2010 Mitsubishi Challenger Model Information

Mike Stevens | Dec 4, 2009

IT’S THE RIGHT SIZE, neither too big nor too small, and has one of the best turbo-diesel engines in the business under the bonnet.

It is also reasonably quiet and comfortable on road, and, off it, as we discovered, capable of tackling the roughest of bush tracks and rocky inclines.

As a day in the saddle showed, the new 2010 Mitsubishi Challenger is a very complete and competent package.

With pricing starting at $44,490 (plus on-road charges) for the LS manual, Mitsubishi's new mid-sized four-wheel-drive wagon presents a real alternative for both family wagon buyers and serious off-roaders.

Sharing the same strong and economical 2.5 litre common rail intercooled turbo-diesel powering the recently-updated Triton, the Challenger is offered in five and seven-seat configurations.

It also comes with two levels of trim: the LS which provides a manual option, and the more luxuriously appointed, auto only, XLS.

Mitsubishi let us loose at the wheel of both variants with a combination of highway driving, secondary roads and some extreme off-road trails.

Off road, with low range transfer case, standard rear diff-lock, high ground clearance, Mitsubishi’s SuperSelect centre differential, and the grinding torque of that brilliant diesel, it was up to any challenge.

And on road, surprisingly, it proved equally capable, offering car-like comfort and interior appointments, wagon convenience and willing performance.

Slotting into Mitsubishi's four-wheel-drive range between the Outlander and the Pajero, the new low-range equipped Challenger certainly takes the game up to the likes of ‘soft-roaders’ like Kluger and Territory.

When word gets out, it is going to add some heat to the SUV sector.


One of the first things you will notice about the new Challenger is its size. In a sector where everything is getting bigger and fatter and more indulgent, the Challenger offers space and comfort in a ‘right-sized’ package.

This will appeal to a lot of buyers. Also sure to appeal is that it looks neat ‘in the metal’.

According to Mitsubishi, the new Challenger was styled to be as much at home on city streets as in the bush. The intent was to convey genuine off-road capability and ruggedness as well as smart urban style and on-road comfort.

While the front sheet-metal is identical to the Triton, a new front bumper and headlight lenses add a little extra refinement and style. Most would agree that the Challenger’s lines marry well with the sloping nose of the Triton.

From the front doors back of course, the Challenger is all new. Its profile features blistered fenders, a high beltline, short overhangs and ample ground clearance.

From the wheel, though the nose slopes from view, the sensible dimensions of the Challenger will make it as easy to negotiate supermarket car parks as it is for bush trails.

At the back, the high-positioned tail-lights complete its purposeful and nicely balanced lines.

Those who have battled with a swinging rear door on an SUV will appreciate the Challenger’s lift-up hatch-style rear door. The tube side steps – fitted as standard to all models – also add an extra touch of style while assisting entry to the high-stepping Challenger.

The premium XLS can be picked externally by a chrome grille, colour-coded side mouldings, tinted rear glass and fog-lamps.


Inside, Mitsubishi has made driver and passenger ergonomics something of a priority, with a versatile layout and ample headroom and legroom in each row.

Passengers in the second row seats, in particular, will notice the excellent legroom. There is ample space for the knees of six-footers there.

Space for third row occupants in the seven-seat variants is also reasonable.

The seats fold readily (third row into the floor, second row canting forward) and both second and third rows seats split fold individually for greater flexibility and storage space.

The entry-level LS gets a leather-bound steering wheel, gear shift, park brake and transfer lever, with metal highlights and fabric seating.

The more luxurious XLS adds leather seat trim, a wood-trim console and centre panel along with a cargo blind and cargo room net.

The seating in each, for shape and bolstering, is on par with the segment.

There is additional padding and under-thigh support (compared to the Triton), electric adjustment in the XLS, and, with a tilt adjustable steering wheel in both models, it is easy to get ‘set’ and comfortable at the wheel.

Importantly, despite its rugged construction, high stance and off-road capability, there is nothing agricultural about the interior style, features or feel of the new Challenger. It’s like being in – and driving – a mid-sized wagon.


Both models in the Challenger line-up are available in five- and seven-seat configurations.

The entry-level LS Challenger gets 17-inch alloy wheels and a full-sized alloy spare, along with side steps, chrome exterior door handles and mirrors and roof rails.

Inside, the LS features automatic air-conditioning, steering-mounted cruise and audio controls, power windows, remote keyless entry and central locking, colour centre display and a six-speaker single CD player system with an audio jack for MP3 player connectivity.

