Mitsubishi has today unveiled the new 2016 Challenger at the 2015 Bangkok International Grand Motor Sale. The 2016 Challenger is the third generation of the rugged 4×4 family wagon and continues the same formula used on the previous two models: a genuine off-road 4-wheel drive vehicle, but with the versatility, finish and comfort of a lighter-duty SUV.
From the front, the styling borrows heavily from the new Mitsubishi Outlander, with the ‘Dynamic Shield’ grille appearing on the front. The rear end on the other hand, is all new and looks rather unique – but whether that is a good or a bad thing is up to you. It has a sort of rounded look with a lack of a pronounced rear bumper, which is typically the norm on vehicles of this type. The tail lights in particular are also unique, running vertically down either side of the rear tailgate. While this will certainly help as far as brake light visibility and safety goes, I’m not convinced it actually looks very good.
We’re expecting the 2016 Challenger will feature the same sophistication of the Triton in the way it drives and performs off-road, which will see it compete head-to-head with the new Toyota Fortuner once it arrives on our shores. Both will also square off against Isuzu’s MU-X and Holden’s Colorado 7 to win the hearts of family buyers.
Visually the interior has a whiff of Triton about it, but is actually unique to the Challenger and looks much more upmarket, with a higher-set feel to the dashboard itself, and liberal use of stylish metal garnishes and sculpted leather seats.
Under the bonnet of the new Challenger sits Mitsubishi’s 2.4-litre MIVEC turbo diesel engine (also found in the new Triton) matched to a new 8-speed automatic transmission. For off-road performance, the vehicle will also come with Mitsubishi’s Super Select II four-wheel drive system with a new selectable ‘Off-road Mode’ terrain selection system. Hill descent control will also be available, as well as an increased wading depth.
Mitsubishi Motors Australia’s Marketing Director Tony Principe says, “The 2016 Challenger represents a new-generation of SUV with luxury, high-tech safety features and superior comfort while still delivering class-leading 4WD capabilities and great on-road performance.”
And while this might be true, we won’t find out until it launches locally on a date (and at a price) which has yet to be announced.