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Mitsubishi Montero



  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    Old post that the Sequoia guys didnt like seeing. I would be careful taking the info over there for fact. There seems to be a little too much biased reporting and bashing of anyone who trys to post opposing viewpoints.

    There are a lot of posts recently about the VSC. Here is an old post. While I think the VSC is probably a good idea for some folks I dont think it is for everyone. These quotes were taken directly from the Feb 01 Four Wheeler review of the 2001 4wd of the year article they ran.

    Anyone thinking about a Sequoia should read this, as well as the posts here and other articles.

    "...I think Toyota's engineers out smarted themselves" -Jon Thompson

    "The weight is bad enough, but the real problem is the traction control system, which when activated feels as though the engine has lost all its power" -Greg Smith

    "Generally I'm a fan of Toyota, but somehow things went awry with the traction-control system and the VSC system on the new Sequoia"...."once you get it off-road and demand performance, forget it" -Michael Rudd

    "By the end of the test, I was wishing I had brought along some wire cutters: -Craig Perronne refering to the computer traction control systems

    They did like the window in the tailgate feature, large and comfortable interior but did not like the "marginal handling" and felt the engine was "adequate".

    This was one of the first reviews that I think really looked hard at the Sequoia as a 4wd vehicle. there are other articles but they only seem to qoute the toyota ads making me think that there might be an advertising dollar influence there. I was suprised to see the TV review of the Acura for the same reason. Several good reviews and then the TV review which blasted the MDX in several important areas.

    I guess you just have to take everything into account, rank it according to objectivity and ultimately keep your fingers crossed.

    Good luck selecting your next SUV.
  • rascalrascal Posts: 26

    Your opening statement, "I dont disagree that the manufacture suggests replacement far earlier than I would do it. ".....
    I never said that the manufacturers suggest it far earlier I do not understand your point, there is nothing to agree to..or disagree to, I never made that point.

    I suggest that the engineers have to take into account the average driver. As far as recommending changing timing belts earlier than necessary, I do not believe that. If they suggest one too prematurely, then they get the reputation of a maintenance intensive design, this is NOT a good thing.
    I suggest that if you want to scrimp on something, the timing belt is NOT the thing to scrimp on. Gates makes more timing belts than anyone in the world and they state that 60,000 is their benchmark and I accept the advice of experts. By the way, Mits, like most Japanese manufacturers, suggest 7,500 miles on oil changes too, but I go every 3,000 do most mechanics worth their salt too..
    I have found that it is better to be pennywise than poundfoolish and tend to follow the recommendations of the engineers who design these cars as they should know, they spent millions of hours and dollars designing these machines. Of course, we are each our own captain.
    As for me, I enjoy tinkering on my cars and bikes so I do the maintenace pretty close to the recommendations and anyone still in warranty should be prepared to defend your maintenance schedule if you expect to turn in a claim under warranty.

    Your GSR, (Integra) depending on the year, should be changed at either 90k or 105k.

    And your 350 Firebird did not have a timing belt, it used a timing chain.

    Also, I could not tell you about a 1990 Creseda specifically, but the toyotas, subarus, hondas, mits, nissans etc would all experience severe damage if a belt broke...(discussion of this is also on the gates home

    The only machine that I have ever seen that could ignore the books were Harleys, and that is why bikers ride them...they ride them till they die, then they fix 'em and hit the road again....

  • mp19fanmp19fan Posts: 102
    Thanks for the VSC info. I've kept up with the ongoing discussion re: VSC in the Seq. While that is an issue when offroading, I probably won't do more than 1-2 weeks of it (camping, snow driving, off-highway travel) per year. Whan I'm mainly concerned about is the reliability factor and the engine power of the Montero. I would be willing to live with less power in exchange for the $4k difference in price, but really expect dependability from an SUV that I plan to drive 6-12 years. Thanks again! --Jimmy
  • cct1cct1 Posts: 221
    Reliability: So far there have been very few problems on the message boards with regard to the Monte. My only complaint is the paint flaking off on the Sudan beige rocker panel; I haven't addressed this with the dealer yet. It is barely noticeable, but I am more concerned with how it may look in 5 years. The monte has been out for 2 years in Japan, and has been tested extensively at the Dakar rallies, as I've learned from the message boards. The Seq is brand new, but the Tundra (although not one hundred percent problem free; no vehicle is) has done well w/r to reliability; I expect the Seq to do the same--but if you aren't in a hurry, you may want to wait for next years model to be safe if you decide on the Seq.