The XLS adds power driver's seat with slide, dual height and recline movement. It also gets Mitsubishi's high-fidelity eight-speaker Power Sound System, Mitsubishi Multi Communication System with satellite navigation, reverse camera and video jack, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Fog-lamps, headlamp washers and reversing sensors are standard on the XLS.

Safety features across the Challenger range include Mitsubishi's All Terrain Technology (MATT) system, including Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC), Multi-mode ABS with EBD, and diff lock.

The 2010 Challenger features Mitsubishi's RISE body construction technology, as well as driver and passenger front, side and curtain airbags.


The Challenger utilises the same 2.5 litre common rail turbo-diesel engine that's fitted to the MY10 Triton.

It is a super unit offering 131kW of power at 4000rpm and 400Nm of torque at just 2000rpm on the manual-equipped Challenger LS.

A five-speed automatic is available as an option on the LS and standard on the XLS. In auto form, peak torque is limited to 350Nm at 1800rom to preserve the transmission.

In both manual and auto variants, whether grinding up a steep trail or for highway overtaking, the Challenger feels very strong.

Double wishbones with coil springs sit below the front end, while the Triton's rear live axle and leaf springs have made way for a multi-link solid-axle riding on coil springs.

A rigid ladderframe chassis underpins things (rather than the monocoque favoured by most in the sector), with the base model LS manual weighing in at 2041kg empty.

Maximum towing capacity of 2500kg leaves ample capacity for safely putting the horse float or the caravan in tow.

There are disc brakes on all four wheels (with good pedal feel for off-road work) looking after the braking.

Taking power to each corner is Mitsubishi's Super Select 4WD system.

With a separate transfer case, the Challenger offers 2WD mode (for normal highway travel) or 4WD high, and 4WD low – with a locked centre differential and manually operated rear diff lock (via a button on the dash) fitted standard across all models.

High-range modes can be selected on the move. To engage low range however, things have to be brought to a halt.

Below, the Challenger offers 220mm of ground clearance, an approach angle of 35.6 degrees and a departure angle of 24.6 degrees.

With a carlike turning circle of 11.2 metres and nicely weighted steering, there is no trouble picking through tight turns in the bush (nor, you’d expect, in the cut and thrust of the urban jungle).

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Filed under: 4WDs, Latest News, Mitsubishi, challenger, Mitsubishi Challenger, 2010 Mitsubishi Challenger, News

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  • John of Perth says,
    6 years ago
    1 like
    Just wish they would extend the manual to the XLS offering.
  • dank says,
    6 years ago
    Nice looking, heaps of space, good power, heaps of torque, reasonable price and great warranty.....might have to go and have a look
  • Steven says,
    6 years ago
    No reach adjustable steering = FAIL.

    How can a car in this price range not have telescopic steering?
    • says,
      5 years ago
      1 like
      Quote (There is additional padding and under-thigh support (compared to the Triton), electric adjustment in the XLS, and, with a tilt adjustable steering wheel in both models, it is easy to get ‘set’ and comfortable at the wheel.) Unquote. Learn to read bud.
      • devo says,
        5 years ago
        "Tilt" is up and down..."telescopic" (reach) is in and out! Challenger has tilt only NOT telescopic/reach. Learn what things are "Bud" before you slag off.
  • APP says,
    6 years ago
    No reverse sensor as "standard" on this size car, in 2010 = FAIL

    PS I know it is easy to add/option, but that's my point!

    Other than that --NICE-- we will probably buy the 7 seat LS...if Mitsubishi are willing to deal this early?
  • MotoWebbi says,
    6 years ago
    A leaf spring rear end??? Even my trailer has coils!
    • Rob says,
      4 years ago
      Motowebbi you better read it again, it has coils at rear..
  • BenNSW says,
    6 years ago
    It has coils. The Triton has leafs.
  • snow says,
    6 years ago
    Fail comments = Fail
  • Baji says,
    6 years ago
    Hmmm good to see something smaller with a proper low range transfer case. I have a feeling those old sorento owners, dissappointed by the new ones lack of 4WD ability may resort to the Challenger.
  • mustbemanual says,
    6 years ago
    So what is it with all these manufacturers thinking you either enjoy driving OR you like class & comfort??? I wonder what's involved in ordering an XLS with a manual box so you truly can enjoy the driving experience.
  • jacob says,
    6 years ago
    No airbags for 3rd row seats big FAIL from Mitsubishi...even Koreans do 3rd row now ...how can Mitsubishi release new model for 2010 without 3rd row airbags is just beyond me...If you want to save on airbags and safety don't do 7 seats than...very bad.
  • Dom says,
    6 years ago
    Why are Mitsubishi's being compared to Korean cars? It seems a lot of Sorento owners have confused this with a soft roader.
  • MJ says,
    6 years ago
    NICE! I really like this car... the first one was handsome and this one is even better looking. It's good to see that not everything is upsizing (the new Prado is now too big and expensive). I would definately consider one of these if i needed real off-road ability.

