I bought my 2000 Montero Sport Limited 4WD after I totaled my 2003 Nissan Xterra.
I am 16 and the Xterra was my first car. I thought it was a pretty good vehicle. I liked the off road look, but it was so BASIC. Crank windows, manual locks, manual mirrors, etc.
When I was searching for a new vehicle, I wanted a bad-boy looking SUV that had all the bells and whistles, but for a good price. When I found the Montero Sport, I knew I found my match. It has the bad-boy look, and in no way looks like a grocery getter. I love the slick looking alloy rims, chrome grille, and aggressive lines.
So how does it perform? EXCELLENT! I suggest the limited model due to the bigger 3.5L V6. For an SUV this size, it has wonderful pick up. But, don't think you have to suffer at the pump. This baby gets a steady 19mpg, and I would consider myself a lead foot. I also love the limited-slip differential in the rear axle. When I go through snow, or wet dirt (mud) roads, most of the time I don't need to use 4WD, because the LSD takes care of traction quite well. This helps save gas. Also, the Montero comes with a A/T MODE button. What does this do? It starts the car off in second gear. This VERY slowly eases the car into motion so that in snow you don't spin your wheels. Very helpful.
Whats the inside like? HUGE!!! You could pretty much take a jog in the back seat. There is so much room back there. My car is this one we all take trips in because it so spacious. Also, along with the front seats, the rear seats recline. In the front, you don't sit with legs out position, which helps on long trips. The only problem, it that I am 6'2" and I don't have much room between my head and the roof. So it's better for shorter drivers, but if you're around my height you should be ok. The controls are so easy to use. They are all straight forward, and not too hard to get use to. In the limited model, the stereo system is AMAZING!! It's INCREDIBLY clear even at full volume. I love it. No static at all!! The 4WD is a shift-on-the-fly, so if you start to loose traction, just pop it into 4WD, then you'll be good to go. If you have ever had a car with a sun roof, you probably get that annoying pressure noise that hurts your ears... well not with the Montero. As I'm writing this, I can't think of a single reason why someone wouldn't like the Montero Sport.
I bought this SUV with 80,000 miles. I've put just about 10,000 miles on it without a single problem.
I LOVE this SUV!! It's PERFECT