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Mitsubishi Challenger

PB Challenger

1 Dec 2009

THE 2010 Mitsubishi Challenger arrived in Australia with tough off-road cred, a lone 2.5-litre diesel engine and seven-seat option to take on medium SUV market players such as the Ford Territory, Toyota Kluger, Holden Captiva and Nissan Pathfinder.

The PB series Challenger used increasingly rare elements in the SUV market – a separate chassis and dual-range transmission. Most of its key competitors – medium SUVs that had a similar footprint on the road and are in a similar price bracket, such as Territory and Kluger – used car-like monocoque chassis and single-range transmissions.

The Challenger was bit of a melange of ingredients from other models, taking the Triton’s tough separate chassis with coil spring independent front suspension but using three-link live-axle coil sprung rear suspension in place of the Triton’s load-hauling live-axle, leaf-spring arrangement.

While Mitsubishi Australia had considered a V6 petrol Challenger, it kept the model range tight by going only with diesel power.

This engine, codenamed 4D56HP, is a 2.5-litre common-rail unit that featured a variable geometry turbocharger and an intercooler to deliver 131kW of power at 4000 rpm and 400Nm of torque at 2000rpm when mated with a five-speed manual transmission. With the automatic transmission, torque dropped to 350Nm at 1800rpm.

The 2.5 manual achieved an average fuel consumption of 8.3L/100km while the automatic returned 9.8L/100km.

The standard dual-range Super Select full-time/part-time 4WD system allowed the driver to select rear-wheel drive to save fuel or full-time 4WD for paved roads, benefiting traction and safety. For slippery roads, the centre diff could be locked in high range and for slow off-road work, low-range gearing and a rear differential lock were standard across the range.

Safety was covered off with MATT (Mitsubishi’s All Terrain Technology system) which included Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC), Multi-mode ABS with EBD. All Challengers were also fitted with driver and passenger front and side airbags plus curtain airbags.

Five models in two trim grades were offered, with entry-level LS and premium XLS. The LS was available as a five-seat manual or automatic and as a seven-seat automatic. The XLS was auto-only but offered the choice of five or seven-seats.

Standard equipment on the LS models included climate-control air-conditioning, steering wheel-mounted cruise control and audio controls, power windows with driver’s one-touch function, remote keyless central locking, single CD player with six speakers, leather steering wheel, gear shift, park brake and transfer lever, colour centre display and an audio jack for MP3 player connection, 17-inch alloy wheels (with a full sized alloy spare), rear differential lock, side steps, roof rails and chrome exterior door handles and mirrors.

Seven-seat versions added a third row of seating with 50/50 split, manual rear seat air-conditioning controls and an under-floor storage area.

The XLS five-seater added leather seats, power driver’s seat, wood-trim console and centre panel, the premium audio Power Sound System with eight speakers, Mitsubishi Multi Communication System (MMCS) with satellite navigation, reversing camera and video jack, hands-free Bluetooth, cargo blind and cargo room net, chrome grille, colour keyed side protection mouldings and privacy glass. The XLS also featured fog lights, headlight washers and rear parking sensors.

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