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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2004 Mitsubishi Montero Sport Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2004 Mitsubishi Montero Sport Overview

Go Ahead, Get It Dirty

SUVs have gotten so expensive and so fancy, many owners are afraid to take them off road for fear of incurring an expensive repair bill. We say what good is the best four-wheel drive system in the world if you cant get it a little dirty now and again? Well, there is still an SUV out there that doesnt cost and arm and a leg and that can romp off-road without fear of scratching its paint or dusting its interior: its the Montero Sport.

Most people who see the Montero Sport agree that it is definitely a looker. Augmenting the Montero Sport's rugged good looks are black flush-mounted privacy glass panels that cover the rear-side windows and tailgate. If you are the type that appreciates the beauty of a clean design without additional clutter, you will no doubt find a friend in the Montero Sport; the lack of heavy body-cladding, an aggressive front grille and widely-flared wheel arches make a definitive statement about how to be subtle yet effective.

For 2004, Mitsubishi has simplified the Montero Sport line by dropping the ES and Limited models and adding their content to the LS and XLS trims. With the old 3.0-liter dropped from the line, the LS and XLS now share a common engine. Rated at 197-horsepower and with 223 lbs.-ft of torque, the 3.5-liter engine gives the Montero Sport superior passing and acceleration times; it also seems better suited to dealing with the extra weight the AWD (All-Wheel Drive) system adds as well as the many electronic goodies designed to increase passenger comfort.

You will be happy to know that Montero Sport offers both two- and four-wheel drive versions of each trim level. The AWD drive setup on the Montero Sport is nowhere near as complicated as that of its big brother the Montero, but its simplicity is also one of the reasons the system works so well. When the AWD is engaged, the vehicle remains driven by its rear wheels. If one or more of the wheels should slip, a viscous-coupling center differential sends power to the front wheels, temporarily engaging the AWD until traction has returned to the rears. The AWD system also includes a 4WD high/low transfer case that allows you to lock all four wheels in gear; this application is best used at low speeds and is not intended for use on paved roads. You should note that if you intend to buy a 2WD SUV, the XLS offers a limited-slip rear differential that also aids in improving traction. Most 2WD SUVs are driven by only one wheel and do not offer a limited-slip differential.

On the road, the Montero Sport delivers a surprisingly pleasant ride. Expansion joints usually make their presence known in this type of vehicle, but the Montero Sport sails right over them with hardly a shudder. Wind and road noise are evident but not obnoxiously so and the comfortable seats and excellent sound system contribute to making the Montero Sport's interior a pleasant place to be. You and your passengers will find respectable amounts of legroom both front and rear, and Mitsubishi has raised the Montero Sport's roof line to improve the headroom situation which up until now as been rather tight for those over 6-feet in height.

Some of the standard features you'll find on the Montero Sport LS include air conditioning, center and overhead consoles, rear-window defroster, anti-theft engine immobilizer, power outside mirrors, roof rails, three power outlets (two in front, one in the cargo area), skid plates for the front end, fuel tank and transfer case (AWD models only), power windows, front and rear tow hooks, AM/FM stereo with CD and a rear-window wiper. The XLS adds to this a chrome grille, 16-inch alloy wheels, color-keyed fender flares, tubular side rails, height-adjustable drivers seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seat with center armrest and platinum paint treatment on the dash trim. Options include a power sunroof, 210-watt Infinity sound system, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a limited-slip differential.

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