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THIS brute is one solid performer on the road. / PHOTOGRAPHS by RONALD DE LOS REYES for the daily tribune

BRINGING this top-spec 4×4 Montero Sport variant to a brief off-road stint is just bliss.

These are challenging times. And the most practical thing to do just to get by is to be simple and enjoy the basics. However, soon enough, we find ourselves getting weary of the mundane. For the past near two years since the pandemic began, we were made to think that the more basic things in life are what matter now. True, yes. But life is fleeting. We might as well enjoy it to the full since we don’t know, given how this virus has been a bane to humanity, if we’ll still be here tomorrow. So, I guess it doesn’t hurt that we get to spoil ourselves once in a while. We can start by enjoying the more premium things, like this Mitsubishi Montero Sport 4×4 GT that has all the bells and whistles of a top-spec sport utility vehicle (SUV) in the country. Tagged at P2,450,000, this fine brute gives one more than just a status symbol — but a complete premium package experience. And for the moneyed, the one percent of society, this won’t be a problem.

FROM its robust Dynamic Shield design language at the front, complemented by its LED headlamps and flashy daytime running lights, to its bold lines that stretch all the way to the rear, coupled by its LED combination lamps and shark’s fin antenna — not to mention its glitzy 18-inch alloy wheels keeping it steady on all fours — this SUV oozes with irrefutable machismo.

I first chanced upon this midsize SUV in one of the local carmaker’s press releases. I must say, it did look good on paper. And so, my curiosity eventually led me to seeing it in the flesh and borrowing it for five days.

At the onset, one could immediately feel its distinct manly vibe — which — I could say is notches above any regular folk in its segment. From its robust Dynamic Shield design language at the front, complemented by its LED headlamps and flashy daytime running lights, to its bold lines that stretch all the way to the rear, coupled by its LED combination lamps and shark’s fin antenna — not to mention its glitzy 18-inch alloy wheels keeping it steady on all fours — this SUV oozes with irrefutable machismo.

This certain boldness spills over inside to its cavernous cabin. Right behind the wheel, I was snugly fit right in the driver’s seat like a king on his throne. With driving ergonomics at its finest, one is easily spoiled by its premium leather seats with double layered cushioning and a slew of other creature comforts only found inside vehicles at this level.

A new eight-inch colored LCD instrument meter cluster, dual zone automatic climate control system, adaptive cruise control, plus a new smartphone-link display multimedia entertainment system, featuring an eight-inch infotainment system compatible to both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a Mitsubishi Remote Control App are just marvelous.

Safety-wise, it’s packed with seven SRS airbags, blind spot warning with lane change assist, ultrasonic misacceleration mitigation system, forward collision mitigation system, rear cross traffic alert, to name a few.

This brute is one solid performer on the road as its firm hold on the straights yet nimble maneuverability on the corners give the driver an easy and convenient handling, all the while providing the feeling of safety for all its occupants. Not to mention the cliché smooth, comfortable and stable ride all throughout.

To just add a little bit of fun, I brought this top-spec 4×4 Montero Sport variant to some brief off-road stint in one secluded area in the metro to see how it behaves out there in the wild. With just one flick of the knob from its usual 4×2 mode, I shifted to 4×4 high and low with just a cinch. To my surprise — or say, delight — it performed above par.

It may have some quirks in its third-row seats and new power tailgate. But overall —after a short five-day stint — I say this top-spec SUV variant is the real deal. And if you’re in the market for a Montero Sport—and probably for the more premium things life has to offer—all you have to do is just cash in a little more and you’re instantly at a whole new level.

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