Best & Worst Years For The Mitsubishi Montero

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Mitsubishi Montero, which is also known as Pajero, is one of the popular choices for classic SUVs in the market. These were launched in the 90s and are said to run perfectly on the road.

Keep in mind that it might be hard to find this model in the USA, but there is nothing to worry about, though, as they can be imported easily, plus at an affordable price.

But when it comes to purchasing, you must know what years are worth spending on and what years must be avoided.

If you are wondering the best and worst years for Mitsubishi Montero and whether or not it’s a reliable SUV, then here’s what you need to know.

Well, Mitsubishi Montero is a reliable SUV overall. It has a great drive train and is robust, and makes sure to hold up well when it comes to towing.

Other than that, here are the models below:

Best Years for Mitsubishi Montero:

  1. 1992
  2. 1995
  3. 1999
  4. 2000
  5. 2004 – 2006

Worst Years for Mitsubishi Montero:

  1. 1997
  2. 1998
  3. 2001
  4. 2002

Now that you know the safe years and unreliable years of Mitsubishi Montero, make sure to read this article until the end to find out what puts them into these best and worst lists.

Additionally, there is also a buyer guide at the end of this article that answers various important questions people ask.

List Of The Best Years For The Mitsubishi Montero: What Years To Buy

Read my guide to find out if Mitsubishi Montero vehicles are reliable to drive

The classic SUV, Mitsubishi Montero, has been in the market since the early 90s and is loved by many.

There is still high demand for this model because of its reliability, driving dynamics, safety aspects, and so much more.

Keep on reading this list to find what makes them the best years and why you should certainly purchase them.

#1 Best Year: 1992 Mitsubishi Montero

Starting with the first model year, you have the 1992 Mitsubishi Montero.

This model was introduced with new features, new wheels, and a new grille so drivers can have the best experience.

This one has also been worked on to have higher horsepower so the performance can be steady and keep its stride with its 125-pound weight increase.

According to various users, this model has lower repair and maintenance costs and is also said to last for a long time.

It is also worth mentioning that this classic SUV can accelerate 0 – 60 mph in 13.6 seconds and 0 – 100 km/h in just 14.5 seconds, and a quarter-mile time of 19.5 seconds.

Overall this is a great option with an upgraded suspension system, improved ride and handling, additional cargo space, comfortable seats, and various other features that you can enjoy if you purchase this one.

#2 Best Year: 1995 Mitsubishi Montero

The 1995 Mitsubishi Montero is another great option for a car as it functions pretty well and does not have too many complaints.

If you plan to purchase this vehicle, be sure to go for the Montero LS trim level.

This is because it has a more powerful V6 engine system capable of producing around 26 horsepower, an upgrade over last year’s 151 horsepower.

It also has an upgraded towing capacity, which is said to be 5000 pounds.

Moreover, another great thing about this one is that it has a better electronic shock absorber, which allows drivers to choose between soft, medium, and hard settings according to their preferences.

Many people also love the roomy interior, easy to fold up seats, and low-end torque.

This model can easily pass through steep muddy hills, and of course, it is one of the best off-roading vehicles one can own.

#3 Best Year: 1999 Mitsubishi Montero

The 1999 Mitsubishi Montero is another perfectly fine sport utility vehicle that can provide the best performance.

This one comes with 3.5 liters of V6 engine that can produce 200 horsepower easily.

According to many drivers, this vehicle’s performance is strong no matter what speed you drive the vehicle.

Besides that, it also guarantees to run smoothly on all road types and is said to be pretty quiet from the inside. This one offers pretty great handling even though it is tall and heavy.

It can easily stabilize itself and make sure that it is easy to control for the driver and smoothly go through road imperfections.

The power steering wheel system is another feature everyone appreciates since it can be easy to control and respond quickly and predictably.

#4 Best Year: 2000 Mitsubishi Montero

Now you have the 2000 Mitsubishi Montero that has new styling and a refined interior that makes it stand out even more.

The vehicle’s interior comes with great easy-to-use features and has pretty elegant and comfortable seats so drivers and passengers can ride in real comfort.

The best engine has to be the 3.5 liters single overhead cam V6 engine to produce 197 horsepower quickly.

It is said that the power of this model is pretty impressive, especially when the vehicle is speeding up.

