One of the iconic Japanese SUVs, the Mitsubishi Montero, may be making a comeback to the shores of the United States. Mitsubishi has scheduled a press conference for February 12th at 11:30 a.m. to give the media a peek at “The Return of a Legend” – according to the Mitsubishi press release.
Also known as the Mitsubishi Pajero, Mitsubishi Shogun, Colt Shogun and Dodge Raider (a three-door Mitsubishi Montero with Dodge badging) – the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero was one of the winningest vehicles in the history of the grueling Dakar rally.
You can read more about the Mitsubishi Montero (here).
The Mitsubishi Montero was one of the few truly off-road-capable SUVs available in our market. The brute SUV began its North American life as a three-door, four-cylinder small utility vehicle in the late 1980s. Mitsubishi PR made the three-door Montero known in our market as the “Urban Gorilla.” The three-door Mitsubishi Montero was soon joined by a five-door model that competed directly with the Toyota Land Cruiser.
Over time, it was refined and, in 1999, the Mitsubishi Montero adopted a unibody monocoque setup and went to a fully independent suspension. Still, the Montero remained one of the most off-road capable vehicles in its class.
With the upgrades and high-end engineering, the Mitsubishi Montero went further upmarket and began competing with Land Rover. Between the high asking prices, low customer demand and popularity of big V8s, the Mitsubishi Montero’s sales ceased on our shores in 2006.
Mitsubishi has had some hard years in the United States and they desperately need some positive product feedback. We rarely get Mitsubishi products to test (we still haven’t received a tiny Mitsubishi Mirage), but we can attest to good engineering in their small and medium-sized crossovers.
Hopefully, we’ll have some good news for Mitsubishi fans when we cover the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.
Check out this off-road video with the Mitsubishi Outlander – the Montero’s current successor.