisingly like a sports activities automobile.

Finally, you do not have to be a Bud­dhist to determine this one out: The Mitsubishi Montero Sport simply plain appears good.

Why a Montero Sport? Big Monteros are priced from $30,000 to $42,000 plus, and so they’re promoting properly—12,083 final yr. Mitsubishi says that is all it could construct, too. U.S. sellers, nonetheless, need extra SUVs to promote, particularly within the under-$30K market. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi has been constructing a smaller wagon (seven inches decrease and shorter) referred to as the L-200 for Asia and South America. The L-200 is now the Montero Sport within the United States.

The Montero Sport shares the entrance bodywork of the newest Mighty Max pickup truck (now not bought within the U.S.), however its full-length ladder-type body has extra in frequent with that of the larger Montero wagon, together with a 107.3-inch wheelbase. Both additionally share entrance unequal­-length management arms and torsion bars. In Japan, you will get an L-200 wagon with coil springs within the rear, however to avoid wasting meeting prices, the Montero Sport will get a leaf-sprung rear axle.

The base Montero Sport ES begins at $18,065 as a rear-driver with a 134-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a guide transmis­sion solely. Mitsubishi expects that the majority patrons will go for LS fashions, priced within the mid-twenties with standard tools. LS fashions get a 173-hp 3.0-liter V-6 (the bottom engine in final yr’s large Montero) and will be had with a selection of rear-drive or part-time four-wheel drive and a guide or computerized transmission.

Top-of-the-line Montero Sport XLS fashions come outfitted with the V-6, 4­-wheel drive, a four-speed computerized trans­mission, large tires, leather-based seats, air condi­tioning, and energy home windows, locks, and mirrors—all commonplace for $31,555.

LOWS: Macho or not, it is a heavy wagon, and your neighbor’s V-8 Explorer will outrun it.

Our five-speed, four-wheel-drive Mon­tero Sport LS began out at $23,575, to which we added a $3070 Premium package deal that features 265/70SR-15 mud­-and-snow tires (up from commonplace 225/75R-15 tires) driving on shiny alloy wheels, a chrome grille, fender flares, a leather-based­-wrapped steering wheel, a sunroof, and an eight-speaker stereo. Air, energy conveniences, and a CD participant added one other $2143. For $1037 extra, we acquired a limited-slip rear differential, a compass, a ther­mometer, and a rear heater. That package deal additionally contains an exterior spare-tire mount to which a few mountain bikes will be affixed with an adjunct rack that attaches to the spare.

We’d be a bit extra thrifty if it had been our checkbook. For instance, a V-6 four-wheel-drive LS mannequin with air and a five-speed guide is $24,490.

The Montero Sport appears powerful, nevertheless it’s as handy as a Camry wagon inside, with two coated bins below the rear flooring. Its 43 cubic ft of cargo quantity equals that of the spacious Ford Explorer. The lengthy wheelbase means it rides properly, only a bit extra jiggly on pavement than an Explorer. We suppose the larger tires add undesirable bounce on suburban aspect streets. Off-road, they keep on with mud paths with confidence.

The Montero Sport has a guide transfer-case lever that hard-core off­-roaders want to the electro-four-wheel-drive switches popu­larized by the ever present Explorer. The Montero Sport’s lever-actuated part-time four-wheel-drive system will be shifted from rear-drive to four-wheel drive at pace. “Shift on the fly,” because it’s referred to as, means you change into your personal heart dif­ferential by disengaging the four-wheel drive on dry pavement and fascinating it to restrict wheelspin on begins and in corners.

A rear-drive Montero Sport ES weighs simply 3450 kilos, gentle for a mid-size SUV. But our fancied-up LS mannequin sagged the dimensions at 4153 kilos, which is heavier than a unibody Jeep Grand Cherokee, however a lot lighter than the Explorer. Still, the guide shifter—a comparatively uncommon merchandise on the SUV market today—retains it forward of Jeeps and Fords outfitted with pushrod sixes and automatics: The Jeep runs to 60 mph in 10.3 seconds, the Explorer in 10.7. The Sport hits 60 in 10 flat.

The Montero Sport’s four-­wheel discs imply braking is nice for such a deceptively light-feeling-but heavy­ sport-utility, which involves a cease from 70 mph in simply 190 ft. That’s higher than an Explorer, and pretty much as good as a Toyota 4Runner.

VERDICT: The smaller brother of the brawny Montero inherits its power, with state-of-the-art packaging for all of its expensive {hardware}.

We just like the Montero Sport for its bal­ance of options and skills, greater than for any single attribute. Putting one in your storage would probably improve your envi­ronment. That’s good feng shui.

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1997 Mitsubishi Montero Sport LS
Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 5-door wagon


Base/As Tested: $23,575/$29,825
Options: Premium package deal (aluminum wheels, energy glass sunroof, upgraded cassette stereo with 8 audio system, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 265/70SR-15 tires, fender flares, chrome grille accent, working boards), $3070; Off-Road package deal (rear limited-slip differential, additional gauges, rear heater controls, exterior spare-tire provider), $1037; air-con, $915; Convenience package deal (energy home windows, locks, and aspect mirrors, cruise management), $829; CD participant, $399

SOHC 24-valve V-6, iron block and aluminum heads, port gasoline injection

Displacement: 181 in3, 2966 cm3

Power: 173 hp @ 5250 rpm

Torque: 188 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm 

5-speed guide


Suspension, F/R: management arms/inflexible axle

Brakes, F/R: 10.9-in vented disc/10.7-in disc

Tires: Yokohama Super Digger


Wheelbase: 107.3 in

Length: 189.8 in

Width: 66.7 in
Height: 67.3 in

Passenger Volume, F/R: 53/40 ft3
Cargo Volume, Behind F/R: 79/43 ft3
Curb Weight: 4153 lb


60 mph: 10.0 sec

1/4-Mile: 17.4 sec @ 77 mph
100 mph: 38.8 sec

Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 10.9 sec

Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 11.5 sec

Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 13.4 sec

Top Speed (drag ltd): 106 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 190 ft 


Observed: 15 mpg

City/Highway: 17/21 mpg 


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