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The Mercury Cars Guide : September 11th 2010
10--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, September 11, 2010 TEST DRIVE Mitsunishi Challenger Challenger proves a contender Keith Didham DRIVEN Mitsubishi has taken up the mid- sized wagon challenge. But this one doesn't quite hit the mark THE old proverb that you can't judge a book by its cover often rings true in the motoring world. You see a polished vehicle sitting on a pristine showroom floor, it ticks many of the desirability boxes and it meets your needs. You end up buying it, living with it --- and somehow it all ends up being good rather than brilliant. Enter Mitsubishi's Challenger, a five or seven-seat all-wheel drive wagon with some pretty impressive credentials. For a start, it shares some mechanics with Mitsubishi's Triton, one of the best utes on the market. So think of the Challenger as a Triton wearing a different set of clothes and passenger rather than light commercial underpinnings. The wagon feels tough, bullet proof and reliable. It has a handy 2.5 tonne tow capacity and there's been a price reduction to improve value. It also comes with Mitsubishi's proven all-wheel drive system and a diesel that has plenty of torque. There's plenty on offer in terms create comforts. The latest mid-sized Challenger, which slots in between the Outlander and the Pajero in the company's model line up, is not the first to wear the badge. The first Challenger disappeared from our market about four years ago after moderate success. This latest version, however, has been pitched against some serious competitors like Toyota's Prado and the Nissan Pathfinder. There are two versions, the LS and the better equipped XLS. Prices start at $44,990 for the base five-seater and go up to $56,390 for the automatic seven-seater (plus on- road costs). We tested the top of the range five- seat version --- priced at $54,490 plus another $3000 for an option pack --- which includes a rear camera and Mitsubishi's Multi Communications System. The money buys a wagon with: front and side airbags plus stability control; side steps; leather upholstery; remote locking; cruise control; upmarket audio system; alloy wheels; power adjustable driver's seat; and parking sensors. The MML package adds a handy reversing camera, Bluetooth and iPod compatibility and an in-dash satellite navigation system. It's not all good news. The inclusion of the navigation system means you miss out on some important stuff like a fully functional trip computer, with fuel consumption and distance to empty data --- something you get in the cheaper LS version. It's a glaring omission when you expect the top-of-the-range model would offer more, not less. The Challenger is also let down by poor ergonmics and design. The high-set floor means the front passenger has to cope with an uncomfortable seating/feet position. The driver has to cope with an overly wide transmission tunnel, which rubs on your left leg unless you somehow twist your leg and the seats are shapeless. Even simple things like clearing side windows of overnight dew can be a problem. In most vehicles you simply lower the windows, which are cleaned as they brush against the window housing in the door --- not so in the Challenger. Wind the windows up and down and they remain covered in dew, forcing you to get out and clean them by hand. The Challenger has a huge cargo space in the rear that is normally taken up by the third row of seats, while the rest of the cabin offers numerous storage bins. The Challenger is powered by Mitsubishi's 2.5-litre turbo diesel from the Triton ute. It produces a reasonable 133kW and 350Nm (400Nm in the manual) but it is sounds far too agricultural, especially at idle. The noise abates at highway speeds but in the city it is annoying. The diesel is mated to a five-speed auto/manual and Mitsubishi's excellent smart Super Select transfer system, the best in the business, making shifting from two- wheel to four-wheel and high to low range a simple task, even if it is done by a lever and not switch on the dashboard which has become the norm nowadays. In the city, the Challenger, built on an old fashioned ladder frame, feels more like a truck than a station wagon, with a curious bouncy ride and plenty of turns needed on the steering wheel to change direction. But the ride feel improves remarkably on the highway to the point of being good. Fuel consumption is nothing to praise. A mix of mainly city with some highway running returned a high 13.5l/100km --- nowhere near the claimed 9.8l/100km from Mitsubishi. Offroad, the Challenger excels, thanks to ample ground clearance, a lockable dif and plenty of bottom end torque. Its ability is only handicapped by how quickly the tyres get clogged with mud. The Challenger has the makings of a good wagon but there's room for improvement. • Remote central locking • dual airbags • air conditioning • CD player • power steering • 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty • excellent fuel efficiency (only 6.7 litres per 100km or 41mpg!#) Metallic/Mica paint as shown $400 extra† $8* OR per day no deposit Kia Rio S 5-DOOR MANUAL HATCH $13 ,490ø DRIVE AWAY *To approved purchasers only. Net amount financed $14,256. Repayments $8 per day or $238.95 per month for 84 months.Total repayment $20,071.80. Interest rate 9.50% p.a. Includes fees and charges (full details available at dealership). Comparison rate 12.11% on consumer car loan, secured over seven years. øPrice includes statutory charges. Excludes fleet and government sales. # Fuel consumption guide in accordance with ADR 81/01. 275 MAIN ROAD GLENORCHY PH: 6213 3315 AFTER HOURS: Brian Anning 0418 531 853, Allan Gebel 0428 729 659, Chris Wakefield 0400 635 446 firstname.lastname@example.org Easy finance available with DJ Financial Services
August 28th 2010
September 18th 2010