Used 2001 Mitsubishi Montero Sport Review

Edmunds expert review

A mid-packer in the mid-size SUV arena.

What's new for 2001

Because the Montero Sport underwent an update last year, this midsize SUV pretty much remains static for 2001. You can now get the base level ES trim in a 4WD configuration, and later this year, the XS trim level debuts, with the 3.5-liter V6 from the pricey Limited model. A Lower Anchor Tether Child (LATCH) restraint system comes standard, and the light trucks meet LEV standards.

Vehicle overview

Blame it on a lack of imagination on the part of Mitsubishi?s name-creating factory, but the Montero Sport bears little resemblance to the full-size Montero, especially with this year?s dramatic redesign of the bigger sibling.

The Montero Sport is currently available in four trim levels: ES, LS, XLS and Limited. Each trim level comes in 2WD or 4WD. All 2001 Montero Sports are powered by one of two 24-valve, SOHC V6 engines: the 3.0-liter model or the 3.5-liter version. Coming soon to a dealership near you is the XS, equipped with the more powerful V6 and sporty trim inside and out.

Standard on all but the Limited and XS models is the smaller 3.0-liter, 173-horsepower engine. ES buyers receive power windows and door locks, single CD player, 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. The 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.

The Montero Sport's ergonomically sound and user-friendly interior features a center console with two cupholders, multiple power outlets, seats with lumbar support, two-tone trim and attractive fabrics. Outside, the vehicle shows off a body-colored front bumper, cross-hatch black grille, black tailgate garnish, striking bodyside molding, 16-inch alloy wheels, and 255/70 tires for the LS, XLS and Limited.

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. Not that you?d want to take this rogue on any serious dirt trails -- a combination of a soft suspension system and less-than-razor-sharp steering prohibits it from being an off-roader for anything more serious than the mucky parking lot of the Corn Cob Festival.

Although the Montero Sport deserves a consideration for your next SUV purchase, it shouldn?t be a sole contender merely based upon its looks.

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.