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Available Montero Sport Models
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Montero Sports get lots of features added to their option packages, and 4WD models now come with standard ABS.
Mitsubishi was in the vanguard at the beginning of the sport-utility boom. Way back in 1989, when the Explorer had yet to be introduced, and the Grand Cherokee was little more than scribblings in a designer's notebook, the Montero had already evolved into a wonderfully practical four-door design that offered excellent utility and go-anywhere capability. As the years passed, however, the Montero moved further and further up-market as Mitsubishi lavished their only sport-ute with additional equipment and expensive gee-whiz components. Today, the price of the Montero starts at just under $30,000 and doesn't include options such as a roof rack, air conditioning antilock brakes, or floor mats.
Realizing that they were losing sales as a result of this steep price, last year Mitsubishi penned a new shape, placed it on a proven platform and came up with a not-very-original name for a smaller, less-expensive SUV. The Montero Sport shares a frame with the larger Montero, which is a good thing for those seeking off-road capability, but is shorter overall due to decreased front and rear overhangs. The Montero Sport's cabin holds five passengers instead of the Montero's seven-passenger capability. Interesting, however, is the fact that the Montero Sport's cargo space actually surpasses that of the full-size Montero.
The Montero Sport is available in three trim levels: ES, LS and XLS. The ES is powered by a four-cylinder 134-horsepower engine. Not many people opt for this value leader due to its weak engine and sparse equipment. It's in the lineup merely as a customer-grabber in the Sunday new car ads. The most popular model is the LS 4WD automatic. The base price of this truck is over 25K (including destination charges), and includes a more powerful V6 engine. Add accessory and appearance packages and the price climbs to more than 27K. If you want power door locks, windows, and mirrors, you're looking at an expensive truck; the Montero's alleged value is diminishing quickly.
Nevertheless, it is possible to get a well-optioned Montero Sport for right around $30,000. We think that by staying under that magic number, the Montero Sport has a chance for survival in the SUV sales battle. Be sure to check out the Montero Sport's acceleration, however; we were disappointed by the V6's lack of oomph.
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