Other than that, the handling is also pretty good and provides good control while driving. The same goes for the suspension system as well.

Moreover, the four-speed automatic transmission system is standard in the line but offers incredible adaptive shift control and shift control depending on how the driver drives the car.

#5 Best Year: 2004 – 2006 Mitsubishi Montero

The third-generation models 2004 through 2006 Mitsubishi Montero are the best daily driving vehicles.

These vehicles come with additional cargo space, are quieter and more comfortable, and offer independent rear suspension and excellent traction control.

Now, if you want more refinement in a vehicle, these models are the best options for you and guarantee to offer a more reliable ride.

Many people enjoy the extra passenger and cargo space, low-range gearing, and versatile 4WD system.

Certain features must be mentioned, such as Active Trac 4WD, rally racing origin, unibody construction, single V6 powertrain, its midsize sizes, and so much more.

The 2006 limited offers an oversized one-touch power tilt and slide glass sunroof, a completely automatic climate control system, and various other features that can be easily used.

List Of The Worst Years For The Mitsubishi Montero: What Years To Avoid

If you are done reading the best years list, it is also necessary for you to go through the worst model years list.

These years must be avoided if you want to have a responsible plus a safer vehicle to drive in with your family at all times.

And unfortunately, these model years cannot do that. So with that being said, here are the worst model years of the Mitsubishi Montero below.

#1 Worst Year: 1997 Mitsubishi Montero

Starting with the first model in this worst years list, you have the 1997 Mitsubishi Montero. It is without saying that this model is a problematic year considering it is an old version.

According to the car problem website, there have been 36 problems reported on this 1997 model.

The most common one is the engine as well as engine cooling system then comes to the steering issues and then structure issues, service brakes problems, and electrical system malfunctions.

Many people have said that the engine is so problematic that it happens because of the engine belts and pulley problems.

This can cause the vehicle to lose power steering and stall during driving. The vehicle also makes weird loud noises that might happen due to backpressure in the engine.

Dealing with engine problems is quite expensive, so it is best to avoid this model.

#2 Worst Year: 1998 Mitsubishi Montero

Coming to the 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, this model has over 44 problems reported to various car complaints sites.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this vehicle is also unsafe to drive, which is why it is best to avoid it.

For this one, the most common issue is with the engine and engine cooling system, airbags problems, and the electrical system malfunctioning.

According to drivers, the crankshaft bolt would snap off when the vehicle is driven at 5 mph.

Other than that, the situation was serious in that the vehicle lost control completely and rolled over.

Many people have a hard time steering the vehicle, which can be quite dangerous while driving in traffic since it can cause serious road accidents.

Other than that, people also faced problems with their vehicle’s alternator, generator, and regulator.

The battery and ignition also tend to have problems mainly because of the electrical system.

#3 Worst Year: 2001 Mitsubishi Montero

According to various complaints by disturbed drivers, the 2001 Mitsubishi Montero is said to have the worst issues found in them.

This model has the worst transmission system problems, brakes issues, and engine problems that can cost a lot to fix.

Many owners of this vehicle also reported that temperature gauges fluctuate a lot.

Other than that, there have been numerous complaints about the leaking fuel pump, which can cause the vehicle to run out of power easily.

This can also cause the engine to malfunction a lot while driving. The brakes problems are not something you can take lightly in this one because it is extremely dangerous to drive with.

The problem that arises on the brakes is mainly due to probes with the power assist brake vacuum, service brakes, brakes failing, brake light on and off, brake anti-lock, ABS brake fail, and so much more.

This is why you should avoid this model at all costs.

#4 Worst Year: 2002 Mitsubishi Montero

In the last worst model year in this list, you have the 2002 Mitsubishi Montero, which is way more problematic than the previous years I have mentioned above.

According to the Cars Complaint site, this one has been rated the worst model year amongst many since it has various issues that are worse than many others.

The main one has to be with the V 6 engine system that tends to make rattling sounds from the dropped rod.

According to people who have faced this issue, the only way to fix it is by replacing the entire engine system, which can cost more than $5000.

This vehicle also has issues with the brake system since many drivers notice the brakes become stiff while driving.

The ABS also gets triggered and causes the vehicle to fail from stopping.

