The Mitsubishi Montero is marketed as the Mitsubishi Pajero in some markets. It is an SUV that is made by the Mitsubishi Company from Japan. The name comes from the Leopardus pajeros, which is a cat that is native in the Patagonia region of Argentina. In the United Kingdom it is sold as the Mitsubishi Shogun and in India, the Americas, and Spain it is called the Montero, which means mountain hunter. The vehicle was discontinued in the U.S in the year 2006, but is in its 4th generation of sales in other parts of the world.
The Montero never became a household name within the United States, but those who are fans of a true SUV and span their attention across the borders know about this particular vehicle. This vehicle is known around the world and has won several trophies in the Dakar Rally.
Over the span of 3 generations and the 24 years that it was sold in the United States, it moved towards upscale levels in terms of power, class, and size. During this time, it never lost its roots as being a vehicle that is worth off road driving. The standard was always 4 wheel drive and some of the specialty items including adjustable shock absorbers as well as locking differentials were available starting with the second generation.
The 2nd generation of the Mitsubishi Montero was manufactured and sold from the year 1992 through 2000. It was smaller than the first generation and offered a traditional style SUV with four wheel drive and a body on frame style of construction as well as a solid rear axle.
There were 4 trim levels available, the base level, the RS, the LS, and the SR. The top 2 trim levels, the LS and the SR came with an automatic transmission only and added several amenities including a tilt steering wheel, power accessories, and cruise control. The LS offered antilock brakes from the beginning and the SR had these brakes the following year.
After 1994, only the LS and the SR lines were offered.
Most Recent Version
The most recent version of the Montero that was sold in the United States was the third generation. It is a mid-sized SUV and was sold from the year 2001 through 2006. There were several key design changes made to the 3rd generation model. The most significant of the changes was the switch to a unibody construction from the body on frame version from the previous generation. This was done in order to lighten the chassis and stiffen it.
Another change was with the suspension as it became fully independent for the first time. There was also a switch with the steering which went from a recirculating ball version to a rack and pinion version. These changed promised that the third generation model would be the best driving Montero available.
The third generation did deliver and it dealt with bumps better and had better handling than in the years before. It also could still handle going off road. However, in several key areas it still lagged behind. One of the issues was that it used a 3.5 liter V6 which only provided 200 horsepower that made it slow at accelerating to higher speeds. In addition, the handling was a bit off because of the steering and excessive amount of body lean.
The interior of the 3rd generation Mitsubishi Montero offered solid ergonomics, comfortable seating, and upscale materials. The cargo space was quite generous. There were 2 trim levels offered at first, the XLS and the Limited.