V6-powered Mitsubishi Montero Sport GLS 4x2 A/T is one rare SUV
Believe it or not, pickup passenger vehicles (AKA PPVs) used to be available with gasoline engines. In fact, the Toyota Fortuner used to have a 2.7-liter 2TR-FE gasoline four-cylinder engine which made a decent 163 PS with 245 Nm of torque.
While it might not have been the most frugal engine, it was smoother compared to a turbo-diesel engine and made slightly more power. Unfortunately, most PPV buyers prefer the diesel-powered Fortuners which prompted Toyota to discontinue the 2.7-liter gas engine in 2020.
The second generation Mitsubishi Montero Sport also used to be available with a gasoline engine. But unlike its closest competitor which only made do with four cylinders, the Montero Sport came with six cylinders arranged in a V. That's right, we're talking about the Mitsubishi Montero Sport GLS 4x2 A/T V6 first launched back in 2012.
Equipped with a 3.0-liter 6B31 naturally-aspirated MIVEC V6, the SOHC six-cylinder engine made a respectable 220 PS at 6250 rpm and 281 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm. Compared to the Fortuner's 2.7-liter four-cylinder gas engine, the Montero Sport's V6 made 57 PS more and 36 Nm of additional torque.
The Montero Sport V6 also came with a 5-speed automatic transmission complete with paddle shifters. The Fortuner gas only had a 4-speed automatic although Toyota did upgrade to a 6-speed for the next generation before it was axed from the local lineup.
Besides having a larger engine that made more power and torque, the V6 variant also came with more features and amenities compared to its turbo-diesel brethren. It had cruise control, a touchscreen infotainment system – a novelty at the time, satellite navigation, new ceiling-mounted aircon vents, and larger front & rear disc brakes for improved braking.
With a price tag of PHP 1.440 million when it was first revealed in 2012, the V6-powered Montero Sport was quite expensive at the time but it did come with a lot more features and the V6 powerplant. So why didn't the vehicle become as popular as its turbo-diesel stablemates? Simple, most PPV customers preferred the torquier & more frugal turbo-diesel engines. In addition, diesel was significantly cheaper around those times compared to gasoline which further made the V6-powered Montero Sport a niche buy.
True enough, the Montero Sport V6 did not last long in the market as it was quietly removed from the local lineup after just a few years. The gasoline-powered Fortuner, however, lasted until 2020 as it served a small number of customers who prefer a gasoline engine over a turbo-diesel motor.
If you see a second-generation Montero Sport on the road and notice that it doesn't produce much noise or smoke in the back, you may be looking at the rare V6-powered model. Thanks again to Car Brochure Collection PH for taking us on a trip down memory lane.