Get into the rough

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Review -

split-fold 50/50 and there’s still room for a de­cent amount of lug­gage be­hind the third row. Ac­cess to the rear is through a lift-up tail­gate rather than a swing-out door and the spare is un­der­neath.

IN THESHOP

The Chal­lenger is a solid unit with pretty de­cent build qual­ity that gives lit­tle trou­ble in the field. There are no se­ri­ous flaws from the fac­tory, so fo­cus on is­sues that have re­sulted from its use. In par­tic­u­lar pay close at­ten­tion to the ex­te­rior and un­der­body for signs of off-road use.

Look un­der­neath for bent fit­tings, ex­haust hang­ers, sus­pen­sion mount­ings etc. Also look for any­thing that might in­di­cate water en­try into vi­tal run­ning gear. On the out­side look for scratches, dents and bumps from hav­ing bounced off the scenery. Con­tinue shop­ping should you sus­pect a car has been used off road. Check for a ser­vice record show­ing oil changes.

INACRASH

Four stars out of a pos­si­ble five isn’t a bad re­sult, par­tic­u­larly given the Chal­lenger uses a lad­der frame chas­sis, which isn’t as crash friendly as the typ­i­cal SUV’S uni­tary body. But it has plenty of airbags, front and side, as well as the now ex­pected anti-lock brakes and anti-skid elec­tron­ics.

ATTHEPUMP

The turbo diesel en­gine en­sures the Chal­lenger de­liv­ers de­cent fuel con­sump­tion, with the man­ual us­ing a claimed 8.3L/100km and the auto 9.8L/100km. Choice of rear- and4wd­but no diesel. Front-end is­sues of ear­lier model fixed with up­date. Pay $22,000-$44,500 3 stars More suited to town than bush. Good choice if you have no de­sire be­yond the city lim­its. Pay $27,500$50,000 3.5 stars Stacks up well for size, per­for­mance and of­froad abil­ity. Clos­est ri­val to Chal­lenger. Pay $28,500$60,000 4stars Do you own or have you owned a Dodge Nitro? If so why not share your views with other Cars­guide read­ers by send­ing your com­ments to Gra­ham Smith at gra­ham.smith@cars­guide.com.au or write to Cars­guide, PO Box 4245, Syd­ney, NSW, 2010.

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