• Positives: Tough design, off-road credentials, interior room, fuel economy.
  • Negatives: Engine noise, interior components directly out of Triton.

OUR RATING
4 / 10



Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review

Mitsubishi Challenger Review

The Mitsubishi Challenger is for those times when the Pajero just isn’t enough.

Models Tested:

  • 2010 Mitsubishi Challenger LS; 2.5-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel; five-speed automatic; five-seat wagon – $46,890*
  • 2010 Mitsubishi Challenger XLS; 2.5-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel; five-speed automatic; five-seat wagon – $56,990*

Options:

  • None fitted.

CarAdvice Rating:

Words – Paul Maric Pictures – Brendan Nish and Andrew Spence

Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review

When the advertisement first popped up on TV, I wondered why they were advertising a Triton as a family vehicle. It wasn’t until the car was turned around and the back was on display that I realised it was the all new Mitsubishi Challenger.

Upon closer inspection, it’s hard to realise where or why the Challenger fits within the Mitsubishi range. It’s certainly bigger and more capable than an Mitsubishi Outlander, but doesn’t appear any more capable or comfortable than a Mitsubishi Pajero.

If we forget about the challenges presented in selling the Challenger alongside the Pajero, it doesn’t take long to realise how unique and appropriate the Challenger really is.

The cabin has Triton written all over it – not literally, but it’s quite clear when it all originated. The hard plastics and rugged climate control buttons are amongst the few downsides. Lashings of woodgrain on the up-spec XLS model add to the luxury of leather seats and satellite navigation.

Head and leg room in the front and second row is beyond impressive. Built on the Mitsubishi Triton platform, there is ample room for five adults. The Challenger can also be optioned with seven seats, further increasing passenger capacity.

Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review

If you think the head and leg room is impressive, just wait until you see the size of the boot. 1813 litres of cargo capacity is on offer with the second row folded flat. That kind of capacity makes the Challenger versatile enough to carry passengers, while also catering for masses of luggage and all the other bits and pieces associated with tasks such as holiday making.

Under the bonnet you will find Mitsubishi’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine. Producing 131kW and 400Nm of torque, the engine easily overcomes the Challenger’s two-tonne mass. Mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox (five-speed manual also available), the transmission is always in the right gear for optimal acceleration.

When optioned with the five-speed automatic gearbox, torque is reduced to 350Nm.

The Challenger’s main trump card is its fuel consumption. The five-speed manual Challenger achieves a combined fuel consumption of 8.3L/100km, while the automatic jumps to 9.8L/100km. It’s an impressive fuel consumption figure for a 4WD of its size.

The downside to the Challenger’s torque laden engine is the amount of noise it makes. Sounds buffering remains unchanged from the Triton, so the engine can be heard from miles away with the windows up or down. It’s at its loudest when started from cold and takes around 10 minutes to go from a wielding drone to a slightly more respectable, but still too loud tractor-like note.

Although the advantages of cabin space are achieved by basing the Challenger on the Triton platform, inherent handling characteristics remain. A big steering ratio means more turns are required to get the Challenger around tight bends and corners.

Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review

The Challenger uses a three-link live coil and stabiliser rear suspension setup, allowing for a comfortable ride, unfortunately handling is very average. Plenty of body roll occurs when lobbing the Challenger into sweeping and tight corners.

Manoeuvring the Challenger around the city is relatively pain-free, especially with the addition of the reversing camera on the XLS model. The 1.82m height can give you a bit of a fright when travelling through tight city car parks though, as they are often limited to 1.85m.

Off-road is where the Challenger feels most at home.

The Challenger literally walked over anything thrown at it. In most situations, four wheel drive high range was all that was required to climb rocky hills and wade through muddy ruts. For harder terrain, the Challenger features a low range four wheel drive mode in addition to centre and rear differential locks further increasing traction.

Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review

The Challenger’s suspension articulation is amazing. The off-road juggernaut has no problems maintaining traction, even when a wheel is fully extended.

Approach and departure angles are also reasonable at 35 and 26 degrees respectively. The optional tow bar further decreases the departure angle, but can be removed for off-roading situations. With 220mm of ground clearance, the Challenger bypasses all rocks and body damaging protrusions.

The optional tow pack provides a towing capacity of 2,500kg with a braked trailer and 750kg with an un-braked trailer.

Priced from $44,490 for the five-speed manual five seat LS, the range finishes at $58,890 for the seven seat five-speed automatic XLS.

At first glance, the Challenger seems to be a lost cause. If you take a closer look though, it presents a fantastic case for families after a large 4WD with plenty of room inside for both passengers and luggage. The way it performs off-road also confirms that it’s the 4WD king of the Mitsubishi range.

Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review

If you’re happy to sacrifice the luxury of the Pajero, the Challenger provides the best alternative option at an affordable price. To top it off, it doesn’t look too bad either.

Ratings:

Mitsubishi Challenger Review
Mitsubishi Challenger Review

CarAdvice Overall Rating:
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How does it Look:
How does it Go:



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MITSUBISHI CHALLENGER BREAKDOWN

Mitsubishi Challenger Review
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  • Reckless1

    I seriously doubt that it has independant rear suspension. It’s a live axle on coils, not exactly the same thing.

    The noisy engine would be a pain for the entire period of ownership.

