Get into the rough
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Carsguide, PO Box 4245, Sydney, NSW, 2010.