1991 Mitsubishi Montero V6 3.0L from North America

Summary:

A solid performer

Faults:

Transmission leaked fluid excessively at 174000, required a rebuild.

Engine leaked oil excessively at 175000, had all seals and gaskets replaced.

Engine still uses a lot of oil.

Defrost setting of the ventilation system didn't work due to a disconnected cable.

Alternator failed at 182000.

Water pump failed at 191000.

General Comments:

Considering the age and high mileage of the truck, it holds up really well - in fact I am surprised that I didn't have more failures.

The engine could use more oomph at higher speeds and steep grades, but is more than adequate for everyday driving. Fuel economy was surprisingly good: 14..17 mpg city, 18..20 mpg highway.

The standard alternator is on the weak side: voltage drops noticeably when the engine idles.

Handling is good for a truck of this shape; however the seats lack lateral support in tight turns, and body lean can get scary at times.

Low-beam lighting range is too short for my taste.

Ride is bouncy and a bit too soft for my taste, but not excessively so, and the suspension and high ground clearance inspire confidence to tackle off-road terrain.

The stop-and-shift part time 4WD system is primitive, but effective.

Visibility is good, thanks to the huge windows. However, the side mirrors could be larger to reduce the blind spot.

I really appreciate the huge, boxy cargo space: with the backseat folded up, it is big enough to hold a fully assembled road bike, or lots of camping gear.

The design of the body shape doesn't appeal to everybody (and makes it sensitive to crosswind), but gives the truck a unique utilitarian look.

In summary I wouldn't call the '91 Montero an outstanding truck, but it is a solid performer with just the right blend of performance, utility and looks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 16th April, 2002

4th Dec 2002, 15:27

Bilstein Shocks did wonders for my `91 Montero because it does not lean in curves. Much better high wind stability. Gary Z.

10th Jul 2006, 22:10

Completely agree about the tiny side mirrors, they should be larger. Though I´ve seen quite a few Monteros with larger ones... Wonder why mine are so small :-/

27th Sep 2007, 16:04

My mirrors are huge!

My truck has 191,000 and is still running strong, I can't wait to put a twin turbo 3.0l mitsu engine it it.

1991 Mitsubishi Montero RS 3.0L V6 gas from North America

Summary:

Very good cost to reliability ratio

Faults:

Upon initial (used) purchase, the following faults were found:

Non working rear lights (all). The fuse box was replaced at no cost to me.

The blower selector would not switch to de-fog (I disassembled the duct work and removed a pen with the dealer's name on it).

The (apparently after-market) cruise control does not actually hold speed. Never corrected.

Around 80,000 miles, an accessory belt pulley was replaced ($90).

Both front calipers seized up around 90,000 and 110,000 miles ($150 each).

At 90,000 miles, I had the long worn shocks replaced, at which point torn out shock mounts and a worn out idler arm were found. Shocks and mount were $300 (I would consider the shocks a wear item, and doubt the mounts were a big part of the price). The idler arm came to about $120.

The car had started to consume oil more or less from the day I purchased it. Some research showed the valve guides and seals in that engine are prone to be a problem. Around 120,000 miles, I had the required work done for $1500.

At 155,000 miles the water pump failed ($500).

General Comments:

Overall, I've been very satisfied with this vehicle.

It should be noted that all the above prices involved independent mechanics. After a rather steep $1000 60k service from a dealer, I decided not to return, despite no complaints about the actual service.

Despite suffering from high ground clearance and a narrow track, it handles very predictably. Off road or in deep snow, this vehicle really comes into its element, and has only given me trouble in about 3 feet of snow (it did eventually make it out under its own power).

Towing with this car is a dream. Only braking at high speeds reminds you that there really is a trailer back there.

Reliability has been outstanding, with the only complaint being that I needed a jump once in the 120,000 miles that I've driven it.

In addition to the above mentioned failures, come all the normal wear items, but if anything, this car is quite frugal with brakes, tires and the like.

While batteries have lasted as long as I would expect them to, they seem to fail completely and without warning. I've had two batteries fail in the same manner. This time I'm keeping in mind how old the current one is getting, and will try to avoid needing a jump.

As with any car of this shape, rocks seem to hit the windshield pretty hard, and this car will be on its third, once the currently cracked one is replaced.

Regrettably Mitsubishi seems to have blown it with the 2001 re-design. I'd even put up with the ugly design, if only they hadn't scared Consumer Reports so badly. How could they make it that much wider and more likely to tip over? If it were not for the re-design, I would not have spent much time considering any other vehicles as a replacement for this one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th February, 2002

14th Aug 2009, 18:13

I found this review very helpful and has bolstered my confidence in buying a Montero of my own. Thanks.