    In terms of the steering reach and other shortfalls, Mitsubishi have a history with leaving these things off the list. but remember that this is based on the triton and is intended to be a budget alternative to Prado, Pajero etc. What you do get is a long warranty and a dependable, traditionally tough 4wd (not like all this crap flooding the market with no more offroad ability than a corolla).

    Good on ya Mitsubishi!
  • New Challenger released !! - 4x4 Earth says,
    6 years ago
    [...] pick. I could'nt justify 20k extra for a similar specd 150 Prado. Here are some reviews CLICK CLICK Solid rear 3 link axle. Double wishbone front. The LS is the best buy IMHO. I can't see the extra [...]
  • maurice says,
    6 years ago
    1 like
    Fantastic news....will be looking at the manual version in a couple of years. Currently driving the last model of the Challengers to come to Australia... truly a great car! if real off road ability is required ,forget the rest in this range and stick to Challengers...they are seriously the best!
  • Richard says,
    6 years ago
    I have driven the Challenger and currently own a triton 08 diesel. The engine auto combo is fantastic, the ride is good. Only failing is still the seats in the base model. No height adjustment and a bit short in the length. Mitsubishi Australia need to tell Japan to give the accountants a smack in the back of the head and leave it to the engineers. If you cant get comfortable you wont buy the car.
  • Ken White says,
    6 years ago
    Hi I just had a test drive of this new challenger; it drives very nice and is a very good six with good space for all driver and passengers. I drove the LS version and have a Nissan pathfinder STL 2006 model I found the following.
    The centre panel for observing the fuel average, direction and outside temp etc, dangerous as you have to look to far away to see it, the seat where ok ,but the seating position was very good able to see outside very well.
    The head rest was not comfortable for me, I am use to the Nissan and it is better.
    I did not like the 4wd lever it was very hard to push and use and the writing on the lever to tell you which was which was, well terrible it was just an impression in the leather, a big let down there in my opinion. Apart from those details a very nice unit.
    Over priced for what you get
    I will not be buying one as I feel the pathfinder is better so I will keep it till some thing better comes along.
    I did consider a new pathfinder but they have not changed since I brought mine new in 2006. I have done 120000 k’s in mine and runs like a dream its 2.5 diesel is great and I think the challenger diesel is in the same class, with there new diesel engine. I would like to see the tow rating at 3000kgs. Challenger Close but just not there yet!
  • mustbemanual says,
    6 years ago
    We too just drove the new Challenger. Terribly disappointed. The base model, aside from being the only one there for us to look at, is what we are limited to wanting manual, and the inclusions just don't cut it. My 11 & 12 year old sons picked it to pieces for missing inclusions that you find even on the base model of Korean cars! Plenty of power going up steep hill, but not quick off the start, 5th gear will be a waste of time unless on a freeway, and agree with Ken about the 4wd lever - very difficult. Even the previous two Challenger releases had fabulous storage spaces in and around the boot, which this has lost, no a/c vents for middle row, let alone 3rd, not that the 7 seat is available in manual, headrests not comfortable, and the list goes on. Our (the adults) opinion was that 10 years ago it would have been a very nice car, but Mitsubishi have simply not moved forward with the times, right down to the 5 instead of 5 speed box. Oh, and when sunnies didn't fit in the glasses holder in the ceiling, the salesman's response was "they never do". Really? Not only do they in other makes, wouldn't you think that would be something addressed on the production line?! No, unfortunately not a goer for us, despite our long wait.
  • mustbemanual says,
    6 years ago
    oops correction - obviously I meant "5 instead of 6 speed box".
  • Steven A says,
    6 years ago
    We test drove an XLS Challenger today and were very impressed.
    Over all we agree that this is a brilliant package and at least we didnt go in with any bias.
    We can nit pick over small issue's too but over all its a surprisingly refined and capable package with excellent grunt, this was surprising considering Challenger is based on an excellent commercial vehicle, the Triton.
    Its not a pretend 4WD like most of its compedtiors, its a tough vehicle thats also a family car and not the other way around like its compeditors.
    Great job Mitsubishi!
  • AA says,
    6 years ago
    Test drove the XLS, Oustide looks good. Looks decent inside.
    7 seat is a bonus. However I find it really dissapointing to hear the rattle when you back off the throttle. I expect some rattle or engine noise in diesels but you get the noise when you back off the throttle is just damm anoying. Never had a diesel before so is this normal?? No wonder the salesman turned on the stereo and air con when I jumped in.
  • Timo says,
    6 years ago
    In a segment of it's own nowdays. Good sized, diesel, real 4wd.. sounds perfect. Only thing I didn't like was the cheap seats.. they are out of an outlander which are also small and hard. Why didn't they use the seats from the 380 which were big and comfortable?
  • AA says,
    6 years ago
    Drove a 2nd car aand there was less rattle so ended up buying one.
  • HM says,
    6 years ago
    Took an Auto LS Diesel for a run today. Very very interested in this car as I have a Pathy 07 for work and 3 yr lease is nearly up. not opposed to pathy will move away if can find more competent offroad performance for money.