    At $57000 plus ORC for the top end model, I’d look for a 2 year old Touareg V6 3.0 diesel for the same money and have 10 times the vehicle even if it’s not new.

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au Paul Maric

      All Mitsubishi nomenclature suggests otherwise, regarding the rear suspension. I’ve fired off an e-mail to Mitsubishi to double check.

      • Pawky

        The Mitsubishi website says “3 link coil spring and stabiliser bar” which means… live axle not independent.

        • Paul Maric

          I went by the Mitsubishi press release, which clearly states independent rear suspension. As I said, Mitsubishi has been contacted and I will let you know once they respond.

          • dazzer01

            Sorry Paul, I agree with the other two dudes, it’s a live rear axle suspended by coils with tricks. Other reports suggested that it’s OK though, and that it only adds to it’s off-road cred, but does detract from black top work when compared to it’s plusher Pajero stablemate. Bummer about the torque reduction for autos which must affect towing capability. I dunno why manufacturers just can’t make a gruntier auto to accept the *whole* amount of the torque capacity of diesel engines. Mitsu is not alone here.

          • safety first

            Actually Paul, (this is not a criticism just a point) when I got given a new car to test / learn about to sell, I would not just go over the brochure and read what they said, I would look at the whole car. Yes I’d look at the suspension and I’d look at the motor. Now I realize that you are a Journalist and not necessarily a mechanic, but you should still be able to look at a component and know what it is. If you don’t then how can you report upon it’s operation? I’m sorry for the harshness of the comment but I would like to see the CA team actually grow into the best of the motoring journo’s in Australia. However there seems to be more about personal opinions than actual knowledge and facts.
            Cheers P

    • Hung Low

      A 2 year old Touareg! Lucky you still will have a year of warranty left as you will need it! They are great AWD when they work properly, but have to be one of the worst for reliability~!

      • Reckless1

        Rubbish. there is no evidence to support that the V6 3.0 diesel Tousreg is unreliable. There were issues in the first year but that’s a very long time ago now.

        Extended warranty is available for purchase within the existing warranty period at a very reasonable price.

        The Tousreg is class the other rhymes…

        • Shak

          And what evidence do you have of its reliability unless you own one, as you most clearly do not? Just because something has a record for reliability or is GERMAN does not automatically make it reliable.

          • Reckless1

            And what evidence do you have that it is unreliable, unless you own one, in which case you would only know about a sample of 1 vehicle.

            Read below where a challenger’s 4wd failed on Fraser – clearly that makes challengers unreliable.

            I stick with my sentiment – I’d rather have a 2yo Touareg than a new Challenger, and so would anyone else who drove each one.

        • Hung Low

          You are aware that these Touareg’s have lemon law websites dedicated toward their great build quality and reliability alongside other VW products such as Jetta’s!
          Tell me what is so great about this VW when they were still issued with recalls in 2007, that is 4 years after its release! If that was Holden and Ford’s case with the same model variant, all you VW fanboy’s would be on the attack like a bunch of starving Hyena’s!

          Conclusion the Touareg is a turd moulded from metal!

    • jojo

      The Tourag is offficially the most unreliable car within the VW family. If you do buy a used 2 year old one at least you will still have one year warranty period left to ease the pain of ownership before the expensive service costs kick in.

      The Mitsubishi will provide a 5/10 year warranty and fuss free ownership and reasonable service costs.

  • Pawky

    It’s worth noting the engine is detuned to 350Nm for the Auto, not 400Nm as the article states. There are some other innacuracies too. The luggage space is reduced on 7 seat model. Pretty sure it’s a live axle rear too.

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au Paul Maric

      Torque figure has been fixed.

      As for the luggage space, I’d think it’s pretty obvious luggage space is reduced with seven seats.

      • Pawky

        Plenty of 4wds offer 7 seats without reducing luggage space. Pajero as an example. Even Outlander.

        It is worth mentioning since considerable criticism (on some well known internet forums) has been directed at the 150 series Prado because the 7 seats eat into the cargo space.

        • Shak

          so you are saying that seven and five seat offer the same luggage space. What twisted world do you come from. The only way that would work is if the cargo bay extended itself physically when all seven seats were in place.

          • Pawky

            Sorry but you should stick your head in the back of more 4wds. Some models get the 3rd row of seats hidden so well into the floor that there is no compromise on luggage space. As I said previously, even a small soft-roader like Outlander does this pretty well.

          • David T

            Pawky, you are a little confused.

            When luggage space is discussed with regards to the 3rd row seats, it means when they are “in use” not when stowed.

            In that regard EVERY such vehicle loses a significant amount of luggage space.

      • The Oracle

        Paul, how are the 3rd row seats stored? The pictures seem to show a 5 seater model only. If they fold into the floor, like a Territory or Pajero, then there would be very little difference to the luggage space. If they fold up to the sides, then that generaly takes up a lot of space. Perhaps you are refering to the luggage space available behind the third row? If so, how much is there left?

        • Paul Maric

          Unfortunately both vehicles we tested were five seat variants.

          • Dan

            The third row seats stow forwards. Either way you look at it, the seats will take up volume, and it’s a question of whether you lose depth, height or width – in this case it’s depth. We noticed though that all the seats are very simply bolted to the floor and are easy to remove or put back, depending on how you plan to use the car. For example, we would remove one of the rear-most seats as we don’t need to drive around with 7 people at all times.