    4wd: If you are going to do major offroading, the Monte wins hands down.

    Engine: The V-6 in the Monte is a relatively older design that has been tweaked for max. HP and performance--it should be very reliable. Mitsubishi puts a higher tech engine in the Japanese version, but it can't handle the sulphates in U.S. gasoline. The Montero has plenty of power for the highway and inclines; light towing should be ok (I plan to tow a small fishing boat behind mine in the spring) but if you are towing medium to heavy (2500lbs+), go with the Seqouia. In fact, the Seq is underpowered for its class too--if you are going to do heavy towing, I'd strongly consider a Tahoe/Yukon/Suburban.

    Interior is a personal choice, but I personally think the Monte ltd is much nicer on the inside than the Seq. Sr5.

    With regard to VSC: In all fairness, there are a number of articles pro vsc, some going as far to say that all SUVs should be equipped with it. I am a VSC convert; I think it is a good thing, and hope that the Monte will someday be equipped with it. Its only major disadvantage is during extreme offroading; it can be turned off however. Check out video's of vehicle with the VSC on and off; its very difficult to spin out or skid uncontrollably in a vehicle with vsc on. I also think an SUV with vsc would be less likely to roll.

    The problem I have with the Seq however is with the Atrac. The Atrac redistributes power and braking when a wheel is spinning--it cannot be disabled. If one wheel is spinning, the Atrac may actually slow down the vehicle to regain traction in the spinning wheel--this can be a problem for traffic coming up behind you, as has been mentioned on some of the other message boards. I think adding Atrac to 4wd is overkill; it may even be potentially dangerous.

    The Monte should hold up well over time--it is one tough truck, and probably the most underrated SUV out there. The Seq should do well too, but I would wait a year if you decide to go that route.
  • mp19fanmp19fan Posts: 102
    Wow! Thanks for the very detailed and informative feedback. This is really what I was looking for, and it really helps in my search for a new SUV within the next few months. What do you think about the interior size? I have a JGC right now which has adequate passenger space, but the rear cargo space seems a bit small for the vehicle. I agree that I should probably wait a year or so for all the bugs to be worked out of the Seq, but my lease on the Jeep comes up in 3 months. Also, has anyone tried to tweak the engine for more power? Thanks. --Jimmy
  • I finally found an good site for towing capacity of different vehicles. See below for Monte 2000 & 2001 : ID=32

    For other vehicles including the Montero Sport Ltd w/200HP :

    Anybody locate other similar sites?