    This test drive was around town and then straight into full beach dunes and back into town on a curvy gravel road.

    Diff lock and a lot of 4wd options ( not so on the base Pathy). Yeah the stick is pretty basic, but not fussed if it works.

    Feels heavy, but comfortable. The pathy steering is lighter and more agile despite similar weight.

    Louder and more sluggish feeling from starts, but noted was only doing 2000rpm. sounded like about 3500. I felt the pathy would whip this form a standing start / overtaking pick up, but feelings can be deceiving. Did not get to pull out and pass any cars at cruising speed. I will need to drive again.

    The dunes were a big ask with full tyre pressure. Went straight to the more full on High 4wd setting. Didnt get bogged and i would sugggest i would have in the pathy without dropping pressure. diff lock was used although not really the helping factor in even loose sand.

    Felt like a very relaxed ride overall and on the gravel was very comfortable indeed (in 2wd mode even).

    The challenger seats do not fold flat down like the Pathy, but the pathy has less leg room for row 2. the challenger still had a good area in fold down mode.

    Hard call ... maybe Pathy for slightly more compact city parking steering, but the challenger for serious 4wd

    The big one ... 10 year warranty on drive chain! when a new motor is $15k.. this is hard to look past. and when a timing chain goes, this can happen very easily.
  • Tereva says,
    6 years ago
    Where's the 3.2L common rail ? Do the new pajero motor 200 cv will be equiped the challenger ?
  • sn says,
    6 years ago
    looks terrific, sized perfectly outside and inside thou not so sure about the engine noises - rattles & groans either under stress or just idling. though more capable than an outback(3.6r premium) off road, it's definitely not as comparable in quality dept. apart from all this the salesperson attending to me seemed to be a bit reluctant and disinterested in convincing me whilst at the subie showroom l was ran through all the outback's capabilities, etc and etc.what is your opinion on the comparison of the two, leaving aside the challenger's extensive 4wd offroad abilities, taking into account their features,quality, fit and finish,longevity, etc. anyone?
  • geejay13 says,
    6 years ago
    Ive just purchased a new ls auto challenger, was all set to buy a triton, but MML dropped the driveaway price and it became all of a sudden 2k cheaper than the triton, and the interior trim is marginally better than the triton. Yes the motor is a little noisy on start up but it does settle down. Its the right size for me both on road and in my hip pocket. Comes with nearly 4 years capped servicing, so you know what the running costs are, First service @ 1500k FREE unlike the subaru outback I traded in(that cost me just over$300!!! ouch still hurts !) Service intervals are 15000km and capped at $580 each service including the big 60000km service. Add to that a 10 year drivechain warranty and 24 hour roadside assist and my smile keeps getting bigger. All in all I wont be sorry saying goodbye to my 18 month old outback, it is a pretender outback and just cant cut it OFF ROAD like all softroaders . I am looking forward to going to all those spots where only a real 4WD can go. I suppose we all have to buy what the depth of our pockets dictate. Sure there are more 4WDs out there that are quieter,have longer range tanks, have telescopic steering and better seats but I cant afford them. I think spec wise and price wise MML are on a winner here and no I dont work for MML or a dealership I work in a big green warehouse box that sells hardware!! Never owned a Mitsubishi before and I have owned over 30 cars(I know my wife has already told me Im obsessive) and already my second favorite saying is LOVE THAT CAR First favorite saying is YOU GOTTA BE HAPPY WITH THAT and I am
  • Bert says,
    6 years ago
    Had my challenger now for 2 weeks and I couldn't be happier. Tough, excellent quality interior, plenty of power and a quality ride both on and off road. The other competitors really don't even come close when it comes to the offroad ability.
  • ruralreg says,
    5 years ago
    Restriction of torque in the auto models is disappointing. 350nm torque in a heavy body is a let down.There should be a manual option in the higher equipped versions.

