When I first heard that Mitsubishi was about to announce the 2020-model Montero Sport, I expected its front to be closer to the edgy and highly futuristic Xpander’s, much like what the company did with the face-lifted Strada pickup. What I was more intrigued about was the rear taillamps, which was more contentious and which elicited polarized love-it-or-hate-it comments.  

Mitsubishi put those speculations to rest with the official unveiling of the 2020 Montero Sport at the Grand Ballroom of Okada Manila in Paranaque City.

As expected the new SUV sports a sharper and more robust appearance up front. Mitsubishi’s signature Dynamic Shield front view design concept has been further evolved on the new Montero Sport, emphasizing the sense of wideness with the headlights continuing from the front grille and the combination lamps at the bumper corners. The higher hood exhibits a deeper front face, while a more solid, powerful chrome part design projects a more refined, sophisticated appearance.

And the rear? The new model sports the same “melting” guitar pick-shaped taillamps, but with a fresher (and redder) treatment. Save for new alloy wheel designs, the side view is largely unchanged.   

Under the hood is Mitsubishi’s state-of-the-art 2.4-liter MIVEC turbo-diesel mated to an 8-speed automatic. The new Montero Sport retains the Super-Select 4WD-II system that delivers optimal traction for all surfaces and confidence-inspiring handling. The off-road mode with a newly designed switch on 4WD models elevates all- terrain performance and self-extraction capability through the integrated control of engine output, transmission settings and brake power.

Inside, Mitsubishi crafted a refreshed interior, highlighted by an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, that delivers a more luxurious and comfortable feel. Needless to say, the new Montero Sport is equipped with advanced features both for convenience and safety.

An updated floor console and soft-padded interior door panels enhance luxury and comfort while a storage tray that sits under the floor console is now accessible from both left and right sides.  For power users, a new 220V 150-watt AC power outlet has been added on the existing USB port at the rear panel of the center console.

Expected to be popular additions are an 8-inch color LCD meter and 8 inch Smartphone-Link Display Audio (SDA), which is compatible for Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

There is also now a power tailgate with hands-free feature, which can be opened or closed by smartphone. The tailgate system can be preset by smartphone anywhere, which enables the driver to open or close the tailgate automatically when he/she approaches or leaves the vehicle. The keyless operation system is effective between the vehicle and within Bluetooth operating range. The remote control smartphone app offers a number of functions that facilitate ease of access and added security. The app will send notification to the driver’s smartphone to lock the doors via the app when the driver leaves the vehicle with the doors unlocked.

On the safety front, the new Montero Sport is equipped with Lane Change Assist (LCA) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) functions, Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control, a multi-view camera system that limits blind spots when parking the vehicle, and seven airbags for GT 4WD, six airbags for GT 2WD, and two airbags for the GLS and GLX variants.

Initial prices for the new Montero Sport are P1,769,000 for the GLS 2WD AT and P1,998,000 for the GT 2WD AT. Color options are White Diamond, Sterling Silver Metalic, Titanium Gray, Medium Red, and Jet Black.