Mitsubishi Challenger LS & XLS

28 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Mitsubishi Challenger LS & XLS
Mitsubishi Challenger


Mitsubishi LS and XLS

Gold Coast Hinterland,

What we liked

Traction and offroad

Attractive style and packaging

Intelligent auto

Not so much

Engine might be refined

Seats less than in some rivals

a stumbling block?

Price, and Practicality: 2.5/5.0


Behind the wheel: 3.0/5.0


— Midsize throws down the gauntlet

has revived an old model name and an old concept in its latest Challenger. the same name as the original V6 model canned back in the new model is also based in on the Triton one-tonne LCV pick-up. And like the previous model, it a slot between a compact SUV long-gone Pajero iO, and now Outlander) and the Pajero.

For all the parallels between new Challenger and its earlier namesake, nothing shared mechanically. both appeal to the same demographic, the PB Challenger is a diesel and based on a new platform, benefiting Mitsubishi’s RISE (Reinforced Safety Evolution) safety

Mitsubishi expects the new Challenger to to much the same market as the old one; young families, offroaders and, in the case of the version, empty-nesters for whom the is just too big or too expensive.


— Paying for practicality?

from $44,490, the entry-level is the sole manual variant, a model in the LS grade. At that the Mitsubishi comes in under vehicles as the new Toyota Prado at $55,900) and the importer’s own Pajero from $49,290), but it’s well above its Korean rivals, the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Fe.

Above the LS grade, the Challenger is available in the flagship XLS trim, features a chrome grille to it from the base model its black cross-hatched grille

Both grades can be specified in or seven-seat configuration. The automatic version of the entry-level (five-seat LS) costs $46,990. Buyers to outlay a further $1900 can the automatic LS Challenger with a seat, providing the seven-seat (for $48,890).

The third-row seat option is not with the manual transmission.

automatic transmission as standard, the version of the Challenger XLS is priced at and can be ordered with the third-row option for $58,890, a sum which the Challenger across the threshold and Luxury Car Tax territory. Once the fetches that sort of the value becomes questionable.

as standard, the Challenger LS features: steps, leather trim for wheel/gear knob/transfer lever brake handle, chrome handles (inside and out), trim inserts for door climate control, tilt-adjustable cruise control, remote locking, electric mirrors/windows, variable intermittent dwell for remote cruise/audio controls on wheel, cloth seat height-adjustable driver’s seat, splitfold second-row seat, adjustment for second-row seat, for all seats, six-speaker MP3-compatible CD system, multi-information display and alloy wheels, shod 265/65 tyres.

In addition to the fitted to the Challenger LS, the Challenger XLS sports: body-colour/chrome rear woodgrain veneer, leather inserts, leather seat eight-speaker premium audio Mitsubishi Multi Communication with satellite navigation, connectivity, reverse parking guidance, reversing camera, blind (five-seat variant and five-year premium roadside

Seven-seat models of both the LS and XLS gain dual-zone climate with separate controls and storage behind the third-row

— Emerging markets diesel power

According to the engine choice in the new Challenger was by the company’s emerging markets in like Russia, where is king. Despite the previous getting around with a V6, the diesel powerplant in new model prove to be no obstacle to market in this country.

The 2.5-litre four-cylinder is carried over the high-output versions of the Triton and develops 131kW at 4000rpm. torque of 400Nm occurs at Driving through the base five-speed manual transmission, the engine … down of fuel in combined-cycle testing.

variants return a figure of

Other than the basic Challenger LS, all variants are fitted as with the automatic box, a unit which is also as an extra-cost alternative as detailed in and SPECIFICATION above. Both are mounted longitudinally, behind the and operate through Mitsubishi’s Select 4WD system — an part-time system that’s shared with the Triton range.

Up to 100km/h, the driver can select 2WD, high-range 4WD and high-range 4WD the centre differential locked. low-range 4WD cannot be selected on the Traction offroad is maintained via centre and rear diffs.

The shares the forward section of its chassis the Triton light vehicle, but at the rear, the Challenger’s is bespoke. That’s why the Challenger coil springs and a Panhard rod for its rear axle, where the makes do with leaf

Front suspension is a double-wishbone Rack-and-pinion power steering and disc brakes, front and take care of cornering and

The Challenger is built on a wheelbase longer than the long-wheelbase (2800 v 2780mm), but the overall of the Challenger is substantially shorter, at (Pajero five-door is 4900mm With that wheelbase the Challenger turns through a of 11.2m. Ground clearance is at 220mm and the respective approach, and rampover angles are: degrees, 24.6 degrees and degrees.

Towing capacity for all of the Challenger is 2500kg (braked).

At ease, no squeeze

The Challenger’s is pleasantly styled and seems a more efficient in terms of than that of its big brother, the — providing what like slightly better legroom.

But we have some about the driving position in the There’s no reach adjustment for the wheel, for one thing.

Our co-driver like the firmness of the front although this writer mind them at all. the Challenger’s front seats side bolstering to hold the in place mid-corner. There to be a shortage of adjustment range in of height and tilt.

Our compatriot he was sitting ‘on’ the seat, the height being lowered as far as it go.

Otherwise though, there was of headroom in front and rear, good legroom in both of seats. As with its competitors, the features third-row seating left to the kids, although member of the launch contingent of average height — was to sit in the rearmost seats without his touching the headlining forward of the

Folding both the second and seats forward for a flat-loading was fairly easy, although our criticism applies — you fold up the base of the third-row from the tailgate. The user be leaning in through the side to do that, which might not be if you want to load a longer in through the tailgate.

The second-row was highly commendable, for the ease which it folded up against the of the front seats.

The luggage of the Challenger as a five-seater is notable. is considerably less luggage in the seven-seater versions with the seat upright, but it’s enough for a few days of groceries for a family.

