Drove the car all the way from Pasig, Metro Manila to Cagayan de Oro (some 1,300 km) with the family. Very comfortable ride. My kids are prone to motion sickness, but the Montero's ride was comfortable enough that they had no complaints.
Fuel consumption is marginally better than my previous car (a 2008 Ford Everest 3.0 TDCI 4x4 automatic). I averaged 9.4 kilometers per liter for our Manila-CDO trip. In the Ford Everest, I got around 8.5 km/L average driving the same route.
Though the Montero's engine displacement is only 2.5L as against the Everest's 3.0L, the power output feels similar.
I'm very satisfied with the Montero's steering. Not sharp like a sedan (of course!), but good enough to give the driver confidence around bends.
The turning radius is much, much better than in the Ford Everest. This was a pleasant surprise in an SUV!
Another very good thing about the Montero GTV is the ability to override the automatic transmission and manually shift gears. This can be done through the gearshift lever, or better yet, through the paddles located behind the steering wheel. Yes, the Montero GTV has paddle shifters! Wow! As you can imagine, I had a bit of fun using these.
The Montero GTV is a true 4x4, and it has a super select 4x4 system, with a total of 4 settings: 2H, 4H, 4L and 4LLC. In the 4LLC mode, the center differential is locked, giving the SUV maximum 4x4 capability when driving in mud and sand. It also has a limited slip differential.
Amenities and features in the cabin include a touch-screen head unit with multi-information display (including fuel consumption, kilometers-to-empty, average speed, compass, barometer and altitude). The head unit also functions as monitor for the back-up camera (very useful indeed!). Also featured is a DVD player, USB function, auxiliary in, and Bluetooth connection for mobiles.
Oh, before I forget, the head unit also has an integrated GPS navigation system. This was very, very useful to me as I drove through the unfamiliar streets of Metro Manila.
The air conditioning unit can be set to automatic climate control -- just set the desired temperature and the system automatically adjusts fan speed and aircon output.
The headlights are projector HID, with an auto-levelling feature. Very useful, since this prevents your vehicle from blinding oncoming traffic.
Also featured in the GTV model are steering wheel controls, both for the head unit as well as for cruise control. I used the cruise control only in the Southern Luzon Expressway, since this seems to be the only stretch of road where its use was viable. I really enjoyed the luxury of being able to take my foot off the gas pedal and having the system maintain the desired speed.
Seats in this model are all leather and comfortable, and wood trims are classy.
The GTV has a total of 3 power sockets -- one in the front console, another one hidden in the center console, and yet another at the side wall of the third row seat. This has proven to be very convenient for charging the various mobile devices we brought with us.
I have very few complaints about the SUV. One is the occasional puff of black smoke from the exhaust when I suddenly floor the throttle. I also think a 2.8L or 3.0L engine displacement would have been more fun. Another puzzling thing is the lack of a one-touch feature for raising the driver's side window, something quite common even in low-end sedans. But that's nitpicking. My overall opinion is that this is a very nicely-put-together SUV, very well worth what I paid for it.