For 2006, the Mitsubishi Montero is unchanged, save for the discontinuation of a number of exterior colours. As in 2005, it comes in a single trim line, the Limited.

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 nineteen years, specially-prepped versions (called the Pajero overseas) have participated in the Paris-to-Dakar rally and brought home the hardware. Globally, it’s sold in 170 countries. 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. One possible drawback is the company’s limited dealer network, which may make it difficult for some buyers to purchase or service their vehicles conveniently.

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