2012 Mitsubishi Challenger Review | CarShowroom.com.au

7 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2012 Mitsubishi Challenger Review | CarShowroom.com.au
Mitsubishi Challenger

2012 Mitsubishi Challenger Review

Mitsubishi has launched a two-wheel-drive version of its tough-as-nails Challenger. Sharply priced at $36,490, the Mitsubishi Challenger well challenges other two-wheel-drive mid-size SUVs in a market segment suited to family buyers.

The rationale is families like the space of SUVs but don’t require the go-anywhere off-road hardware with its associated weight and cost. In that context, the Mitsubishi Challenger mounts a competitive case and deserves consideration.

Mitsubishi Challenger Overview

Mitsubishi knows a thing or two about SUVs its reputation for toughness, agility and reliability is impressive. This is the company which dominated the grueling Dakar rally for many years and these days its SUV lineup includes Pajero, Outlander, ASX and the Challenger.

Car Showroom tested a two-wheel-drive, 2012 model year Mitsubishi Challenger fitted with the ‘Convenience Pack’ (an extra $3,640). Amongst its extras, the ‘Convenience Pack’ brings the important safety of a reversing camera (especially important for families with young children), plus side and curtain airbags, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, automatic lights and wipers, an upgraded audio system and exterior and interior enhancements.

All-up Mitsubishi Challenger is an impressive package and its appeal is enhanced for those who tow big trailers capacity is 3,000kgs.

Mitsubishi Challenger Engine

All versions of the Mitsubishi Challenger employ Mitsubishi’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder common-rail direct injection turbo-diesel engine.

Maximum power is 131kW at 4000rpm and peak torque for the five-speed automatic version tested is 350Nm from 1800rpm (400Nm at 2000rpm for the five-speed manual).The rival Ford Territory 2WD diesel provides 140Nm/440Nm from its 2.7-litre V6.

You get the impression Mitsubishi’s 2.5-litre turbo-diesel could tow a cruise ship into port (rated capacity is 3,000kgs) but it isn’t the most quiet diesel we’ve tested.

Fuel consumption is rated at 9.6l/100kms for the Mitsubishi Challenger 2WD automatic we tested is 9.6l/100kms (8.2l/100kms for the manual). Ford Territory diesel (six-speed automatic only) is listed at 8.2l/100kms.

Mitsubishi Challenger The Interior

We’re family guys here at Car Showroom so we know the truth children are hard on car interiors. The good news is Mitsubishi Challengers’ interior looks as tough as nails and should withstand years of punishment.

That sort of smart thinking in material choices from Mitsubishi’s interior design department no doubt comes from years of selling SUVs in all corners of the planet the company’s reputation for toughness didn’t come overnight.

Not that the Mitsubishi Challenger is a truck far from it, with our 2WD version and its ‘Convenience Pack’ delivering climate control air-conditioning and privacy glass amongst its inclusions.

Front seats are spacious with the driver gaining height adjustment but only rake adjustment for the nice leather-wrapped steering wheel (with remote controls for the audio system a four-speaker CD/MP3 system which adds USB and Bluetooth connectivity as part of the ‘Convenience Pack’).

Instrumentation is conventional gauges with Mitsubishi’s informative multi-information screen mounted to the left. For those keen on the weather, the exterior temperature display includes a graph showing temperatures counting back for a few hours neat.

Rear seat accommodation is also impressively spacious and the seat includes a recline adjustment for extra comfort and split-fold 60/40 for versatile load-carrying.

With the second row seats folded flat (via a simple tumble-function), Mitsubishi Challenger delivers a useful 1,813-litres of cargo space.

Mitsubishi Challenger Exterior Styling

Modern without being confronting, viewed from the front, Mitsubishi Challenger has a passing resemblance to the company’s nicely-styled Triton ute. And with an overall length of 4,695mm the Challenger is at the larger end of mid-size SUVs so it has quiet a strong on-road presence (one of the reasons family buyers prefer SUVs over sedans or wagons).

We liked the clean look for the front with a nice shape for the bumper and upper grille section. This model Mitsubishi Challenger hasn’t adopted the Mitsubishi ‘corporate face’ as evident in the Outlander, ASX and Lancer that will probably happen at the next full model change we suspect.

Mitsubishi Challenger

The side profile of the Mitsubishi Challenger is dominated by the prominent wheel arch flares which add some muscle to the overall look. Fitted with the optional ‘Convenience Pack’ our 2WD Mitsubishi Challenger rode on 17-inch alloy wheels (16-inch is standard).

And the rear is neatly styled with modern, high-mounted lights and a clean, integrated look for the bumper and tailgate.

Mitsubishi Challenger On The Road

Two-wheel-drive versions of four-wheel-drive SUVs are problematic for chassis designers. You remove a fair bit of bulk and weight from underneath the vehicle and this can often be upsetting for handling dynamics and early examples weren’t the sharpest tools in the box to be honest.

Mitsubishi is smarter than that and while the Challenger 2WD is no Lancer Evolution, it’s no ‘ugly cousin’ of the all-wheel-drive models. And that’s a real credit because the Challenger all-wheel-drive has many fans amongst SUV enthusiasts.

A strength of the Mitsubishi Challenger is the performance of that 2.5-litre turbo-diesel a hard worker with a nice torque spread.

Over our high-speed mountain roads test loop the Mitsubishi Challenger displayed the usual body roll and understeer you get with SUVs but as expected it was very safe and predictable with plenty of notice when it’s approaching its limit.

And, like all SUVs, around town the Mitsubishi Challenger required just that little bit extra judgement to accommodate for its size (although it’s a mid-sizer). But in our tight CBD car park the Mitsubishi Challenger did excel with its maneuverability an excellent 11.2-metre turning circle and the rear-view camera making parking a breeze.

Mitsubishi Challenger Challenges

Mitsubishi Challenger Verdict

Value for money underpins our thoughts on the Mitsubishi Challenger. Here’s a comprehensively equipped mid-size SUV (in 2WD without lugging the 4WD ‘baggage’) with all the space and practicality you need, with the fuel consumption of a diesel and priced below $40,000.

Mitsubishi Challenger The Competition

Mitsubishi Challenger
Mitsubishi Challenger
Mitsubishi Challenger
Mitsubishi Challenger
Mitsubishi Challenger
Mitsubishi Challenger
Mitsubishi Challenger
Mitsubishi Challenger
Mitsubishi Challenger

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