We put the Challenger through its paces at a friends farm and the more we drove it the more it impressed us. If you think of it as a Wagon version of the popular Triton you can grasp just how good it is.
What are we Testing?
We took the all-new Mitsubishi Challenger XLS to a friend’s farm and put it through its paces. The XLS is a 7 seat midsize 4WD wagon with a 2.5L High Power Common Rail Direct Injection Turbo Diesel mated to a 5 speed Sports Mode automatic with INVECS II Smart Logic. It has a MLP of $58,890.
What’s its Purpose?
An honest robust family 4WD wagon with 7 seats. It’s more than your average AWD SUV.
What’s Good & Not so Good?
Good Off Road ability
7 seats good for teenagers
Honest and Robust
Not so good
Noisy and not a smooth as others
Driver’s seat needs more travel
The all new Challenger is miles ahead of the model it replaces in style. It has the same front end as the stylish Triton and from the side it is clean and crisp with flowing lines. The XLS features side steps, chrome exterior door handles, mirrors, roof rails, fog lamps, headlamp washers, full chrome grille, privacy glass and reversing sensors as standard.
The Challenger XLS has an overall length of 4,695 mm, wheelbase of 2,800 mm, width of 1,815 mm and height of 1,840 mm. The ground clearance is up to 220mm; approach angle 35.6 degrees, departure angle 24.6 degrees and a ramp over angle of 23.1 degrees. Wading depth is 600mm, Tare mass is 2710kg and the vehicle sits on 17 inch Alloy wheels with 265/65R-17 112S tyres.
Inside, Comfort & Features
Inside the Challenger has a clean and understated layout which is identical to the Triton. The electrically adjustable driver’s seat is comfortable but could do with more travel and the steering wheel is comfortable in your hands but could do with reach adjustment to help find the best driving position.
Internal features for the Challenger XLS include automatic air-conditioning, steering wheel mounted cruise control and audio controls, power windows with driver’s automatic up and down, remote keyless entry and central locking, leather bound steering wheel, gear shift, park brake and transfer lever, colour centre display and an audio jack for MP3 player connection.
Exclusive to the XLS is leather seat trim, power driver’s seat with slide, dual height and recline movement, wood-trim console and centre panel, and cargo blind and cargo room net. With additional technological features, the XLS includes Mitsubishi’s Power Sound System with eight speakers for premium quality audio, Mitsubishi Multi Communication System (MMCS) with satellite navigation, reverse camera and video jack and hands-free Bluetooth connectivity.
Challenger XLS with seven-seat option features third row seating with 50/50 split rear seat, manual rear seat air-conditioning controls and under-floor storage area.
With a focus on safety, and a 4 star ANCAP safety rating, the all-new Challenger features a comprehensive range of all-terrain driver aids, including Mitsubishi’s class-leading off-road package, MATT (Mitsubishi’s All Terrain Technology system) which includes Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC), Multi-mode ABS with EBD, and diff lock.
In addition, the all-new Challenger features Mitsubishi’s RISE body construction for added occupant safety as well as driver and passenger front and side SRS airbags and curtain SRS airbags.
Performance, Engine, Transmission & Suspension etc
Utilising the latest in clean diesel technology, the engine produces 131kW of power @ 4,000 rpm and 350Nm @ 1,800 rpm when mated to the INVECS II Smart Logic automatic transmission with Sports Mode. Despite its impressive power output, the Challenger is extremely fuel efficient for a vehicle in its class and returns combined consumption figures of 9.81l/100kms.
The all-new Challenger body is built on a ladder-frame chassis and is reinforced with the extensive use of light, yet extremely high-strength, steel. The vehicle displays comfortable and controlled driving characteristics through the application of coil-spring suspension all round: front suspension is double wishbone type and the rear suspension a three-link design utilising coil springs. Stabiliser bars are employed to control body roll, while four-wheel disc brakes provide optimal stopping power.
The Challenger’s exceptional four-wheel drive ability comes from the Super Select four-wheel drive system, which allows the driver to choose between four driving modes with shift on the fly ability. The go anywhere ability is enhanced by the rear diff lock which gives the Challenger moire capability than most drivers will ever need. If you need it your in pretty deep.
Towing capacity for the Challenger is a generous 3000kg with ten per cent ball load. The Challenger tows great and with the combination of ladder frame chassis and 2.5L motor you really don’t notice what you have behind.
I actually liked the Challenger XLS a lot. If you think of it as a wagon version of Mitsubishi’s excellent Triton then you get an idea of just how capable it is. The more you drive it the better it gets. It is an honest, robust, practical and spacious family 4WD wagon that is not expensive.
However like all vehicles it has its faults. Being based on the Triton it is not as smooth as some of the others in its segment, it is a little noisy and needs more power. The automatic has less torque than the manual and it’s noticeable.
It will seat seven in relative comfort, will go anywhere off road you may wish to go, will tow the camper trailer or Jet Ski to that hidden spot. There is also something very comforting about that diesel rumbling in the background.
The Challenger XLS is a mixed bag but overall it is high on our list of midsize 4WD choices. At a MLP of $58,890 it is well priced and should be on your list too. It is a hidden gem.
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CO2 Emissions g/km 259 g/km
Fuel Economy L/100km (ADR comb) 9.8 L/100km
Alternative Jeep Cherokee
Alternative Hyundai Santé Fe
Alternative Ssangyong Rexton
Warranty 5-year or 130,000km New Vehicle Warranty plus
10-year or 160,000km Powertrain Warranty,
More Technical Specifications www.mitsubishi.com.au
Article Copyright © all rights reserved – Auto Alliance Group Pty. Ltd. 2010
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