  • viet2viet2 Posts: 66
    The Montero is an underated SUV. Even with advance suspension, unique styling, an excelent 4x4 system, best for off-road(as agreed by car and truck mags)efficient interior room, and a rock bottom price... people still don't like it. While I agree that the engine is not the most powerful out there, but it is not too bad either. I have my limited for almost a year now, and I have some problems, but I would buy it again.
    There is no perfect SUV out there, and the Montero came as close to its purpose and size as it is.
    The perfect SUV would be the Montero with the current off-road capability with an adjustable suspension to lower the ride height on the freeway and raise it for off-road condition. Add a 300hp motor, oh, make it 450.
    Make the engine with the timing chain. People do not want to pay for maintainance even the initial price is thousands lower. They would rather buy something less with a acient rear live suspension setup that cost a few thousand more!
  • photo3photo3 Posts: 26
    I'm still considering 2 SUVs. I have ruled out the Sequoia. In my opinion it's just too massive and not as nice as the Montero. I'm still looking at the MDX but it does not appeal to me as much as the Montero. I just wanted to know a few more things. What is VSC that people have been talking about ? I have heard people mentioning paint chipping on the beige molding..what about the silver? Recently, I read about rattles in the front (maybe in the dashboard). Has anyone here experienced this? I'm also wondering about rear vs. front wheel drive. The MDX has front wheel drive and they contend that the MDX does so much better in snow and rain for traction. Is that true compared with the Montero? I have spun out before and it is not fun! They also said that the MDX has special sensors.What does the Montero have to prevent spin outs. Does the Montero have sensors to each wheel regarding traction?
    Also, I am still wondering where the 3 point seatbelts are in the back center seat (and the headrest). Does anybody know if this will be changed in 2002. By the way, has anyone seen a website that previews the 2002 model?
  • viet2viet2 Posts: 66
    The MDX is a front wheel drive SUV with a temporary all wheel drive system operates under 19 miles per hours vehicle speed. Front wheel drive is better than rear wheel drive interm of traction in rain or snow. The Montero is an all-wheel drive vehicle, which is better than front or rear wheel drive only vehicle. The Montero does not have VSC, and I do not think the MDX has VSC either. VSC has its strong point but I would take in the vehicle suspension design in to consiseration also. Because VSC help only to a certain degree; it does not allow you to define physic. A vehicle that have a live axle like the Sequoia, the QX4 and the Lancruiser is harder to control and loose traction easier than vehicle like the MDX or the Montero. A simple example, borrow your neighbor Mustang or a Camaro and take a spin in the rain or snow. Then borrow a Taurus or Lumina, better yet, an Accord and feel the different in vehicle dynamic. Then get a subaru all wheel drive sedan and decide for yourself. Maybe the Sensor you mentioned are the antilock brake sensors. The Montero is equipped with 4 wheel, 4 channels antilock brakes. I do not have paint peeling or chips and no rattles.
  • cct1cct1 Posts: 221
    Interior size: Montero has fantastic interior size for a mid size SUV and a nice sized cargo bay. Headroom is awesome for its size--one of the major drawing points for me. The armrest on front two doors is too low and placed to far forward; it iminges on leg room to a minor degree, not enough to be a problem for me. That is about the only negative with regard to interior space. The second row is VERY spacious for a mid size suv. The third row is for kids, or adults you don't like (in laws would fit back there nicely).

    With regard to tweaking the engine for more power: If you are thinking about keeping the Monte long term, I would advise against a supercharger--it will wear out the engine sooner. If this is not a consideration, I'd recommend posting that question on the Montero board on a bit more technical than the Edmunds board (in fact its usually way above my head).

    Rattles: No rattles whatsoever in my Monte. In fact, that was the first time I've heard that one mentioned.

    VSC prevents out of control skidding, and will lessen the chances of you spinning out--ie with vsc, it is much more difficult to do a donut. So if you like doing donuts in the parking lots, turn it off or don't get it at all. Like viet said, it is not a cure all, and other factors are important as well, but my bet is that the Monte will have VSC someday.

    About the paint chipping: it is not a major cosmetic defect--you really have to look to see where it is flaking off. I am more concerned what it will look like years down the road than how it looks today.
  • photo3photo3 Posts: 26
    Thanks! Thanks viet2?So it sounds like the Montero is the best but doesn't the MDX have a sensor for all wheel drive rather than needing to shift yourself when you need that feature? Just wondering. Maybe I misunderstood. So you have no paint chipping? What color? How many miles?
    I also think that the Montero is a very underated vehicle. I think that might be the reason why a few of us are undecided...not much media promotion so we have to find out the info by ourselves. We want a durable go anywhere (on any type of road, bumps,rocks,ruts vehicle. But, does anyone know about the absence of the center back seat 3 point seatbelt and headrest? Does anyone know how to get info on the 2002 model?
  • I really don't like the stock tires on the Monte, they just are not aggressive enough for off road or deep snow. If I take the plunge, I plan to exchange then while they are new for Yokahama A/T's or Michelin more aggressive tread (with good sipping)for year round use. Any feel if P265/75 R16's would be a problem with slightly larger diameter? The tach may be off in the Monte I test drove, but it showed 2400 rpm @ 60 mph in 5th gear. I thought it would be close to 2000 rpm @ 60 mph or lower (would help MPG)or is it @ HP issue. Anyway the larger diameter might not be bad for the gear ratio. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Price down to $34,000. + Tax/Lic. but now includes the $500. hitch installed. Getting there slowly!