The so-called RV meter in the LS was pretty useful. It featured average speed, fuel time, barometric pressure/external direction of travel, etc. The item of information it didn’t that we could observe, was the of ascent/descent.

Where fit and finish concerned, the Challenger meets the standard for a vehicle of its segment. The closed securely with effort and the plastics were and durable, but not especially cheap nor

— RISE to the occasion

the Challenger is concerned, Mitsubishi careful about alluding to its technology. However, the SUV has been with some elements of the crash-safety risk mitigation built in.

Although the Challenger on a full chassis, the body incorporates high-strength steel at points for added strength weight penalties.

Safety include dual front side-curtain airbags, intrusion-minimising pedal, front seatbelt and force limiters.

Mitsubishi Challenger

Unlike vehicles in this offroad-capable (and the majority of recreationally one-tonne crewcabs, etc), the is notable for the fact it features brakes and stability and traction across the range.

For offroad in low-range 4WD, the electronic aids are automatically disabled.

— Challenger offers AND utility among SUVs

Pop hot-shot. Name the medium in this market featuring a chassis and a diesel engine. than the Challenger itself, you settle on the Nissan Pathfinder as the logical rival.

Then the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Rover Defender, SsangYong and.

Not much else. Prado is a more appropriate to the Challenger’s larger sibling, the and in pricing, it starts just where the Challenger ends.

of the softroaders in the segment are substantially than the Challenger, but not many even come close to the for offroad competence. That’s you pays your money.

Santa Fe has consistently impressed us in the past and provides seven-seat and a modern diesel engine as — might be worth along with its platform the Kia Sorento.

While the two Koreans a softer alternative to the Challenger, the Wrangler brackets the Mitsubishi the other side. In fact, for the of the entry-level Challenger, you can pick up the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon.

a lot of offroad ability, if that’s your heart lies. On the hand, the Challenger seems so more capable than the at speed on loose surfaces. It climb over stuff the way the does, but you’d sooner the Mitsubishi on rally roads.

in this type of scenario you can pick the Dakar Rally, and we say Ralliart, DNA in the Challenger’s design.

Dakar Rally testing dividends

Over the drive laid out by Mitsubishi at Queensland’s Rim Adventure Park, the Challenger put a foot wrong. We wouldn’t to give it an unequivocal thumbs up, testing it in the wet as well, but on this 4WD testing ground, we were to assess the Challenger for such as wheel articulation, ground and approach/departure angles. The Challenger with flying colours.

We also privy to a co-drive Hiroshi Masuoka (pictured), top Dakar pilot, as he hurled the around a short course at speed. On standard tyres and through an automatic transmission, the tackled tight turns, moguls and a short jump at that, even allowing for skill and experience, seemed high for a bog-standard medium

The Japanese driver provided us a useful tip: keep the running along the high of the ruts and tackle the deeper obliquely. That way, the wouldn’t ground on the ridges the ruts. By doing so, we experienced no whatsoever, on a series of tracks would have grazed the of other medium SUVs keeping on the high side or

Apart from one light the Challenger got through some sections — and we’re rocks that would be at 20cm in diameter — any bangs or thumps from

The Challenger negotiated grades ease, whether ascending or There were plenty of climbs and descents. The Challenger even spun a wheel in thanks to its 4L range and diff

Ultimately, the Challenger didn’t the sophistication of a hill descent system, so at times the driver was the brakes to slow the vehicle on a grade, but there was very cause for concern on the dry Queensland We can’t say how the Challenger would managed things in the wet, is the one qualification to our praise of the vehicle’s performance.

On the road, the Challenger really offer a surfeit of (this may be a consideration if you’re on towing), but it’s an easy to drive and in most circumstances likely to be fairly economical.

fuel consumption over the of the drive program was about Given the amount of time offroad, with centre and diffs locked for much of the plus the vehicle operating in 4WD, that’s not a bad effort.

The is fairly truck-like, especially by the of more refined engines in medium SUVs. It’s much at odds with the competent five-speed automatic we tried, a transmission that is adaptive, smooth and capable. On grades, the auto box would change down a gear for engine braking without — to its credit. By comparison, the diesel powerplant is somewhat

There’s a constant diesel under load, but at cruising the engine is much quieter and noise was more apparent.

As mentioned already, the engine a powerhouse. On paper it’s not far off the new R Series powerplant’s output, but in the world it feels a tad shortchanged. is not only due to the lower output but thanks to the fact the Challenger, its full chassis, is roughly heavier than the monocoque

At least the Mitsubishi’s torque is enough for the sort of offroad likely to be undertaken.

As with SUVs, the Challenger’s steering could be described as reluctant, but as the on the front tyres increases, the car down and turns into the For on-road behaviour, there are medium SUVs that more steering feedback the Challenger, but once again, the there is the Mitsubishi’s strong once the tar turns to track.

comfort was about the median for SUVs. It was not as soft as we recall for the Santa Fe, for instance, but body seemed very good particularly in light of the car’s to drop wheels into holes and maintain poise and

Offroad, the reverse-parking acoustic fired up whenever the vehicle was upon to reverse out of a hostile in what might be described as terrain.

The last time writer drove a Challenger old model, from around it was striking for its lack of rigidity and to twist and shout, even tackling conventional driveways on an That model didn’t compare well with aging Rodeo crew cab of the vintage.

We’re happy to say the new Challenger is much improved in regard. The new Challenger can turn a steep grade on to a flat at an intersection, rocking backwards and between the left-front and right-rear without a creak or shiver. we say that Mitsubishi has struck an good balance in the new Challenger?

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Published. Friday, 11 2009

Mitsubishi Challenger
Mitsubishi Challenger
Mitsubishi Challenger
Mitsubishi Challenger
Mitsubishi Challenger

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