It’s typical in the Philippine setting to see your tito (AKA uncle) to be driving a Montero Sport. My tito has one and most probably yours has one too.
Perhaps that's why Mitsubishi Motors Philippines has been more aggressive with its marketing. They're even promoting a more inclusive image with their new series of commercials and focusing more on the younger generation.
Enter the Mitsubishi Montero Sport Black Series which I believe is geared more towards the not-so-tito generation. This new breed of drivers wants to customize their rides but not in the tito way. It comes in two colors, pictured is the Jet Black Mica version and a White Diamond version which I kind of find weird to call a Black Series when the latter is predominantly white.
The start of the major differences from the other Montero Sport variants, the trademark Dynamic Shield fascia has been given the black treatment, front and rear garnishes are also blacked out and a black painted roof for the White Diamond variant. This model sits on 18-inch black alloy wheels as well.
When the 2nd generation Montero Sport was launched in 2016, I was able to test drive one at the balloon fiesta in Clark where MMPC had a display. Owning a 2013 version at that time, one of the major differences I noticed was the headroom. I felt cramped up and always ducked when driving feeling that I would hit the ceiling. With the previous gen nicknamed “helicopter” in used car salesman terms, this 2nd gen had a sleeker roofline as compared to the bubble-like form of my old Montero. I’m 5’10 and the sales agent who was with me at the test drive just said “baba niyo lang sir naadjust pa naman yan” and I just replied in jest: kuya sagad na.
Fast forward to driving this Black series which is equipped with 8-way power adjustable seats, I was able to find the right fit for my frame, and no more ducking while driving. The form factor of the leather seats also felt very comfortable especially on long drives as I was able to bring it to Clark and back without feeling tired and restless. The smooth suspension (which I'm very familiar with owning the previous generation) also added to the great drive regardless of whether you are in the city or out on a trip outside the metro.
The interior remains similar to the other non-Black Series Montero Sport variants with a few additional blacked-out parts. The digital instrument gauge still uses the same options such as the dual barrel display with speed and other car information in between the two barrels and the traditional tachometer/speedometer dial display in the middle of the screen. I find the dual barrel display a bit weird though as the information display in between was too small and there was a lot of negative space that could have been utilized.
Cargo space is also of importance to me, being a photographer who lugs around a ton of gear, this Black Series didn’t fail with an ample area for my hard cases. The chair folding process though could have been improved and addressed as it still uses the pull and fold system which is quite inconvenient. The power tailgate option though is a very welcoming addition to this model.
The 8-inch multimedia system with a Smartphone-link display also incorporates both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also doubles as an info display for the 360-degree camera and other driving features of the Montero Sport. It is also equipped with ample USB sockets in the center console and more ports in the middle row with a power socket which I found very convenient if you need to charge your laptop and other devices requiring more volts. The air-conditioning system also incorporates Panasonic’s Nanoe electrostatic atomization technology which purifies the air inside the vehicle, reducing the risks of pollutants.
Powering this Black Series is still the same 4N15 2.4L inline-four, dual overhead cam engine with Variable Geometry Turbo (VGT) and Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) found in other variants of this generation. Mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, this Black Series only comes in a 4X2 option.
It does come with a Sport Mode but lacking a 4X4 option is again maybe because this is geared towards the younger generation of drivers who wants more of the “porma” factor rather than the version wherein you can actually go on a trail with. This is more for the glamping kind on the weekend and after returning to the city all you need is a quick car wash on a Sunday night and go to the office the next day without even a trace of being away during the weekend.
Three letters though have haunted the Montero Sport in the past: SUA or sudden unintended acceleration. This has been an ongoing debate and drawback when talking about purchasing Monteros even though these incidents have been attributed to driver error.
To assuage any anxiety, this Black Series Montero Sport is equipped with Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS) which prevents collisions with alarms and beeps and also automatically adjusts engine output if your foot “accidentally” presses the accelerator. Just like the other variants, a list of safety and driving features are found in this black series such as adaptive cruise control, stability and traction control, and the 360-degree multi-around monitor.
Driving the Montero Sport Black Series around town and a weekend at Clark was indeed a fun and rekindling experience. I was able to yield a good 9.3km/l in the city and 15.3km/l on the long drive. The steering wheel felt very “right” and made driving more fun. Again the suspension made a lot of difference from driving its competitor (I drive a Fortuner now) on a daily basis.
It kinda felt like testing an Apple product after being an Android user for the longest time and telling myself it's actually not that bad. The power seats also relieved me of my problem with the "ducking" issue and made driving it more pleasurable. It reminded me of my old ride yet felt more bagets because of its appearance.
Being biased with the color black for cars and penchant for anything Darth Vader, this Black Series does add to the pogi and porma points. It's like getting the base model and upgrading it to the usual mags, and then de-chroming almost all of the shiny parts, but I don’t have to do it, Mitsubishi already did it for me.
All you really need is YOU to accessorize the car. You are the main bling so to speak. Priced at P2,025,00 and almost a 300,000 peso difference from the regular GLS model, I believe it is indeed worth it. You are pretty much paying for the premium of having the blacked-out parts to separate your Montero from all the "Tito Monteros" that will be parking at your lola’s house during family reunions.
- Make: Mitsubishi
- Model: Montero Sport Black Series 2.4L 2WD
- Engine: 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve Inline-4 VG Turbo Intercooler CRDi
- Max Power: 181 PS @ 3500 rpm
- Max Torque: 430 Nm @ 2500 rpm
- Transmission: 8-speed A/T, RWD
- Price as Tested: ₱2,025,000