    Only other issue is dealer can only offer
    6 yr/100K miles or 6 yr/80K and I want 7yr/100K minimum and that @ about $1,400. extra.

    Does anybody know if the factory standard 5 yr/60K Power train limited warranty includes the computers, anti lock brake system, power steering pump, etc.? I almost wish I had not test drove the Infinity QX4, it has some nice features that Monte needs to add (240 HP, Booze stereo with CD changer for 5 CD's, Michelin tires, memory seats). If I though Monte was adding this for 2002 I would gladly wait. Any help is greatly appreciated, I hate compromise and I hate the though of upgrading in two years.
  • See following:

    Topic: replaced timing belt at 62k miles

    Name: spc

    Date: 2000-05-05 10:44:46

    hopefully everyone can get something out of this. i had my dealer replace my timing belt, water pump, all other belts, and spark plugs at 62,000 miles on my '97 LS 4WD. this set me back a cool $1,122 but i plan on keeping the car awhile and don't like to break down on the side of the road. the generous dealer even threw in a $28 loaner car. i asked to see all of the parts and the timing belt looked brand new. i know they say "you can't tell when a belt is going to break", but i bent the belt backwards and didn't see crack one. the thing was as strong, stiff and durable as any new $82 dollar belt i've seen. here's my point: don't think you have to replace the thing right at 60,000 like mitsubishi says. i'm not providing any guarantees here but my new belt is going at least 90,000. also, i did all my fluids myself (diffs, tranny, x-fer case, oil) and saved about $300. it's not that hard, just takes about 4 hours the first time.

  • rascalrascal Posts: 26
    I just received my MS Factory Service Manual and this this is THREE volumes. The factory recommendation is 90,000 miles for normal usage and 60,000 for severe usage, so go figure..
    Somewhere in between is probably accurate if you go 4wheeling much, I do not. Mine is a 2wd that will see little more than a gravel road and may one day pull a small camper a few miles. The belts are fantastic compounds these days too.

    Good luck to all,
  • I think you are right. Also if you don't rev the engine to the red line, 75-80K miles should not be a problem for most drivers. They have to recommend maintenance for the worst case drivers to cover their butts, so even 90K is probably very conservative. I do know the timing belt from my 1993 Acura Legend was replace last year and looked like almost new, no cracks or obvious wear. Water pump also perfect.

    On the 2001 Monte Ltd.s with a 5 speed, does it rev 3000 rpm @ 70 mph? I saw this in two different posts and was surprised it was so high. This would help explain the Monte's poor gas mileage. This is a great board! Thanks for all the help!

    Also any information on extended warranties for 7yr/100K miles, would be greatly appreciated.
  • beazlebeazle Posts: 11
    I've been pondering a new vehicle for over a year to replace my 97 Chrysler Town & Country SX. Was inclined to SUV's like the Landrover Discovery/Toyota Sequoia until I saw them at an auto show recently. After sitting in them, I wasn't even interested in a test drive. However, the 4 vehicles that caught my eye were the Acura MDX, Volvo XC, Mitsubishi Montero, and the Audi allroad. Have researched all and test driven 3 (all except Volvo).

    Was most impressed with Audi(most expensive). Test drove it on a back road that happened to be flooded. The dealer elevated the pneumatic suspenson to the max and said "Have at it!" No problemo! Acura MDX has great shoulder/hip room, and handled extremely well, but for an SUV, the rear suspension/springs seem to be too low, a real rock banger. Montero was a bit spongy in the turns, but has good ground clearance, 4wd low range, easily removable 3rd seat, and nice storage area where the third seat would fold down (usable if third seat is up). Volvo is great looking. Comfy to sit in, nice features, but haven't had the drive yet. Haven't heard of their reliablity problems. I'll probably narrow the choice to two, then flip a coin!
  • rascalrascal Posts: 26
    Claybuster, I have a 2000 MS with a 4 speed automatic (2wd), and at 70 mph, it isn't even turning 3000 rpm...I am getting 21 mpg around town and nearly 24 on the road..very impressed and on 87 octane gas.