  • JEKYL & HYDE

    don’t know exactly why they even bothered to bring this in.a poor mans pajero or something.will date really quickly…

  • Tony

    a triton with an enclosed rear body

    wow

    and people wonder why it has all the ‘refinement’ of a triton

    i’m in two minds about this… is it a cynical exercise?

    see, nissan sell SIX SUVs as it is… it seems the Australian appetite for SUVs is unending…

    • Hung Low

      The Toyota 4 Runner/Surf was Hilux based so same here, after all it is based on a proper 4wd Chassis so it only makes sense!

    • dent

      D40 Navara / Pathfinder

  • Tyson

    The old Challenger had a huge following, People will flock to buy it again. Its a real 4wd, Simple and efective, A wagon Triton.

    • JEKYL & HYDE

      tyson,

      watching a bit of cricket nowdays ah,the only flock you see are seagulls…

  • http://www.littlepixiegifts.com.au Gift-Ed

    My in-laws have the old model Challenger. They had no idea it was based on a truck and seem oblivious to the 80′s box dash design, rock hard plastics and total lack of steering response. They love it. It does seem a capable off road machine, although the 4WD failed last time we went to Stradbroke.

    There are plenty of people who won’t notice the new models shortcomings, or what suspension it runs. It seems a tad expensive though.

    • Dan

      It’s not easy to compare the old and new because they are totally different cars actually. Different engine/chassis/suspension/interior/exterior, etc. Just the same name and badge.

  • Jo

    This is the _real_ new Sorento. I’d love to see it with a 6 speed auto/Kia-Hyundai type diesel…350nm of torque in the auto is pretty weak…

  • cookie

    Another inaccuracy is the previous model challenger only had leaf springs rear until 2000. From 2000 to 05 it had coil spring rear.
    I think in a direct offroad comparison u would find the pajero is still more capable. The pajero still has better suspension travel and bigger wheel base. Average article all round.

    • Richo

      I doubt there would be a whole lot in it to be honest.

      The challenger has a live axle rear, but the rear wheel travel in the independant Pajero is actually not as bad as people think, in standard form it probably has every bit as much travel as the challenger, so your right their. In modified form though you would be able to make the challenger’s rear end flex a lot more then you could make the Pajero’s however, but with traction control wheel travel suddely becomes a lot less important, review after review states that a stock pajero gets further off road then a stock prado despite the prado having a rear live axle simply because the pajero has traction control and a rear diff lock and the prado doesn’t. Live axles aren’t everything (although they sure can help)

      They have the exact same traction control system, but the Pajero has a longer wheel base.. overall I would say they would be about equal

      The Pajero would be a better tow vehicle I think though as it has a tonne more guts, it would also be a better tourer thanks to it having significantly more interior space.

      • Tomas79

        No actually the Pajero Doesn’t get as far offroad as Prado, and the prado does have a superior traction control and a diff lock!!

        • http://bent Millatime

          It is you that is wrong again Tomas. Pajero goes further offroad, and has much better manners, and performance, on road. Not to mention superb value too when compared with Prado.

          • Tomas79

            No it doesn’t Millatime,
            One of the reasons it beat Pajero in 2009 Overlander as the best diesel medium 4wd, and best petrol medium 4wd due to it’;s superior offroad ability, even though the pajero has better value!!

            Seriously, the Pajero is a monocoque construction, and IRS …. I reckon i could even take the challenger further!!

  • Pawky

    Some comments appear to have been moderated and removed from this article. One was from someone that noticed picture 113 shows a live axle.

    Can a moderator tell me why such a comment needed to be removed or did the original poster decide to remove it? just seems odd that 5 or 6 comments have disappeared.

    • Paul Maric

      They were removed until Mitsubishi responds to our contact. Any future comments will also be removed until Mitsubishi responds.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au Paul Maric

    Just a quick note everyone. We have just heard back from Mitsubishi and they have confirmed that the suspension is indeed not independent rear suspension.

    The Challenger uses a three-link coil and stabiliser bar setup.

    Apologies for the confusion, the article has been amended to include the relevant details.

  • Montero 2009

    The Challenger being sold here is very expensive. Similar model 2.5 XLS Auto with 7 seats will cost you AUD33,827 (based on the current rate) in Thailand or in other Asian countries.

    • Dan

      This is understandable since the after-sale service costs (warranty), taxes and whatever else will significantly increase the price of anything in Australia. It’s not really that expensive for what is being offered – good warranty on a mid-range 4×4 for people who actually plan to go off-road with it instead of just towing stuff and driving on a bit of grass now and again to go fishing. If you desire city comfort, or the best-of-breed, get a city car or pay at least double and get the top-of-the-line 4×4.

    • nickdl

      Yeah well a beer there costs 50c. Because we’re too happy to put up with the high prices (and the average income here is significantly higher.)

  • Montero

    I also just found out that a 2 litre carton of milk and pretty much everything is cheaper in Thailand (based on current rates)

  • Brett

    I’m looking at a deisel awd for long holiday driving and normal city driving and want plenty of room, apart from being noisy apparently (haven’t driven one yet), can someone give me some feedback on the Challenger? My wife likes the Kluger but it’s a petrol guzzler. I hear the Kia Sorrento is a good car but am interested in Challenger owner’s feedback (unbiased please if possible).

