1997 Mitsubishi Montero Sport Review

Pros & Cons

  • Attractive new shape. Available V-6 engine.
  • Sparse standard equipment level, small standard engine, and not much rear passenger room.
Other years
Mitsubishi Montero Sport for Sale
List Price Estimate
$437 - $881

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

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, 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 seaking 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. Interestingly, 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 (we currently only have information on two of them), the ES, LS, and XLS. The Es is powered by a four-cylinder 134-horsepower engine. We doubt that many people will opt for this value leader, and think that it is the lineup to act merely as a customer-grabber in the Sunday new car ads. The most popular model will probably be the LS 4WD automatic. The base price of this truck is $24,415 (including destination charges), and includes a powerful V6 engine. Add preferred packages #3 and #4 and the price climbs to $26,207. If you want power door locks, windows, and mirrors, you'll need to drop an additional $829; the Montero's alleged value is diminishing quickly.

Nevertheless, it is possible to get a well-optioned Montero Sport for less than $30,000. We think that by staying under that magic number, people will flock to Mitsubishi dealerships to check out the this new SUV. Be sure to check out the Montero Sport's rear seat, however, we were disappointed by the short seat cushion and lack of leg room. If you've got lanky teenagers to cart around, this may not be the right truck.

1997 Highlights

This all-new entry from Mitsubishi is poised to steal sales in the ever-growing midsize sport-utility segment. Based on the same floorpan as the full-size Montero, the Montero Sport is shorter in length, lighter in weight and generally more nimble than its big brother.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Mitsubishi Montero Sport.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Reliability Is It
This is my 3rd Mitsubishi. I've enjoyed all of them. They have all been very reliable. I've never had any problems with any of them that have been major. The Montero Sport is a under powered but still fun to drive. I love the body style and the feel of the vehicle. I would recommend this vehicle to anyone who wanted to look good and have fun.
Great Car to own
LS 4dr SUV 4WD
I bought this car relatively new (36K), and have never, ever had an issue with it. Lacks the power I need in the mountains, but otherwise on the highway and in town, is perfect. People have told me never to buy a car the first year it's developed, but this may be the best car I will ever own. Reliable, beautiful, spacious, I will drive it until it no longer drives.
great SUV
LS 4dr SUV 4WD
bought at carmax 4/03 and drove for a year. Completely trouble free. It gets pretty good highway mileage, and acceptable city mileage. Lots of room for everything, and really comfortable. The stereo is great sounding. Love it!
Good value for your money
I have had this vehicle for a little over two years and it has been excellent, fingers crossed, no major problems to date. I have the oil changed every 3,000 miles,I have it serviced, as recommended, and the only thing I have had to replace is the battery, oh and maybe a bulb!


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Mitsubishi Montero Sport

Used 1997 Mitsubishi Montero Sport Overview

The Used 1997 Mitsubishi Montero Sport is offered in the following submodels: Montero Sport SUV. Available styles include ES 4dr SUV, LS 4dr SUV, LS 4dr SUV 4WD, and XLS 4dr SUV 4WD.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Mitsubishi Montero Sport?

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Which used 1997 Mitsubishi Montero Sports are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Mitsubishi Montero Sport?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Mitsubishi Montero Sport lease specials