    I would by a manual anyway, but would like some of the extra bits (sat/nav, reversing camera, uprated sound system).

    The drive system is obviously better than the Santa Fe/Sorrento's on demand system, but you get the impression that overall the Challenger is a bit primitive (eg the lever transmission selector instead of a switch).

    However, it's on the list...
  • TAC says,
    5 years ago
    After having 2 Pathfinders (Autos) which I absolutely loved, I decided to have a change as I do a lot of beach driving and found the Pathfinder dragged a bit in soft sand. In 2004 I traded my beloved Pathy in for a Challenger LS (Auto) and found it on par with my Pathy's but with a bit more height. My Challenger is coming on 6 years old with 264000K's on the clock but still drives well and ready to be passed on to the Misses.

    I am now in the market for a new 4x4 but want a bit more feed back on how the new Diesel Challanger (Auto) fairs in soft sand compared to my previous Challenger & Pathy's. Is their a Dealer in S/E Qld that demo's on the beach?
  • 288gto
    288gto says,
    5 years ago
    Cant wait to get my hands on one! 2 thumbs up to Mitsubishi for a sensible & proper 4x4, unlike its 'competiotion' with their fancy wannabe 4wd systems.
    • lukeeas says,
      5 years ago
      Is this a genuinely independent review? Not a single criticism of a car that has received decidedly "mixed" reviews - all of which commented on poor seats, lack of refinement and poor steering....mmmmmm....
  • says,
    5 years ago
    1 like
    I have had the Challenger XLS for about 1 month now. Here are my thoughts:

    Perfect size for me, not too big, not too small
    First diesel ive owned, so perhaps engine noise takes a bit of getting used to however, if you want it to get up and move, the 2.5L seems to respond well to leaning on the accelerator. Not sure about fuel economy for reason below
    Interior is great. Leather seats are comfy, 2nd row passengers compliment the 'up high' position and leg room. Steering wheel mounted controls light up, all controls easy to access.
    Mitsubishi Multi Communications System (MMCS) is pretty cool, Sat Nav with alternate route options, Bluetooth phone, iPod connectivity (with optioned cable), reversing camera (how did i ever survive without one?? seriously a must have i reckon) MOSTLY all good EXCEPT for below
    Styling.....i really like it
    Off road, have only done sand/beach work so far and it has not disappointed in any way

    Its true, the sunglass holder is too small to fit sunglasses. silly
    The lack of telescopic steering wheel does not phase me too much, I am average height and can get reasonably comfy in the car, but is is an oversight by Mitsu and long trips could cry out for it. we will see.
    The main fault with the package for me is the lack of a trip computer in the MMCS! The trip computer in entry level models is removed so the MMCS can be installed. The crazy thing is, the owners manual shows various screen shots of the trip computer function in the MMCS but it seems someone at Mitsubishi thought it would be better to have this completely disabled in AUS version cars. So there is no fuel consumption, outside temp, distance remaining with fuel, etc. Mitsubishi need to address this, (but of course it did not stop me buying the car), it would round the package out nicely

    All in all, i really like the car. It suits my needs, weekly urban driving with occasional off-road fun, is comfortable, drives pretty well, and has most of the creature comforts I want in a car. The Mitsubishi warranty is comprehensive, but the real test of that is when it needs to be enacted, which of course i hope never happens.

    Lastly, the price. I could not go past the Value for Money aspect of the XLS Challenger. All the bits and pieces normally found in a "luxury" 4X4, at a relatively affordable price, $50k odd with some add ons, nudge bar etc.

    Definitely worth a look for those in the market, hope this helps.
  • Suttonsan says,
    5 years ago
    1 like
    I am looking for a new 4WD to tow my two horse float. Most of the off road stuff I do is related to this and currently I have had a 2006 pathfinder from new which has been good (a bit noisy to use as an every day car and the ride is hard .....if you run over a ten cent piece you can tell which way up it is) Alltogther I have been very happy with it
    I am now looking at the Challenger and I have two short test drives and it seemed pretty good Everything else I have looked at is too expenive (Prado Pajero Disco) and I wouldn't buy a Territory unless it was diesel (to come later this year as I understand)

    If you have the 7 seat option folded away in the CHallenger does it restrict the lugage space?

    Is the Challenger the way to go?