A roadtrip would have neither road, nor trip without a vehicle to get you where you’re going. Out team was lucky enough to get a tough, but extremely comfortable set of wheels in the 2017 Montero Sport GT. This bad 2.4L, 4×4 beast was more than capable of getting us across to Mindoro, and all over the region, even when there weren’t paved roads to speak of.
With our pilot, Sir Denise Santos, at the wheel, three of us in the team, and all the cameras, gadgets, supplies, and other odds and ends, there was a lot of luggage to take along. Fortunately, the Montero, with the jump seats folded, had more than enough space for a whole production box, three large bags, boxes of water, and enough supplies to completely fill a small sedan. All the space in the back meant we didn’t have to use up any space in the passenger cabin, ensuring enough legroom for everyone in the car.
The Montero Sport GT was bristling with creature comforts. The huge head unit has a full-color display that gives you a lot of information on the vehicle’s status, all the way down to tire pressure and temperature, true to its 4×4 nature. When not being used to monitor the vehicle, it also serves as the Montero’s entertainment hub. The generous screen makes everything from pairing a Bluetooth device for music and calls, to navigation, and even playing videos, easy. As far as in-car entertainment systems go, it’s fairly simple to navigate and use, and the resolution is high enough to actually enjoy whatever video you might want to play.
The entertainment system is coupled with six speakers in the cabin, which means startlingly impressive surround sound, when watching movies on the move, and plenty of volume and clarity, should you choose to pass the time listening to music instead.
The Montero also made short work of the oppressive tropical weather. Thanks to dual-zone air-conditioning, the two of us seated in the back didn’t break a sweat, even when the harsh midday sun was beating down on us, while driving through the endless rice fields of Mindoro.
For such a comfortable ride, the Montero also has a lot of muscle under the hood. Provincial highways are awash with slower-moving vehicles, and despite being loaded to the brim with gear, at no point were we wanting for power. It seems nobody told this SUV that it’s got a diesel engine—it pulls fast and hard, and more than once, we were woken by a visceral grunt from the engine bay, and a sharp shove back into the seat. If you prefer watching your scenery blur by, this is not a bad way to do it. There’s also a 12V lighter socket in the rear luggage area, so your passengers don’t all have to fight for power.
Leather upholstery, power seats, windows, and mirrors, and a sunroof all round out the Montero Sport GT very nicely. If you’re going to go on an epic roadtrip (and maybe cross the sea to do so) you’re going to have a hard time beating this ride.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE April 2017 issue
Words by Ren Alcantara
Photos by Theresa Eloriaga
Shot on Location at La Hacienda, Brgy. Bancuro, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro