Kelley Blue Book ® - 2004 Mitsubishi Montero Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2004 Mitsubishi Montero Overview

Body
Take Your Living Room Four-Wheeling

The Montero is Mitsubishis largest and most luxurious SUV. Though there are bigger, more powerful models offered by the competition, few have the standout styling and technical wizardry found onboard the Montero. If youre looking for a tall SUV that is as capable off-road as it is on, the Montero deserves a good long look.

The Montero is available in two trim levels, XLS and Limited. Both models come standard with 4WD and a new 3.8-liter V6 engine that makes 215-horsepower. The XLS is equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission and the Limited gets a slick five-speed automatic with Sportronic shift that allows the driver to manually shift gears without the aid of a clutch. The Limited also has a 4WD system that includes an AWD mode for all driving conditions while retaining a hi-low transfer case for true off-road adventures. An extra measure of safety is assured by the addition of an onboard tire-pressure monitoring system.

Interior appointments leave little to be desired, with a myriad of high-tech electronics (like the cool graphic compass in the center dash) and one of the biggest sunroofs in the business. In Africa and Asia, the Montero is a favorite among off-road adventurers not only because of its tenacious four-wheel ability, but also for its tall roofline and enormous center-mounted sunroof. If you love to photograph far off places, the Montero is the vehicle youll want to have with you; its the only full-size SUV we can think of with a roof opening large enough to allow a full-size camera tripod to fit inside the vehicle. One option you wont find while roaming the bush country is the new DVD-based entertainment system. Of course, this option deletes the sunroof, so youll just have to pick between the big sky or the big screen.

The front seats are very comfortable with electric-adjustable height and lumbar support. Passengers in the center-row seat also get a pretty comfortable bench, but some did complain that the seat bottoms were too short. We also were not impressed by the faceplate on the otherwise excellent stereo system. It looked as if it were pulled from the dash of an entry-level car and seemed out of place in the upscale interior surroundings.

On the road, the new V6s additional low-end torque greatly enhances the way the Montero moves off the line. The new V6 still has its work cut out for it because the Montero tips the scales at just over 4500-pounds; most other SUVs in this weight category offer a V8 engine. The Montero is one of the few SUVs that employs unibody construction, which increases rigidity and keeps its weight from ballooning even further. While we found the vehicle to feel balanced on the highway, sharp turns and sudden emergency lane changes did cause the Montero's back end to do a little dance before coming back in line with the front of the vehicle. Blame the tire's tall sidewall for the odd motion. Still, if you can afford the steep price tag, and are attracted to the unique styling, the Montero should be on the A-list of anyone shopping this market segment.

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