Used 2000 Mitsubishi Montero Sport Review
A mid-packer in the mid-size SUV arena.
Mitsubishi was in the vanguard at the beginning of the sport-utility boom. Way back in 1989, when the Explorer was yet to be introduced and the Grand Cherokee was little more than scribbles 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 additional equipment and expensive gee-whiz components on its only sport-ute.
Realizing that they were losing sales because of the Montero's high price, Mitsubishi penned a newly shaped truck, placed it on a proven platform and came up with a not very original name for a smaller, less-expensive SUV in 1997 - the Montero Sport. The Sport shares a frame with the larger Montero, which is good news for those seeking off-road capability, but it is shorter overall due to decreased front and rear overhangs. The Montero Sport's cabin holds five passengers instead of seven but the Sport's cargo space actually surpasses that of the full-size Montero.
Today, the Montero Sport is available in four trim levels: ES, LS, XLS and Limited. Each trim level comes with two- or four-wheel drive except the ES, which is available only as a 2WD model. All 2000 Montero Sports are powered by one of two 24-valve, SOHC V6 engines: the 3.0-liter model or the 3.5-liter version.
Mitsubishi revamped the Montero Sport's exterior and interior for the millennium, adding a new center console with two cupholders, additional power outlets, new seats with lumbar support, two-tone interiors and new fabrics. Outside, the vehicle receives a new body-colored front bumper, cross-hatch black grille, black tailgate garnish, new headlights and bezel, bodyside molding, 16-inch alloy wheels, and 255/70 tires for the LS, XLS and Limited. For 2000, Mitsubishi offers a limited-slip differential for both 2WD and 4WD models - available as part of the XLS premium package or standard on the Limited.
Standard on all but the Limited models is the smaller, 3.0-liter, 173-horsepower engine. ES buyers receive power windows and door locks, AM/FM/CD tuner, rear window wiper/washer and an overhead console with digital clock, map lights and compartments for sunglasses, garage door openers and security cards. Consumers stepping up to the LS will get three-spoke, 16-inch alloy wheels, tube-style side steps, a luggage rack, antilock brakes, driver's seat-height adjuster, 60/40 split-folding rear seat and tinted privacy glass. Montero Sport XLS adds integrated fog lamps, eight-spoke alloy wheels, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and outside thermometer, leather-wrapped steering wheel and remote keyless entry. The Limited trim level comes standard with a 3.5-liter, 200-horsepower V6 engine. Other standard features on the Limited include body-colored door handles, mirrors and fender flares, integrated side steps, power sunroof, machine-finished alloy wheels and rear seat heaters.
Even with the larger engine, we found the Montero Sport to be underpowered when gaining elevation at a steady pace, with its four-speed transmission hunting for the appropriate gears. Slipping into four-wheel drive on-the-fly is easy with Montero Sport's well-placed shift lever, and there are seven available grab handles when the road gets rough. The interior layout is ergonomically sound and user-friendly, though door handles seem small and the stereo buttons are cluttered. Overall, the 2000 Montero Sport is significantly improved and worth looking into.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.