4x2 Montero Sport arrives

When Mitsubishi launched the Montero Sport 4x4 in 2008, it drew first blood against the long-standing champ in the local mid-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment.

With the launch of the Montero Sport 2.5 liter GLS 4x2, the battleground between the Mitsubishi and Toyota with its Fortuner just got bigger.

Building on the same basic platform as its 4x4 brother, the Montero Sport exhibits class-leading ride quality in a mid-size SUV thanks to its front double wishbones with coil springs and a rear three-link coil suspension with a long trailing arm design. And with stabilizer bars fitted on both ends, the Montero Sport 4x2 promises reduced body roll during cornering maneuvers.

Like its 4x4 version, the 4x2 Montero Sport measures 4,695mm long, 1,815mm wide, and 1,840mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,800mm. Adding those up means the 4x2 Montero Sport offers a lot more interior space than its closest rival. The Montero Sport's three-row, seven-passenger seating may also be configured when additional space is needed.

Inside, the Montero Sport 2.5 GLS 4x2 comes with a black and light grey dashboard accented by silver trims. It also sports a thick-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel, and behind it, the instrument cluster with easy-to-read gauges.

Mitsubishi offers a dealer option steering wheel-mounted audio remote that controls the Mitsubishi Motors Audio Design single in-dash CD/MP3/WMA player by JVC with 4-speakers with a myriad of features, like Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free mobile phone operation, a USB port for thumb drives devices and auxiliary input ports for MP3 players.

What makes the 4x2 Montero Sport different from its 4x4 brother is its engine - a 2.5 liter DOHC 16-Valve Common Rail Direct Injection Diesel with a quick-spool turbocharger and a front-mounted intercooler. This is the same power plant found in the best-selling Strada pick-up that can push for a maximum output of 136ps at 3,500 rpm and 314 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. The 4x2 Montero Sport claims fuel efficiency as it can run 15.5km to a liter while running at a constant speed of 80kph.

The Montero Sport also comes with an INVECS-II four-speed automatic transmission with Sportronic mode.

Other features include Mitsubishi's Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution, a safety engineering system that improves the survival chance of occupants in case of a collision as front and rear crumple zones with reinforced beams redirect force from inside the vehicle upon impact.

The new 4x2 Montero Sport comes in Garnet Green Mica, Claysoil Beige, Lorenz Blue Mica, Gemstone Grey Mica, Cool Silver, Sedona Red, Savanna White, and Pyrenese Black. It sells for an introductory retail price of P1.33 million.

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