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The Mitsubishi Montero Sport came about to be sometime back in the late 1990s, and was built on the same body-on-frame platform as an earlier generation of the outgoing L200 pick-up truck. Therefore, it was rugged, practical, spacious, and in typical Mitsubishi fashion, pretty easy to run and maintain. Then in 2008, the Japanese automaker launched the second iteration of the Montero Sport, which was then succeeded by the current third-generation car in 2015. In the brand’s line-up of SUVs, the midsize Montero Sport is one of the most popular in regions such as the Middle East.
For 2020, Mitsubishi has facelifted the Montero Sport and launched it with a few but important design and equipment updates. As before, the seven-seater SUV is still built on top of the L200’s architecture. In markets like the UAE, the facelifted 2020 Mitsubishi Montero Sport will contend with other similar SUVs such as the Toyota Fortuner, Chevrolet Trailblazer, and Kia Sorento to name a few. If you liked the previous Montero Sport but were mulling over purchasing one, this new avatar might just make the decision to head to the showroom a bit more compelling.
Being only a mid-cycle facelift, Mitsubishi has only made certain minute styling tweaks on the 2020 Montero Sport. However, these are quite apparent, especially if you view the SUV from the front or rear. Just as on the latest L200, the Montero Sport now boasts the brand’s all-new ‘Dynamic Shield 2.0’ language. With that, the SUV gains a revised front bumper, a new twin-slat chrome front grille, sleeker & more stylish LED headlamps, and reworked front fog lamp housing.
The side design looks similar to the previous model, though you now get newer designs for the alloy wheels. The facelift endows the rear of the Montero Sport with a large and prominent roof-mounted spoiler, revised LED tail lamps, and a more protruding but sculpted back bumper which also gains a faux air diffuser. As for its exterior size and footprint, the 2020 Montero Sport retains the same measurements as the pre-facelift model. This means that with all the seats up and locked, there isn’t much room left to store bigger bags or anything significant in volume.
While much of this interior remains identical to that of the pre-facelift model, there are a few nice upgrades that have been implemented to make owning this car a nicer overall experience. For example, the old-school analog instrument cluster has been replaced by a more modern and upscale-looking digital setup – the 8-inch LCD panel is also customizable for better usability. Then we have an updated, higher-resolution, and easier-to-operate touchscreen infotainment head unit that now supports something Mitsubishi calls “smartphone link”. Finally, the top trim will come with an around-view camera system and an electronically-operated tailgate with height memory function.
Furthermore, the Montero Sport facelift gets more soft-touch materials all throughout the cabin. This makes the interior feel far better and slightly more premium than before. For those seated in the back, the Montero Sport now offers a dedicated AC power outlet and a USB port. The seats remain as comfortable and accommodating as they were in the pre-facelift model, making them good for even long-distance drives. Overall, the facelift has brought on some much-needed improvements to the interior of the Mitsubishi Montero Sport.
Engine and performance
Just as before, power for the Mitsubishi Montero Sport is derived from a 3.0-liter MIVEC V6 motor that churns out 215 hp and 285 Nm of maximum torque. Other components that remain unchanged include Mitsubishi’s excellent Super Select 4WD-II system and a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission. With its near two-ton mass, the Montero Sport is surprisingly not very sporty, but can go from 0-100 km/h in less than 10 seconds and hit a top whack of 182 km/h.
The Mitsubishi Montero Sport was never an expensive proposition, and I reckon that will remain the case for this facelift iteration as well. The success of this midsize SUV comes from its aggressive pricing, available modern safety equipment, intimidating exterior styling, comfortable interior, and a go-anywhere robust four-wheel-drive platform.