    At 60,000 miles, I plan to tackle the old spark plug change myself but will like go to 75k miles before I do the timing belt.

  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Keep in mind that the Montero is much more biased towards serious Off Roading than any of the other vehicles on your list. If you don't plan on more serious Off Roading or hauling of Heavy Loads, on of the other vehicles might be more appropriate for you. Certainly the Montero is a comfortable road car but that doesn't mean it's right for you.

    If money is no option and you don't need lots of cargo space, I'd have a tough time passing on the All-Road.

    Best of Luck
  • I think the Audi All road is the only SUV? that I have not looked @. Any sites for off-road test reports and approx. pricing with leather and goodies? Thanks!
  • photo3photo3 Posts: 26
    I'm wondering about gas mileage on the full size Montero or Montero Ltd. I know that the Montero Sport gets good gas mileage, but we need to get the full size.
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    I think you are both right on. If you drive hard do the belt earlier to aleviate your concerns. If you drive easier and are not as concerned then do it at 90K.

    I checked my Acura GSR manual which states that the belt is recommended (with an * that states recommended only, implying not definitely needed) at 90K. Now this is a very high performance, high reving motor.
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    Unless you are speaking about the 2wd Seq the price difference is more that 4K

    As far as power, I drove both back to back and would say the Montero could keep up with the Seq under all road conditions and excell off road.

    As far as reliability. The Montero beat the LC in Austraila this year. They use Monteros (Pajero's as they call them) in many difficult places in the world (Africa and Austraila to name a few). In those countries they are highly touted for reliability. I couldnt see this at first glance living in the States either. Toyota spends a lot more money here. Now that thier cars and trucks are increasingly made in the States I wonder (as do many) if the quaility will fall.

    I ran into a chap from Africa a couple of weeks back who had 2 monteros in Africa. He stated he was looking to buy the 2001 now that he is in the States. I asked him about reliability. First of all he NEVER had a problem with his Monteros. Second, he said that it is a given that the Montero and LC are the ONLY svu's people really trust in Africa. He mentioned one other area over there where they dont even have a dealership but due to the great reputation of quality they still prefer and drive Montero's. Now I dont know if I would go that far with any suv but it sure sounded good.

    You right on one thing. If you are only going camping 1-2 x/year that changes things. In your case if you need the extra size I would get the 2wd Sequoia and save the money. It sounds like you dont need a 4wd/AWD at all. The 2wd might even get better milage. The Sequoia boys are upset with Toyota because most are not getting the sticker quoted mileage. Most are getting around 11mpg.

    Good luck!
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    I agree with cct1, the Sequoia is definitly underpowered for its class. I was really turned off by this. The Yukon does far better in this respect, in fact, nothing compares to the American stuff really when it comes to size and towing.
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    Im not sure who or why you are hearing that significant valve damage will be done on a toyota with a timing chain break but I very well could be wrong.

    What I have heard is that the clearence is such that if the belt breaks the out of sync valves cannot hit the pistons. This is what you really worry about with a belt break. Some of the newer models with variable overhead cams may be different now.

    Timing chain or belt. both wear and I believe the chain sproket can jump if worn. I generally dont change them before the factory suggests, I trust (perhaps too much) that I drive well enough and that the recommendations are well within reason.

    Oil changes: we agree, simple, cost effective and although synthetic oils can go much further than 3K it is not the breakdown here but how dirty the oil becomes. Since most of us dont have extra duty oil filters like the ones from Amsoil (? sP) that really take out the crap and can be changed under the hood without dumping the oil I do change my oil every 3K.

    Synthetic vs regular oil both changed every 3K, now thats another debate.
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    I think you need to sit down and write out a list detailing the top 10 most important features/abilities then relook at the SUV's. You have mixed perhaps higher performance onroad with more rugged off road vehicles.