    • neo

      i have had two previouse model challenger’s they were excellent family vehicles for long trips and fine around the city’ but thats the old model im asuming this one would be the same.
      i replaced my last 2001 model challenger for a used 2003 bmw x5 which is heaven with a stearing wheel!
      you should look into one mine cost me about the same as a new challenger, you could probs get one even cheaper now depending on km’s ect.

    • neo

      lol i just realised your post was in march. you probably got a new car now.

  • BM

    Can someone tell me if you can put a sunroof in the Challenger? Had a look at one today and noticed its quite bulky and the interior light is about where it may go.

  • Chris

    Hi Brett,

    I actually just recently bought the new Challenger after about 3 months of searching. My wife wanted something big enough for lugging around family and baggage etc etc and I wanted something that is capable off road, could tow my boat, had a diesel and was cheaper and smaller than Prado, Pajero. The other alternatives were the Pathfinder (More expensive, did not hold its value as well, used more fuel), XTrail(Great on fuel, Damn Damn ugly, too small), Sorento (Its Korean, Not designed for offroad), Santa Fe(Exact same as the sorento), Kluger (Just a people mover, uses alot more fuel)

    The Challenger noise is not too bad. As soon as I got on the freeway the first thing I noticed was how quiet it was, before I knew it I was 30 over the limit.

    And BM, there is no option for a sun roof, sorry buddy. I would have liked one also.

  • Brett

    Thanks Chris, after having spent a bit more time researching and comparing various vehicles it’s probably starting favourite and have even managed to convince the wife once I showed her the $ saved in fuel from the Kluger.
    The dealer told me a sunroof can be fitted and I got the same answer from an installer I rang so I hope that’s true.

  • mycheekyangel

    Hi – I’m interested in peoples comments on comparing the Challenger XLS and Prado ZR and which would be the better vehicle. I like that they are smaller than the 4 door Prado’s, Pajero’s and Discovery’s of the world, which is the main reason I’m considering them.

    I know the Prado ZR is a 3 door, so lets not talk about that. Just interested in performance off road (genuine 4wdriving) and which would be the most comfortable for freeway driving (which is what I do most of – about 150kms per day). I’d be buying an auto.

    I would really appreciate help as it’s hard to decifer what’s best from all the info. out there.

  • Brett

    Well mycheekyangel, (can’t believe I just called you that) I’ve just had a test drive of the auto Challenger about 30 mins ago and loved it. I’d read some mixed reports on its freeway capabilities and general around town driving so really honed in on those areas and it drove beautifully with plenty of power when it came to overtaking.
    I can’t comment on the prado, but this vehicle backed by a 5 yr warranty (and don’t forget the 10 yr powertrain warranty) would be a good buy if comparing like for like.
    if in doubt, write the pros and cons down on a piece of paper for both and make your decision then – good luck!

    • Dan

      I’ve had a few test drives of it too, and found it quite easy to drive, compared with other large cars – you just have to respect the laws of physics, taking into account momentum and fuel type, engine size and limits of rubber on road and so on. You should never drive a diesel like you’re in a hurry anyway – even with turbo they are not the same creature as a petrol. The engine is rather noisy if you attempt to drive it aggressively – but would you abuse your own car like that ? (it does go like billio if you ask it to). It seemed to me the salesman we met had no idea what kind of vehicle he was driving – I’d never buy an ex-demo for that reason!

      The engine noise is due to the method of fuel injection – the Challenger has older technology than, say, the LR Discovery 3 or 4, but performance is more than adequate and reliability is probably going to be better if anything. Self service should be easy once manuals are out (and in 5 years time!), but the one thing I didn’t like is the location of the oil filter (same place as the old Pajeros) – I can see already that I’ll be getting nicks and scratches undoing the air intake hose trying to get at it.

      With a few fairly standard after-market mods (snorkle, bull bar, maybe sunroof) it’ll be just perfect for bush/outback/off-road holidays. The main faults are minor, really, and are unlikely to impact on reliability or usability for the target market.

  • http://caradvice.com.au gifford

    Hi have taken the challenger for test drive, the engine does appear noisy and the auto air con roared trying to cool the inside down. Seats felt hard and I wondered if I would get a numb bum driving on long trips. despite this, it felt a capible 4wd, great turning circle and good storage. noted in feature story, one would need to remove the tow bar for better departure angles.. this doesn’t sound a great option if one wants to tow?? I am tossing between a prado and challenger and cant decide which one to buy,, any help out there ????

  • Chris

    Your going to have to make that decision on your own gifford. The best way is to build up a spreadsheet and compare the features side by side. On paper the challenger was comparable to the prado and pathfinder but much cheaper and way better looking.

    The engine does settle down once its warm, which I can imagine is the case for most diesels. The aircon is nothing to worry about. If its set on climate control and you have only just started the car it will push air out as fast as it can through all vents to try and get to that temperature as quick as possible. It stops after a few seconds. Seats are firm but in a good way. They are comfy for long distance trips (I have done a number of full days driving). I never got a numb bum. And they are easy to get in and out of.

