FACT spent the day in the Mitsubishi Montero Sport GLS, a spacious and capable sports SUV with a respectable range of technical features.

It’s hard to believe that after all our years of test-driving quality vehicles, this was the first time we found ourselves behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi Montero. It was, however, worth the wait as the new Montero Sport proved to be a capable 4×4, one showcasing appealing interior and exterior designs along with convenient tech.

Updated Exterior

Our first impression of the latest generation Montero was that it now has a bigger, bolder and more aggressive exterior design than its predecessors. In our opinion, this rugged off-road SUV definitely looks the part.

The front end of the GLS features a sleek and stealthy black grille, complete with a large Mitsubishi logo right in the centre. Chrome bars in the upper grille section are flanked by sweptback LED running lamps, bestowing the vehicle with a sporty flair. Combined with the LED headlamps and foglamps, this arrangement results in an eye-catching face that announces this premium SUV in style.

The solid look and feel of this quality car continued at the sides. We admired the clean body lines running from front to back and the well-designed, low side bumpers sitting flush with the body. Our vehicle was fitted with two-tone, 18-inch alloy wheels, with larger than average hubs, providing better grip and more precise steering in both wet and dry conditions.

At the back end, we agreed that the deep bumper and the protection plate emphasise the vehicle’s stability and strength, with the roof spoiler further accentuating the SUV’s streamlined styling. We also recognised how the distinctive rear LED lamp clusters add further character to the car.

Spacious Interior

Once inside, what struck us first was the ample space available throughout the vehicle. With three rows of seating, this comfortable sports SUV provides sufficient room for up to seven adults. The presence of an electric sunroof ensures plenty of natural light throughout the cabin, further adding to this 4×4’s spacious nature.

We appreciated the power-adjustable, dual-layered front seating with shoulder and side support and deeper centres that maximise back support. Offering ample head and leg room, the front-row seats certainly have a nice wrap-around feel. The second and third rows are built with the same quality materials and are also comfy but did prove slightly tighter than those in the cockpit.

Additionally, the storage area is greatly increased with the rear seating folded flat. To add to the car’s day-to-day convenience, this model is fitted with automatic tailgate opening – meaning with hands full and keys in pocket, a little kicking motion under the rear of the vehicle is all it takes to trigger the sensor.

We took note of the freshly designed floor-level console, positioned between the front seats, with its smooth edges and improved storage space. We also appreciated the little smartphone shelf in the main console, complete with a rubber mat to prevent the device from sliding around.

Easy-to-Use Tech & Infotainment

One of the most useful aspects of this new Mitsubishi is the included modern tech. For starters, we found the customisable eight-inch colour LCD meter on the dashboard directly in front of the driver, to be very user-friendly with easy-to-read graphics. We effortlessly manoeuvred through the settings, adjusting the display to suit our preferences.

Secondly, the previously mentioned centre console houses a Smartphone-Link Display Audio (SDA). This in-car infotainment hub has a large display screen, an upgraded TomTom navigation system and a swift processing speed. We discovered the SDA can support Apple CarPlay through an iPhone, providing smart access to Apple music, Apple maps, messages and more through Siri. We could also link Android Auto to the vehicle via a smartphone, allowing us to operate many well-known apps via voice commands.

We discovered plenty of additional features available through the Mitsubishi Remote App, which is free to download.

Other must-mention features include the sturdy steering wheel with its gratifying grip, housing all the necessary button functions, as well as the two power outlets in the Montero Sport: one in the centre console and one in the cargo area for rear passengers to charge devices or play music.

“With three rows of seating, this comfortable sports SUV provides sufficient room for up to seven adults.”

Reliable Power & Performance

As always, our favourite moment of the day was getting the vehicle out and about on the roads.

Our ride was powered by a 3.0-litre MIVEC petrol engine, coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Although not the quickest off the mark, once the SUV picked up speed on the highway, it managed to showcase its power far more effectively.

We enjoyed the new Montero sports mode that delivers more verve and agility, enabling the SUV to accelerate from 0-100km/h in under 10 seconds and to achieve a top speed of around 182km/h.

A brief but enjoyable spell in the sand proved this 4×4 to be as capable off-road as it is on the tarmac.

Mitsubishi have also equipped the Montero with Forward Collision Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control and an Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS), amongst other vital safety features.

Our Verdict

This attractive new offering from Mitsubishi has proven itself capable, comfortable and safe to drive. ✤