    When this happens, like to me, I found it was because I didnt have my search criteria clear in my mind. No offense please, its easy to do with the vast choices out there. Dont forget to look at the 6 Cyl Subaru if you are looking at car-like SUV's. EVERYONE I know who has a subaru likes it as long as you dont do too serious off roading.
  • rascalrascal Posts: 26
    I kept studying the Gates belt site and what you said is true about the valves and the like..
    The ones that are much closer are called "interference" engines. On the Gates listings, these are denoted by an asterisk and almost ALL the Hondas ARE interference and Most of the Toyotas are NOT, (only a few are). So I stand corrected, even an old Harley wrenchead like me can learn something. I thank you for keeping my curiosity up.

    I use the PureOne filters with great success and they do have the check valve that Mits needs (as does Honda). The MobilOne filter, (made by Champion), does not. I will use the factory filter or the PureOne, (Purolater) and no others. Tried them all, these are the only two I will trust, Fram included.

    You are right, it is the dirt that gets to the synthetics too. I prefer the synthetics in cold and hot weather over standard oils, this is when the damage can occur worst, I have seen Mobil One take some scary heat and save an engine.

  • viet2viet2 Posts: 66
    The MDX will sense slippage at the wheel and switch on the all wheel drive feature..under 19 mph of vehicle speed. Above 19 miles, I do not know if it engaged the all wheel drive mode at all.
    If you are concerned, you can leave the Montero ltd in all wheel drive mode all the time, at the cost of some fuel mileage. My is white with the silver modling. The truck is 8k miles.
  • Just kidding! But, thanks to all the help on this board, I took the painful plunge this weekend and bought a Sequoia Green/Sudan Beige Metallic 2001 Monte Ltd.s with rear air, hitch and hood protector for $33,995. + tax. The hardest part was the thought that they will increase the HP and add more goodies for 2002, but with a new engine may also be more pain for a couple of years. Anyway thanks for all the help, can't wait to try it off-road, that's what eliminated a lot of SUV's for me (all the all wheel drive mini-vans called SUV's, with no low range 4 x 4). I tried to trade in the tires to the Geolander A/T's, but they are 4 weeks out and another $400. for 5 ea. , so they will wait. I did find that dealing during an auto show, they are sometimes given extra incentive by Mitsubishi(especially the present soft market), (so they said ), but it was $900. better tan any other deal I could find in the last 3 months.

    How do you guys lock down the spare wheel? The dealer only has locking lug kits with 4 lugs for $23. and I am not buying two kits. Thanks and any hints on the break end period, in addition to not running at constant rpm and max rpm? Thanks for any help.
  • mp19fanmp19fan Posts: 102
    Thanks again for all the valuable info! I'll be heading to the Mitsu dealer nearby for a test drive. Its there anything in particular I should look for or be aware of (areas prone to poor workmanship or squeaks/rattles/vibration)? The current 4.9% APR is pretty hard to pass up. I believe it ends 2/28. Does Mitsu regularly offer incentives, or is this an unusual occurrence? Also, I've been following the board for a few days and it seems the LTDs are selling for ~ $34k. Is this what I should be expecting to pay for one here in So Cal? This will be my first purchase, so I'm trying to educate myself as thoroughly as possible. I've leased 3 JGC 4WDs, but can't seem to justify the risk of purchasing one (all have been 3 yr leases, so all necessary repairs, which were relatively few, were under warranty), even with the masive dealer incentives. Thanks tremendously.
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    Where did you hear that the 2002 will have a different engine.

    Congrads on your choice you got a great price given the rear air and hitch.

    The rear spare already had a lock on it with the key in the left rear storage box. Take a look I bet you have one on already.

    As far as the tires if you are going to spend $400 to get replacements why not consider a Bliztek (?sp) route. Our local shops will get you into a very nice wet weather/snow/ice tire for just over $400 with 4-5 seasons of free tire changes. You then put the winter tires on in winter and change back to your Geolanders in the summer. Unless you are hitting some pretty serious off road mud these Geolander will do ok.
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