Betting on black: Mitsubishi Montero Sport Black Series

To be honest, the Mitsubishi Montero Sport is rarely left out for people looking for midsize SUVs. Indeed, you leave it at your own risk. Unlike Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you absolutely know what you’re getting in the Montero Sport. It’s a solid, value-for-money vehicle with a robust diesel engine that’s both peppy and fuel-efficient.

There’s the catch for people who are still on the Montero Sport fence. I know some avoid certain popular models because they want to leave. So, like other makes and models I can think of, has the Montero Sport become a victim of its own success?

But I digress. You don’t miss a good thing because everyone’s having fun, do you? Still, Mitsubishi surely listens to outliers. Why not shake things up by offering another version of the model?

As the brand has done with other models, Mitsubishi launched a Black Series version of the Montero Sport earlier this year. Based on the GLS variant of the model, the Black Series comes equipped with additional bells and whistles that put it second on the totem after the 4×4 GT.

We start with the exterior equipment that earned this Montero Sport the name. The White Diamond color lender I tested actually highlighted and magnified the model’s black elements, namely the Dynamic Shield, 18-inch alloys, front and rear trim, roof and spoiler. This black series is only available in this color and, duh, black.

“Black symbolizes power, elegance and sophistication. With the addition of the Montero Sport to our Black Series collection, we want to appeal to a market that intends to project the same characteristics, while giving them an SUV designed to handle it all,” said Mitsubishi Motors President Philippines Corporation. and CEO Takeshi Hara during the product introduction.

Powered by the model’s 2.4-liter inline 16-valve DOHC diesel engine with Variable Geometry Turbo (VGT) and Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control (MIVEC), the driver can realize the output promise of 181 hp and 430 Nm thanks to an eight-speed automatic with Sport Mode.

Apart from aesthetic differences from its GLS 2WD A/T brethren, the Black Series stands out in terms of safety kit. It gets six SRS airbags (compared to two for the GLS), plus driver assistance and safety systems such as forward collision mitigation, ultrasonic misacceleration mitigation – which the GLS doesn’t get. Add those niceties to adaptive cruise control and standard active stability and traction control on the GLS. Inside, the Black Series has a Nanoe-branded ion generator and an air cleaning function for its air conditioning system.

The Black Series takes a page out of the GT’s feature set with a power-lift tailgate with hands-free capability and a responsive LCD instrument meter display.

What I like about SUVs in general characterizes this Mitsubishi model: a high ride height, panoramic views and an overall feeling of command and control when you’re on the road. The Montero Sport ride is damped up front by a double wishbone with coil springs and stabilizer bar, and three-link springs and another stabilizer bar in the rear. What you do get is ample imperfection isolation (to put it politely) on many of our roads, although things can feel a bit “batty” at times. Yet, put to the test on a long journey, the vehicle shines with a stable ride even at speeds above 100 km/h, the engine allowing comfortable overtaking when needed. The aforementioned suite of driver assistance features also contributes to even more confidence.

An 8-inch infotainment screen offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, which if you ask me, is a big deal – allowing you to seamlessly access your music and do a lot of the things you usually do (pretty much everything these days) on this smart phone.

You can choose from two looks of the all-digital cluster, and the instrumentation doesn’t look kitschy at all. To be frank, the designers may be going overboard with the look and animation potential of this new toy they have at their disposal. Yes, I have seen this happen in some brands. There’s a fine line between impressive elegance and, well, garish.

Again, the Black Series represents, for now, the highest variant of the 4×2 Montero Sport you can buy (at P2.025 million). Someone asked me if it was worth paying the premium over the standard GLS variant (with a tag of P1.771 million). For the extras you get (with the extra security kit) I said yes.


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