First drive: 2020 Mitsubishi Montero GLS
Ryoko is the term Japanese use which means travel. But what Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation planned to test the new Montero was more than just plain going there. 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 the appetite to enjoy the vehicle, even at rough patches. Driving the GLS 4x2 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 its well-balanced stance, plus the fact that it sits on 18-inch wheels. The jerky reaction, the norm for pick-up based platforms, has been reduced to almost zilch and it also feels that it has improved itz 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 a tight convoy despite narrow roads and pesky fellow drivers encountered during the trip. This SUV feels like a rallycar for its kind. With a 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. The ample USB chutes gave everyone enough charging ports. And if that's not enough, a plug in at 220V socket can also be utilized. 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, along with its revised bumper. Making the drive more relaxed, the mighty Monty's 'Smart Audio Display' in the middle of the dashboard can provide your preferred melody inside the cabin. It supports AM/FM radio, USB, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, with navigational app in it too. The seats of the 2020 Montero GLS are made of fabric, which means it's better during the sunny weather compared to the elegant yet blistering leather on the GT (well, make that for all leather seats left without shade). However, despite all that beauty and power, there are still some areas that we believe the 2020 Montero needs to improve 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.