Used 1997 Mitsubishi Montero SUV

1997 Mitsubishi Montero
List price range

Pros

  • Wonderful off-road agility, seven passenger seating, and powerful new engine.

Cons

  • Price makes this truck more expensive than the larger, more powerful GMC Suburban and Ford Expedition.

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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.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Mitsubishi Montero.

Great SUV for under $5K
az66bug, 10/25/2013
Bought this Montero 2 years ago after doing allot of research for a reliable SUV for under $5K; this was one of 5 suggested. I didn't want something big like a Expedition or small like a Escape and this fit the bill. It had 141,000 miles and I knew it would need some money for maintenance items like timing belt, etc. I only paid $3800.00 so had room to do these repairs. Although I did have a cooling issue that turned out to be the radiator, overall I am happy with this Montero. It's a 3rd vehicle that I bought for hauling around the dogs and Home Depot runs that I drive allot more just because it's pretty fun to drive and simplistic in nature, which I like.
Good used rig
monteroguy, 9/5/2005
Bought my '97 Montero used with 98,000 miles on odometer. Spent some money to replace timing belt, leaking waterpump and new muffler. Needed a 4WD SUV to explore backwoods and unpaved roads. The Montero meets all the requirements very, very well. It is well built, tough and I still get 20 MPG on the highway! Reliability is still unknown to me as I have only owned it for two months. Did a 1,100 mile drive with no problems what so ever. It took us every where and never complained. I am very happy with my decision to buy a Montero.
reliable
gdt, 5/7/2004
we bought this car new in late 96 we do not go off-road much but it does the job well when needed it has been very reliable we do all scheduled maintance it is not comfortable for long trips we had twins in college and this car really held a lot of stuff, especially with a luggage carrier on top the jump seats are more of a nuisance in that it robs the rear of space but if you have small kids, they would be fine the mileage is not great - around 16mpg around town
Keep your wallet out!
Madmadmarvin, 12/15/2003
This is a great looking SUV and has lot's of features. I've owned this vehicle 2 1/2 years and have had nothing but trouble. I don't take it offroad and I keep up the maintenance. It's been very expensive to repair (2 alternators, rear door hinges, 2 batteries) in addition to very expensive maintenance. I will not buy another Montero, cool truck, but too unreliable.
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Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 18 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 5000 rpm
MPG
15 city / 18 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all Used 1997 Mitsubishi Montero SUV features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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 1997 Mitsubishi Montero
Used 1997 Mitsubishi Montero SUV Overview

The Used 1997 Mitsubishi Montero SUV is offered in the following styles: LS 4dr SUV 4WD, and SR 4dr SUV 4WD.

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