First drive: 2020 Mitsubishi Montero GLS

Ruben Manahan IV

Ryoko is the term Japanese use which means travel. But what Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation planned for the new Montero GLS was more than just plain travel.

For their premier “Ryoko” media drive, it was the 2020 Mitsubishi Montero GLS and GT variant that was taken for immersion over calm and serene Bohol province.

Select members of the Philippine motoring media covered grounds for scenic spots in Bohol for three days, to better understand the capabilities of Mitsubishi’s powerful SUV.

The group experienced quite a deluge on Day 1, but even the bad weather failed to whet our appetite to drive the vehicle, even at rough patches.

Driving the GLS 4×2 variant, it was very noticeable that the 2020 Mitsubishi Montero feels it is more planted to the ground, thereby it gives a certain level of confidence when on pavement. I’m giving credit to its well-balanced stance, plus the fact that it sits on 18-inch wheels.

The jerky reaction, which is usual for pick-up based platforms, which the 2020 Montero has (same platform with Strada) has been reduced to almost none and it also feels that it has an improved suspension despite the retention of independent double wishbone front suspension and three-link live axle coil spring suspension from its predecessor.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi retained its effective powertrain. The power given by the 2.4 MiVEC engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission is ample to make us run after the convoy despite narrow roads and pesky fellow drivers that we have encountered.

This SUV feels like a rallycar for its kind.

Also thanks to the maximum 178 horsepower and 430 Nm torque that the 2020 Montero Sport GLS can dish out, the short exercises through the man-made forest all way up to the Chocoloate Hills viewing deck was a piece of cake.

Since participants represented various media outfits (I was the designated driver that day), many were taking photos–and many drained their mobile phones fast. But the ample USB chutes gave them enough charging ports. And if that’s not enough, they can also plug in at 220V socket located at the mid compartment.

Aside from the Dynamic Shield Concept fascia shared with the latest offers, the 2020 Mitsubishi Montero had a minor upgrade on the exterior that made a big impact to its overall look.

The LED taillights were shorter compared to the previous model, thanks to its revised bumper.

To make the drive more relaxed,  the mighty Montyhas a ‘Smart Audio Display‘ at the middle of the dashboard that controls the music inside. It supports AM/FM radio, USB, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, with navigational app in it too.

The seats of the 2020 Montero GLS is made of fabric, which means it’s better during the sunny weather compared to the elegant yet blistering leather on the GT.

However, despite all that beauty and power, there are still some areas that the 2020 Montero needs to work on.

When it comes to space, typical Asian size would be more than enough. But a stature like mine (more than 6-feet tall and on the plus size), I would be snug fit for front and mid row.

However, the rear seat row would be a different story.

Apart from a very tight seat space, there would be a lot of movements folding or putting up the third row, making it very difficult for the occupants to set that up in haste.

At the price point of Php1.769 million, the 2020 Mitsubishi Montero seems to be one of the go-to models in its segment–making every “Ryoko” a fun but relaxing experience.

 

 

Also Read:

BUYER’S GUIDE: 2020 Mitsubishi Montero Sport

Mitsubishi Drops Another Teaser for its Tokyo-Bound Concept

 

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