The Mitsubishi Montero Sport is a midsize SUV that debuted in America for the 1997 model year. The vehicle was intended to be a smaller alternative to the Mitsubishi Montero. After a production run of seven years, the Montero Sport was discontinued following the 2004 model year and replaced by the Mitsubishi Endeavor. Vehicles that competed directly with the [Mitsubishi]] SUV include the Buick Rendezvous, GMC Envoy and Honda Pilot.

The vehicle is known as the Mitsubishi Challenger in Japan. In many parts of the world, the Montero Sport is called the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. In the United Kingdom and South America, the vehicle is known as the Mitsubishi Shogun Sport. In Central America, it is known as the Mitsubishi Nativa.

Mitsubishi Montero Sport Styling

The Mitsubishi Montero Sport was built on the same chassis as the Mitsubishi Montero. However, the Montero Sport was considerably shorter and featured a lower ground clearance. The exterior design exudes a rugged appeal, with crisp edges and a strong front end. A facelift in 2000 updated this front end and added a black tailgate trim. Overall dimensions for the vehicle included a length of 181.1 inches, width of 66.7 inches and height of 67.7 inches.

The cavernous interior of the Mitsubishi Montero Sport comfortably seated up to five passengers. Maximum headroom accommodated even the tallest passengers, with 38.9 inches of space up front and 38.5 inches of space in the rear. The dashboard features sturdy, well-crafted components and was intended to be ergonomically designed. Total cargo volume for the SUV was 79.3 cubic feet.

Mitsubishi Montero Sport Trim Levels

The Mitsubishi Montero Sport was originally available in three trim levels – ES, LS and XLS. In 1999, a luxury Limited trim level was added to the lineup. Following the 2003 model year, both the ES and Limited models were dropped.

The Montero Sport LS came standard with features such as air conditioning, power steering, power windows, power mirrors, power locks, folding rear seat, stereo system with CD player, roof rails, front/rear tow hooks and 16-inch alloy wheels. The XLS added cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, height-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, remote keyless entry, split folding rear seat, exterior side steps and rear privacy glass.

An XLS Touring package was a popular upgrade and included a power sunroof, limited-slip differential, Infinity sound system, compass, cargo cover, outside temperature indicator and automatic day/night rearview mirror.

Mitsubishi Montero Sport Performance

The Montero Sport base ES engine was originally a 2.4-liter inline-4 that delivered 132 horsepower and 148 lb-ft. of torque. All other trim levels came standard with a 3.0-liter V6 engine that maxed out at 173 horsepower and 188 lb-ft. of torque. This engine is nixed for a more powerful 3.5-liter V6 option in 2004 that produced up to 200 horsepower and 228 lb-ft. of torque. Prior to 2004, this engine could be found on Limited edition models.

The Montero Sport ES came standard with a 5-speed manual transmission. Most other models came standard with a 4-speed automatic that delivered an EPA-estimated fuel efficiency of 16 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. A 4-wheel drive package could be added that featured 4WD, skid plates, 2-speed transfer case and antilock brakes.

Mitsubishi Montero Sport Safety

The only notable standard safety feature available on the Montero Sport was dual front airbags. Crash tests performed by the NHTSA on the 1999 Mitsubishi Montero Sport yielded a 4-star rating in the category of driver front impact and a 3-star rating in the category of passenger front impact. Scores are based on a 5-star rating system.