For 2005, Mitsubishi drops the Montero XLS package and markets its largest SUV in one trim line, the Limited. Other changes include new 17-inch alloy wheels, two new exterior colours and a standard tire pressure monitoring system.

The Montero is powered by a 3.8-litre V6 engine, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with Sportronic Sequential Shift manual mode and ActiveTrac four-wheel-drive with rear-wheel, full-time all-wheel and 4WD high and low range with locked centre differential. The Montero holds seven passengers, with a third-row seat that can be folded into a well in the cargo area floor, or removed entirely.

The Montero Limited includes auto-off halogen headlights, fog lamps, variable intermittent wipers, roof rails, four ventilated brake discs, power sunroof, rear wiper, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, rear air conditioning and heating, wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise, power windows and locks, leather interior, 10-way driver and 8-way passenger power heated seats, and CD player with seven speakers.

Unlike many tough-talking SUVs, the Montero has credibility: for eighteen years, specially-prepped versions (called the Pajero overseas) have brought home trophies from the Paris-to-Dakar rally. It’s the same length as the company’s Endeavor, but it’s wider and taller, and has a longer wheelbase. It also shares the Endeavor’s engine, but it’s heavier, and the manual-mode transmission can come in handy when you really need to get all that bulk moving.

The Montero’s four-wheel-drive system is quite sophisticated, with a switch that activates an electric motor to select drive modes. Shifting from two- to four-wheel-drive can be done at speeds up to 100 km/h. The exterior styling borders on odd, but the interior is as nice as many higher-priced SUVs, and that warranty is a thing of beauty. A major drawback is the company’s limited dealer network, which may make it difficult for some buyers to purchase or service their vehicles conveniently.

The Montero is built in Mizushima, Japan.

Connect with