Used 1996 Mitsubishi Montero SUV

1996 Mitsubishi Montero
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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Marketed since 1983, Mitsubishi's compact sport-utility ranks as an old-timer in its field, though the current four-door version has only been around since '89. Straight-up styling surrounds a spacious interior for five, but climbing aboard a Montero isn't so easy. Optional for 1996 are side steps that make this task much more manageable. These sizable sport-utes stand rather tall--more than six feet from ground to roof--a profile that doesn't exactly help when it's time to undertake a sharp corner. Though refined and well-built, with seating for seven, Monteros hardly rank as bargain-priced, either, despite their extensive equipment lists.

Mitsubishi has seen fit to make some substantial refinements to its premium SUV. A passenger airbag has been added, as well as new seat fabrics. Backlit gauges marked with white numerals are more legible, and the compass has been redesigned. The second-row seat is now a split-fold affair, offering more utility in an already versatile vehicle. New audio systems also debut. Outside, new colors compliment the newly optional side steps and hard shell spare tire cover.

Beneath the hood of an LS edition sits a smooth 24-valve, 3.0-liter V6. Either five-speed manual shift or an automatic transmission is available. For more demanding tasks, Mitsubishi continues to offer a stronger dual-cam 3.5-liter engine, whipping up 214 horsepower, but only in the costly SR model, which comes solely with the four-speed automatic transmission. Electronically controlled automatics feature three-mode operation: Power, Normal, and Hold (which avoids first-gear operation on ice, snow, or muddy surfaces).

Active Trac four-wheel-drive can be shifted "on the fly," or set up to operate all the time. All-disc brakes are standard, but only the SR has Multi-Mode antilock braking (optional in the LS version). A power sunroof, too, is either standard or optional, depending on the model. Prior Monteros could tow as much as 4,000 pounds, but the current peak rating is 5,000. A variable shock-absorber system, optional on the SR, has three settings: hard, medium and soft.

The Montero is an interesting blend of gee-whiz gadgetry, luxurious conveniences, go-anywhere capability, and unique styling. While it is true that all this cool stuff comes at a premium, buyers considering other luxury sport-utility vehicles will want to drop by the Mitsubishi dealer and consider this one as well.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Mitsubishi Montero.

Best Car We've Ever Owned
8YR Montero Owner, 6/24/2004
I really regret selling this car. We had it for 8 years and it was the best, most reliable, most comfortable vehicle we have ever owned. It worked flawlessly, and only ever had very minor problems with it. I would highly recommend a Montero to anyone, and am considering buying another. The vehicle I replaced it with just doesn't come close to the Montero. It's very capable both off road and on. I've driven this back and forth from Los Angeles to Vancouver multiple times as well as used it for a daily commuter. I can't say enough good things about this car. If you're in the market for an SUV put the Montero on your short list.
Great Example of Japanese Quality
CarGuyandConsumer, 6/27/2002
The Montero SR is the best SUV that I have ever owned. It feels solid in everything that it does. The 4 wheel drive system has NEVER failed me, and I live on the mountain side hills of snow country. Durring the winter, going down snow covered hills/roads can be even more difficult than going up, but my montero has never failed. Low range gearing is excellant and has amazing holding power. The locking differentials make driving up icy hills a breeze. The adjustable suspension helps improve vehicle controll on winding roads at high speeds (put it in hard mode).
'96 Montero - a True Offroad Vehicle
Bob Britz, 12/26/2006
I purchased this 1996 at three years old and 45,000 miles. It now has 175,000 miles and I have no vision to sell it. Approximately 23,000 of my 130,000 miles driven have been off road in the Sierra Nevada, Inyo, and Death Valley areas. Not light offroad, but 4WD locking hubs off road required stuff. I've changed the oil every 3,000 miles and had only one major repair when a part of the intake plenem broke off and caused internal valve damage. The car gets a consistent 15 mpg and has never left me stranded due to it's advanced 4WD dual locking hubs (a rare item on any SUV today) and its capacity radiators and transmission coolers. Mitsubishi outfitted this truck perfectly - not for soccer moms.
Workhorse Deluxe
Pee Wee Denton, 5/26/2017
This vehicle is not sleek or dynamic from a visual concept but, it is reliable and a workhorse for the average family.
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Features & Specs

MPG
14 city / 17 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
N/A
MPG
13 city / 17 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
N/A
See all Used 1996 Mitsubishi Montero SUV features & specs

Safety

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
    Acceptable

More about the 1996 Mitsubishi Montero
Used 1996 Mitsubishi Montero SUV Overview

The Used 1996 Mitsubishi Montero SUV is offered in the following styles: LS 4dr SUV 4WD, and SR 4dr SUV 4WD.

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