  • mal

    I have one of th enew 7 seater Challengers and coming from a commodore it takes a bit of getting used to, especially the seats. You won’t get a numb bum on a long journey (we just did 800K’s both ways) and the ride is pretty good. as for off-road, it’s bloody good! My mates have a patrol and a prado and they both got bogged in the dunes – the challenger just took it all in its stride. the engine is a bit noisy, but it is a diesel. turn up the radio. the prado is a l;ittle underdone in th eengine size and struggles for torque on decent sand dunes, etc.

    • Roger Henley

      Hi Mal

      I was pleased to read your comments about the Challenger performing well in sand dunes. I have a XLS on order for about 3 weeks and am looking forward to running it over a few dunes. I currently have a 98 Disco which has served me well but I need the extra luggage space. Last weekend I pulled another Prado off the beach (my 3rd Prado rescue) so I was concerned how the Challenger would perform in the sand. Cheers Roger

  • waminda

    We are now about 3000km into our new challenger LS auto 7 seater. It’s a very capable car, comfortable and it’s ride and handling is good (for what it is).

    Yes the engine is noisey, yes there is an amount of body roll doesn’t, yes it doesn’t have the range of a prado…

    The real question should be is the Prado worth the extra cost? The resale value of a Prado will remain good, but I cant justify the extra expense!

    I believe the challenger represents one of the best value for money 4wds on the market today, and I am very happy with my choice.

  • gifford

    Hi again- tow bar questions
    Somewhere it’s mentioned the restrcitions with the tow bar when negoigating angles during 4w driving. What’s other opinions on this, will the tow bar prove a problem? Would you really need to remove it to get out of tight spots? What impact does this have when towing camper trailers/ vans into these areas?

  • Adrian

    I have just traded the 09 Outlander Active on an XLS Challenger. I did manage a trip to Fraser Island Jan this year in the Outlander. It had no real issues doing the trip, lake McKenzie was a challenge, but we did make it through ok. The trick to both the cars is the tyres. I put Cooper Discover ATR on them both. Fuel economy and noise not a factor. For me the Outlander was front wheel drive, to small, I tow for work, so when I test drove the Challenger, I fell in love. I did compare all others in the range, this thing value for money was fantastic. Everybody goes on about the Prado, but who wants to pay the 20 plus K loading for that badge, and that is what it is in the end. I got my XLS new on the road with tow bar and extras for 52k driveaway, what a bargin for that. I will say that I love it, with the Cooper tyres straight on it, looks tough and ready for my next trip to Fraser Island. If anybody has douts about the Challenger, dont, its fantastic to drive, cheap to run and will go anywhere.

  • Murray

    I have done just on 15000 with my (not so) new Challanger LS manual.
    I had the tow bar fitted from when i drove it of the show room floor. I have only ever once felt it drag, but that was in a very deep mud rut, does offer good protection to the plastics at the back though.
    This car is very good in the sand and much better in the mud. all on standard road tyres mind you. So it is a ute with a SUV body but wow this is a fantasitc car to drive and even mor fun in the mud flats and great in the dunes.

  • Lasher

    I own a 2003 exceed I have 3 kids are 6 foot 2 and hate it. The steering is girly (over responsive) and I have to sit sideways cos my shoulders hit the drivers window. My missis loves it except that to fit 3 baby seats in the back you have to pull one of the kids out of the car (in their seat) to reach over on put the seat belt in. The only car I have found with desent traction that we fit in well is the Territory.However they rattle and die at about 80K. I hope now that I fit in the Callenger and it is more reliable than the ford and as reliable as my skinny Pajero. Im going to the dealer to have a look at the challenger tomorrow but if someone can tell me a better vehicle to buy in my predicimant tell me. (my missis says the landcruiser is too big 4 her) Cheers Matt

  • Gwen

    Does any one have any experience of the 2011 Challenger as a tow vehicle. We are interested in the 300kg ball weight and 3 tonne tow limit. Certainly looks good on paper. Would appreciate any opinions and comments.

    • Explorer

      Bought a Challenger diesel poverty pack auto in April 2011.

      Have towed a very small caravan (Windsor Little Shuttle) for about 6,000km around QLD on the blacktop, some of which was centre tar with dirt sides eg Charters Towers to Ravenshoe and including up onto the range from Mossman to Mount Molloy.

      Also spoke to other owners in caravan parks in Qld, some of whom were from Vic.

      Conclusion is that it very rarely hunts for the right gear, you simply ease of a bit if it is hunting, you have to be sensible about accepting that it is a small motor and so go a bit slower than you might with a turbo landcruiser. Watch the temperature guage and don’t cook the motor. (I didn’t have any issues, just a caution because of small motor size.) I would suggest always having plenty of reserve tow capacity. If the trailer is 2500 get a V8 Cruiser. Fuel economy was about 14.5l/ towing at 100km and with a full luggage boot but we normally sat on 85 to 90 km/hr. My wife was very comfortable driving on the highway with the van on.

      The shape and rear window make it a bit hard to judge hooking up a van solo but it’s doable with patience.

      After 11,500km mine has developed some hesitation on takeoff and blows some smoke but I am hoping this is just the need for a service and tune.

      On the trip it ran like a charm at 100km and is not noisy on the flat at that speed.

      I would have preferred A/T tyres on a 4WD.

      Back (2nd row) seats fold forward, not flat and have no hard protection to rear when folded so care needed when packing against folded seats and luggage length sacrificed, but it does have a full camping body (but not flat – take some extra pillows if you are going to sleep overnight).