This happens due to failing hydraulic brake boosters, which is why Mitsubishi had to publish a recall in 2001 and the 2002 Mitsubishi Montero.

What Are The Most Common Problems With The Mitsubishi Montero?

When it comes to the most common problems with the Mitsubishi Montero, you need to inspect the vehicle carefully before purchasing.

Some of the issues might arise in the early stages of driving, while some might take months. It can also cost a lot for repairs and maintenance.

So here are the most common problems with Mitsubishi Montero below:

1. Engine And Engine Cooling

This has to be the most common issue in many Mitsubishi Montero models, especially the 2002 model year.

All common in 1998 through 2003 Mitsubishi Montero models. These model years are likely to fail the oxygen sensor heater circuits.

This component would start to malfunction and can easily reduce the vehicle’s gas mileage and, as a result, would dramatically increase emissions.

Other than that, the 1997 through 1999 models were recalled because of the loose bolt securing the crankshaft pulley, which caused the power steering to lose control.

2. Faulty Alternators

You might notice that something is wrong with the alternator and these components when there are too many flickering lights, weird noises coming while driving, stalling, and problems starting the vehicle.

There might be a fault in the alternators due to wear and tear or various components, bearings failing prematurely, and wiring issues.

This problem is likely to happen with all the Mitsubishi Montero models aging badly.

3. Transmission Problems

The transmission can affect the driving as well as the performance.

This can make the 4WD not get into gear and mainly happens when the vehicle reaches around 72,000 miles on the odometer.

The transmission will not stay in gear, and when you shift, it will not make the vehicle run smoothly or move at all.

The gears also grind while shifting and cause delays on the shifting. This issue has a severity rating of 4.0 out of 10.

4. Brake Problems

The brakes are also a common issue in this model where the severe problems are the ABS lights turning on frequently.

The ABS can make the brakes go on lock if the issue is quite serious, which can be hard for you to drive with and cause serious road accidents.

This mainly happens when the vehicle reaches around 120,000 miles on the odometer and the only solution to fix this issue is by replacing the entire braking system, which can cost more than $2300.

5. Fuel System Problems

This is another major issue that you cannot ignore because the fuel leaks from the pump hoses and can cause the vehicle to lose its power.

This can start running all over the vehicle and can cause serious damage to other components and the engine.

This mainly happens when the vehicle reaches 165,000 miles on the odometer, and the only way to fix this problem is to replace the entire fuel pump system, which can cost more than $500.

You will need to check the fuel tank and check if the gas leaks or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Are Mitsubishi Montero Parts Expensive?

Yes, finding Mitsubishi Montero parts is extremely expensive, and it is also said that the maintenance costs of this one can be a lot more.

This mainly depends on how serious the issue is and what component of the vehicle is damaged.

Q2. Why Was The Mitsubishi Montero Discontinued?

The main reason the Mitsubishi Montero was discontinued is that it was not popular anymore.

Various people started focusing more on crossover than on the truck-like SUVs vehicles in the market. Mitsubishi had to discontinue this model after its 2006 model.

Q3. What Is The Difference Between Montero And Montero Sports?

The main difference is in the appearance, the Montero is said to be bigger than the Montero Sports and has a seating of 7 passengers and has three rows, whereas the Sport only has five passenger seats.

The engine is similar; however, they might have differences in the PCM controls.

They both have an automatic transmission, but the older version of Montero Sports has a manual transmission option as well.

Q4. Is The Mitsubishi Montero The Same As Pajero?

The Mitsubishi Montero is the same as Pajero. This vehicle’s name was changed when it was introduced in America. This one was sold in the US and Spain, and India.

Q5. Is The Mitsubishi Montero Good Off-Road?

Yes, the Mitsubishi Montero is a good off-road vehicle.

This is mainly due to the Super Select Four Wheel Drive System and low range and locking differentials. This is why it is one of the most popular vehicles for off-roading.


Now that you know the best and worst years for Mitsubishi Montero, you will not have difficulty choosing the accurate model year.

Do consider choosing from the best years list, but do more research on them for your satisfaction.

This model has great engine options that offer excellent performance and is well known for its off-road capabilities since it is smooth in every road condition.

So I hope you make the right decision and have the best experiment from it.