Comparing the 2001 Montero Against the Previous Generation 4 Door

www.4x4wire.com/mitsubishi/reviews/2001Monty/ Short Cuts

Author/Photographer: Roberto Coleman, Editor: Phil Hansford. December 8, 2000

2001 Limited (7726 miles) vs. 1995 SR (54922)


Roberto's new Montero utilizes a unibody construction
Roberto's 1995 SR has aged well, and still looks like the day he bought it.

Roberto bought this 2001 Mitsubishi Montero in May of 2000. He continues to enjoy his 1995 Montero SR, but gives high marks to Mitsubishi's radical redesign, the third major change since the model's inception in 1983.




Driving and Performance

The new Montero is definitely smoother, quieter, and has better handling characteristics. Not that any of them have any serious handling problems; I have performed emergency maneuvers on my 95 and have never been close to loosing control or tipping. Engine and wind noise at highway speed are basically nonexistent on the new Montero. With the new 5 speed automatic transmission the new Montero cruises at lower RPM's, but with 15 less horsepower than my 95 you need high RPM's to get it going. The new automatic/manual transmission is great; you can downshift and use the engine to slow down, or you can maximize the engine power by shifting manually. Moving the shifter is a lot smoother on the new Montero: it does not have the mechanical feeling. The transfer case shifter was also improved: it is smoother, easier to operate, and now you can see the 4WD selection next to the shifter. The new Montero does not have a locking rear differential, only a limited slip differential. This kind of differential has given good traction on wet and slippery surfaces, but I haven't tried it off-road. The new Montero has more ground clearance and a lower step in height. My 95 Montero has been in really deep mud, snow, and slippery conditions, and has never gotten stuck, thanks to the locking rear differential. I hope the new Montero does not disappoint me. Fuel economy is usually the same but at times better.


Interior seating

The new Monty has preserved the heritage of the old one, but has a distinct look of its own
The 2001 has a wider stance, and a lower beltline, to create an image of stability.

I like the seating arrangement on the new Montero a lot better: soft leather, power driver seat, heated seats, 60-40 split on the second row, plus they fold all the way up. The third row is nicely tucked in the floor like the Honda Odyssey and it can easily be completely removed  to increase capacity. It even has a cup holder for the 3rd row of seats plus extra storage by the armrest. My 95 Montero does not have a split second row, and if you want to remove the third row you need to take out 6 screws and 8 bolts. (About a 30 min job)

 

Sound System

My 95 Montero came with a 6 CD changer and a deck with tape player and equalizer. It has 6 speakers but the sound from the rear speaker is usually blocked when the 3rd row seats are in the folded position. The new Montero has a single CD player with 7 speakers (one per door, one by the 3rd seat area, and the tweeters by the side view mirrors), a much better arrangement with  improved sound. You can also add a six disc in-dash player, but I like that space for the cell phone.


Towing

Installing a hitch on the 95 was quick and easy: Not so on the '01

I got a class II receiver for my 95 at a U-haul, which was pretty easy to install. For my new Montero I bought the factory hitch for $300 but it is a class III receiver. Installing the hitch on the new Montero requires the removal of the tow hooks and a plastic cover. Since my Montero has the optional rear AC, one of the bolts is impossible to install.



Sunroof

The new Montero still has a huge sunroof, but it has been moved forward and now has a tilting mode and a one touch open operation.


Quality and Finish

The rear view shows two distinct profiles.

Both Montero's have a nice finish and good quality material. The cargo door on the new Montero feels lighter and easier to open than on my 95, and the hinges are not visible so you get a cleaner look. The third row windows don't slide back, they only open like most minivans.


Ergonomics

The new cockpit layout has been improved by placing the stereo higher and all the cruise controls on the steering wheel. I like the heated leather seats and heated side view mirrors, and the auto AC is also a great option. The information screen has A/C display, date and time, compass, temperature, and gas range. The new Montero doesn't have the voltage or oil pressure gauge like the 95. The armrest on the 2001 has been improved and now has a huge storage space with a 12V plug inside. I definitely like the 2 glove compartments on the passenger side.


"Nit- Picking"

The new Monty is still recognizable as Mitsu's flagship SUV.

The new Montero comes with foot level door light to illuminate the interior or to warn other drivers when you open the door. When I got the car the drivers side light would not turn on so I took it apart and found that the wire harness had not been connected, a quick fix.

My 95 Montero has headlights washers and the 2001 doesn't, but oddly enough it has the washer fluid containers in the engine compartment.

Both my Montero's have fog lights, but on my 2001 you have to turn them on every time you turn on the headlights, because the switch resets to the off position. I like how the headlights on the 2001 turn off automatically when you take the key out of the ignition and open the door. I also like how you get an extra 30 seconds of power to close the windows or sunroof.


Conclusion

The 2001 Montero was well thought out: with a stronger V6 it could very well be the best yet.

Overall Mitsubishi did a good job improving the Montero without changing the good things that it already had. I don't think that the Montero needs a V8 engine, just a more powerful V6 like the one Nissan put on the new pathfinder.



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