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1998 Mitsubishi Montero Overview
Evolution in the sport-utility world has led to the appearance of three distinct vehicle breeds. The first, and oldest, is the rock 'em, sock 'em go-anywhere type, as typified by the Jeep Wrangler. In time, the piano-case-on-wheels variety followed, slightly less stark and capable of holding more passengers and cargo within a station wagon-like body. The most recent arrival is the luxury sport-utility, which combines the toughness of the first two with liberal helpings of style and luxury. Mitsubishi has long been a player in the second category with its Montero. It's rough and tough, always ready to take a pounding. But, even when laden with the luxury features customers have come to expect from their sport-utilities, it sits low on the style scale, and that has kept some buyers away. Rather than replace a successful product (which the Montero assuredly is), Mitsubishi chose to supplement the big box with a slightly smaller, more modern version. Enter Montero Sport, a hybrid drawing from the best of two breeds. While the big Montero offers luxury, the Montero Sport provides value and a muscular, aggressive persona. The sporty, five-passenger Montero Sport goes up against rivals such as Nissan's Pathfinder and Toyota's 4Runner, both recently redesigned, and the all-new Isuzu Rodeo and Honda Passport. Other choices in this group include Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevy Blazer, GMC Jimmy, Oldsmobile Bravada and Ford Explorer. The big seven-passenger Montero luxury sport-utility, on the other hand, retails for $33,975, and travels in the well-respected company of the Lexus LX 450, Land Rover Discovery, and INFINITI QX4.