      Getting safety chains on with a factory heavy duty towbar is painfull. Put the safety rated D shackles on the chains and towbar before lowering the van so you can wiggle the pin from side to side to get room to turn the shackle pins.

      The back 12v outlet turns off unless ignition or accessories are on but accessories are off to remove key and lock vehicle so it saves your battery but cuts off power to any fridge you have in the back. Disconnect power from trailer if you have a hot wire through the plug to something like a 3 way fridge on 12v in the van – it can send your starting battery flat in a few hours and of course if you disconnect and don’t reconnect you have no brake or tail lights or indicators.

      Ventilation/air seems low volume.

      Audio auxiliary is good for rough roads when you might not want to have a CD playing.

      Rear boot door needs a good slam to close properly, might just need better adjustment.

      Mine didn’t have rear diff lock (as it is absolute base model 5 seater (below LS).

      Getting spare tyre out to change a flat is awkward with tow bar because pressed steel but full size spare is underslung. Jacking points are on axle near diff so have to wriggle on ground on back to position jack properly – keep a travel rug in car.

      Would have preferred a larger motor and a manual but with a 5/10(160,000km) first owner’s warranty I think it should be a good value buy if you keep your vehicles for a long time.

  • Doooma

    Hi,
    I own the 2010 LS Challenger and it has been FANTASTIC… My wife LOVES it as its not huge like the cruiser…
    No probs at all.. Seats are comfortable on long trips, A/C is noisy AT FIRST, but quiets down as soon as temperature starts dropping inside vehicle.. Remembering this has A?C also for the kids in the rear!!! AWESOME!!!
    Mine is the 7 seater version… I love the fact that the very back seats fold flat into the floor and 2nd row folds forward, giving me HEAPS of space for my eskies, fishing and diving gear!! I can also sleep in the back as Im only 5’7″ !!
    My 1 and only gripe is that it needs the option of a larger motor.. Id love for this to have more grunt, especially for towing..It towes fine but on the North West Coastal highway, when you have 2 or 3 road trains to get around at the same time….. well…
    Id love to fit the diesel chip to it to boost power which also improves fuel eceonomy even further HOWEVER this will void manufacturers warranty, of which why wouldnt you buy a challenger just for the warranty?
    So.. in hindsight, I should have bought a manual for the extra torque at least…But then Id have to answer this question… Do I need 50NM extra torque, or a happy and quiet wife (who likes auto)…
    You all know which I chose!!!!!! ;-)

    • CarlMc

      Yep, I divorced mine too.

  • Blokie

    great car, looks the business.

    i love the interior as well. very tempting for our next car

  • Challenger Perth

    Looks like theres a new base model, more basic than the LS with no rear diff lock. Under 40k driveaway.

  • jaybax

    I’ve had my LS challenger 4months now & love it. 7 seats,auto,a real 4wd & a ton of features & ability for $41,990 driveaway, awesome.I’ve had new hilux,new navara, new triton,old challenger,& this is as good or better than any of them. If towbar is an issue then go hayman reece,no problem ,it’s inside the bumper.

    • juzman

      hi jaybax,
      where did you get your LS for such a good price? demo?
      my fiance and i are looking at purchasing a challenger in the next couple of months however the best price we have so far is 42k d/a with airbag n rails pack, b/tooth and rear sensors and floor mats!! we would really like the LS as we wouldnt need all the extras as it comes with all of them!! anyone?
      J

      • jayax

        blue ribbon motors ipswich, i traded my 2007 triton with 130000 on the clock. Not demo challenger,it was new.

  • Deano

    Interesting that ALL Mitsubishi dealers advertising new Challengers on ‘CarSales’ still tout them as being independant rear suspension. If I can’t trust them to get this right how much of the other info posted is BS too? Perhaps I’m over cynical but when sales people outright and blatantly lie about their product I tend to look elsewhere.

    • juzman

      i think if you look past the BS of sales people who have no idea and research the car itself, not buying one if thats what your looking for would be a bad choice. You compare the challenger to any other 4×4 with the same capibility and it is miles ahead of the competition in value for money, capibility of the 4wd system and overall functionallity and style you would be hard pressed to find anything that is as good!
      My fiance and i have bought an LS model for delivery in late July, charcoal grey auto and we paid $43500 inc mats.. a price hard to beat from all the shopping around we did..

  • Doooma76

    Well…. Ive just driven a new challenger with the new chip installed from Chip-It in Perth….
    WOW.. What a difference that made!!! It now pulls off the line beautifully, where as before I thought Id get cleaned up trying to pull out into traffic… They havent even tuned it right up yet, and wont until I put the larger 3 inch exhaust on and then… WOOO HOOO !!! Off to the beach… Fuel economy is a lot better also… With the automatic trans, Im now getting about 7.8L – 8.2L per 100kms.. Instantly added another 100kms per tank!!!!
    I now LOVE MY CAR!!!

    • juzman

      given that the auto challenger had the torque reduced to safezone the auto trans… does the chip affect this or does it just adjust the power range?

    • jayax

      mate i would love to know how much that chip cost you. I’m still in love with my challenger, but for anyone considering buying one,please don’t put that ugly factory towbar on it, get the hayman reece

  • Vobby

    Just went and checked out the XLS challenger. Im glad I did considering I almost settled for a KIA. I’m thankful I didin’t. After seeing everything the market had to offer I finally found an awsome car. I didn’t even know this car existed. I have been quoted $54,000 On Road for an XLS 7 seater. Comes with mats, illuminated steps, towbar, nudge bar and a full tank of gas. Is this a good deal or am I being taken for a ride?

    • Vobby

      Sorry, It was not an XLS it was an LS version. Still a pretty good price when comparing to recomended prices.

      • brendan

        i got my ls for 38900 with reverse sensors and put an arb bullbat and tow bar for 300

        • brendan

          bullbar and tow bar for 3000

  • San

    I had my challenger for 3 months now. Done about 9k now. Got brand new 2011 pb spec with 3 tone tow bar , tint window, 7 seated ls model silver color for 42800.00. Drive throughout city everyday in Sydney. The fuel is about 12.5l/100km. Very economy for this size of car. Had a computer upgrade from MIT the engine sound reduced alot and fuel economy is much better. Had few off road experience. Great experice at sand dune even I am first time 4wd. I think this car can handle anything that other big 4wd can do. Great car for this price. Lucky I decide to go with the challenger instead the prado.

    • Scott K

      San – where in Sydney did you get that deal from? This is what I am looking for before moving to Perth next month.

      But that raises another question, should I just wait till I get to Perth to do a deal?

    • Diane

      is your car a LS ? if so where did you get it from ?

      • san

        It is a LS 7 seater 2011 Build PB Challanger. I got it from Sydney City Mitsubishi take me 1 hour to bargain with the sales man called david. Now it done 13000km already and it need to be servied every 15000km. I will update the cost when i done my service. I still remember the sales man told me it is a fixed cost for 5 years with the Mit Diamond Warranty.

  • Doooma76

    I saw the guys from “CHIP IT” in Clarkson WA….

    Fantastic guys and were very thorough in explaining what the chip does etc.. and how to disengage if not needed..
    Gave me a discount and installed chip for $850… I would advise though… STRONGLY.. to install a 3″ exhaust from the turbo back BEFORE installing the chip.. We cant fully tune the chip up to optimum without the larger exhaust as the exhaust gas would be to hot for the standard..
    The difference in power is instant and has turned the challenger into a beast!!! Love it… Even without turning it too much.. I feel very confident now pulling out into traffic where as before I was very worried that we’d get cleaned up as the lag and take off was very bad..
    It didnt help that I was going from an SS V8 ute into a family 4×4 though!!! lol

  • Doooma76

    PS.. If you use BP ultimate diesel instead of other diesel…. the engine noise ‘almost’ disappears… If using cheaper other type of deisel.. add half a litre of 2 stroke oil to a tank… that helped also!!!

    • san

      Hi Doooma76.

      How did you found that out? I will fill the Votex premium Diesel and it is not much diff with the non premium diesel i will give BP a try… BTW Is this Before Chip it or After?
      Thanks for the advise

  • Adrian

    I did post on July 25th last year bout my new Challenger.
    I will say one year on, I stil have it, and love it, it’s cheap to run, a pleasure to drive, and from whet I have seen with the sale of these cars, it’s holing it’s money. I am not far away from a Fraser Island trip, will post when I get back from that about the beach driving. I do think this is still the best money 4wd vechicle on the market. The service cost me $250, (15k), the changed wiper blades, rotated wheels, balanced tyres, washed it, not bad for $250. I am glad that everybody who owns one that has posted on here is enjoying there Challenger.

    • san

      Dame the dealer charged me $30 more for rotate and balance the tyre. Planed a trip to fraser island the comming october try to carry 2 adults and 4 children and i have bought a hitched cargo carrier from ebay hope that will help me to carry bit more luggage with fully load of ppl. I will update when come back from the trip. Hope this will help with people who want to carry more luggage and don’t want a trailer hooked. It is very populer in US. $112 on ebay.

  • Ian

    I am considering buying a Challenger but as a second car it would not do many Kms. Our V8 Jeep GC has only done 65k in 10 years. I have heard that low mileage can cause problems with diesels in that the particulate filter does not burn off residue unless the car does a minimum number of Km’s each time it is started. This can result in expensive mechanical work to manually clean the filter. This problem was reported on Nissans but I was wondering if the Challenger would have this problem too

  • Dennis

    Had the Challenger for about 3 months now and really like it. I have the 5 seater manual and want to add an extra seat for the grandson. Anyone have an idea of cost, genuine or other.
    Cheers Dennis

  • Eli

    I picked up my Challanger last week. We love it. auto, champagne colour, nudge bar, tow bar, windshields, light and bonnet protectors, and the floor mats. This is our first diesel car, and we are getting used to it already. it is really a nice car. very happy so far.

  • Tony

    Has anybody else experineced hesitation and blowing smoke ? Mine has started blowing more than normal amount of smoke and a small hesitation on take off. i have just had the 15000 k service and this started a week later,took it back and they couldn’t find anything wrong.

    • Maurice

      Yea, the same, after 15k service, started blow smoke under power & kick down. Also had soot on garage floor on first start up. Took it back & they said they could not fault it. It seemed better, but after 2 wks still blows too much smoke for my liking. I was told that the oil used is cruicial, they used shell oil & it is prob the cheapest oil avail. I think I may do a oil change with a better oil & see how it goes. This motor is known for sooting up the intake manifold & lots have been replaced, not sure if this is happening or not, but its strange that it started only after the service. Good luck. Otherwise its a great car…………

      • R-u-on

        Turned out to be a bad tank of diesel, it had floating particles which were getting past the fuel filter and I think blocking an injector. It seems to be fixed after a bottle of injector cleaner.I have been told not to use cheap diesel from major a discounter by a couple of different sources. I am now using BP and have not had any more trouble,it also seems a lot quieter. I am tempted to use lucas fuel treatment every now and then but am worried about warranty.

  • Camcar

    Here’s a question for new diesel auto Challenger owners. Does anyone tow a 2100kg ATM (or heavier) full height single axel ‘van? If so, what are your thoughts on the capability of the Challenger as a long-distance towing unit? How does it handle the hills at cruising towing speeds while trying to maintain 90 to 95 on reasonably level to undulating bitumen? I currently tow this van with a 2004 3L V6 auto petrol Challenger which has just clocked up 90,000km. It has trouble staying in 4th gear if road is undulating and slight headwind. Consequently, towing consumption varies between 16.8 and 22.5 litres/100km. The petrol engine just lacks pulling ability. Although just recently, I pulled the loaded van slowly up 16km of very steep and rough gravel road. No probs with engine temps. Used 1st gear low range on the way down, and no problems. I’m really looking for a wagon that will give me better pulling ability and improved towing consumption. Comments please.

  • Jacksback

    I brought a 2011 LS auto in Brisbane  in Dec 2011. Just clocked up 20,000kms and am more than happy. I’ve had the Prado 150, 120, 90 and Patrols as work vehicles in the NT (each clocked up 75000kms before I turned them over) and while I miss my work 150 Prado, no way I could justify $65,000 when I paid $42000 for my Challenger. The Prado was bigger and smoother but the Challenger isn’t that far behind. I get 9kms per litre on the 750km one way trip from Emerald to Brisbane (1 tank) with 4 on board and all luggage. It tows my 1.5t boat at 100kph using about 13l per 100kms. Start up its noisey but on the highway, quiet as most cars I’ve driven (quieter than our Ford Focus). All up happy and love the 5/10 warrenty and capped price servicing. Will upgrade suspension at some stage but as a family touring, the current suspension still does the job well

  • Murray

    I reported that I got the manual three year ago.
    It now has a 2″ OME lift, BFG’s 265/70/17, ARB bull bar and a Safari Snorkel.
    This is one fantastic off-road SUV, the prado can not touch it in the mud, sand, narly hills, performance or anywhere for that matter, although the prado is a bit more comfy and classy.
    I still have another 5k to spend before i get to the base price of the prado,that will cover the Kaymar rear bar and the long range tank.  (will think about the chip this tax time)
    Over the past three years it has not missed a beat even the wife loves to drive it, (she almost needs a step ladder to get into it, lol).
    it is the rear diff lock that moves this beast into a class above the prado, and that one can switch off ALL the traction aids, nothing like being in the mud or soft sand and the spining wheel stoppes
    there is nothing yet that has stopped this car in the bush, mountains or desert, mates prado can not get as far.
    BTW this thing came close to me loosing my licence so it it why fast enough, out ran the prado and hilux.

  • Mttaylorpaul

    Last year I covered about 11,000 Km’s in my 2010 xls challenger towing a 2350 ATM full height van. I averaged 19.5l/100km over the distance and (other than a minor electrical issue) had no dramas. I tow hard and not for economy. I am very happy with the challenger – I recon they are highly under rated, however when the lease is up I’ll probably go for something with more grunt. More than likely a toe rag

Mitsubishi Challenger Specs

LS (5 SEAT) : 2.5L DIESEL TURBO F/INJ - 5 SP AUTOMATIC - 4D WAGON
Car Details
Make
MITSUBISHI
Model
CHALLENGER
Variant
LS (5 SEAT)
Series
PB MY11
Year
2010
Body Type
4D WAGON
Seats
5
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
DIESEL TURBO F/INJ
Engine Size
2.5L
Cylinders
DIESEL TURBO 4
Max. Torque
350Nm @  1800rpm
Max. Power
131kW @  4000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
63.9W/kg
Bore & Stroke
91.1x95mm
Compression Ratio
16.5
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
5 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
4x4
Final Drive Ratio
3.917
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
DIESEL
Fuel Tank Capacity
70
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
9.8L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
2051
Gross Vehicle Weight
5210Kg
Height
1840mm
Length
4695mm
Width
1815mm
Ground Clearance
220mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:2500  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
11.2
Front Rim Size
7.5x17
Rear Rim Size
7.5x17
Front Tyres
265/65 R17
Rear Tyres
265/65 R17
Wheel Base
2800
Front Track
1520
Rear Track
1515
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Standard Features
Comfort
Automatic Air Con / Climate Control
Control & Handling
17 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Traction Control System, Vehicle Stability Control
Driver
Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Power Steering, Trip Computer
Engine & Transmission
Diff Locks
Entertainment
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Exterior
Power Mirrors, Side Steps
Interior
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats, Side Front Air Bags
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
60 months /  130,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
12-C-2
Country of Origin
THAILAND