2002 Mitsubishi Challenger from Australia and New Zealand


Sadly, more lemony than I expected


The car was in OK condition when I got it. Thought it was a bargain for the price I paid. I learned why that was. The car performed well enough for about 20000km, and then a lot of things started to happen all in a row.

Firstly... it started shuddering about 170K, and it was randomly happening at certain speeds. I thought it was the transmission. I took it to the Mitsubishi dealership locally to get it diagnosed. They had it for a week, and told me that I would have to replace the WHOLE transmission for a cost of $3000. I was astounded at that diagnosis, and sought a second opinion. I took it to a transmission specialist, and they found nothing at all wrong with the transmission. A friend mentioned that it was probably the spark plug leads, so I took it to a trusted local mechanic as I wanted a third opinion. I explained what had happened, and he said yes, it's probably the spark plug leads. He changed the leads, and it had no problems whatsoever otherwise. Cost to repair $150. Clearly the last time I would be trusting Mitsubishi service.

At about 185K, the engine just stopped randomly. This was unfortunate, as I was in the middle of a remote area with no phone reception. I walked for a couple of k's to join the local car service people for this state by phone at a local farm house, and they turned up hours later to tell me it would have to be towed. They couldn't diagnose it.

Towed to the same mechanic. After 4 days of diagnosis, it was determined that it was the crank angle sensor. Joy. Expensive repair, considering the fuel pump was replaced as part of the diagnosis.

The next bit of fun happened at 195K. Driving fast on a country road, it started to drift a little. It felt like the steering fluid was low. I pulled up at the next town, and the steering literally came apart. If that had happened at high speed, it would have been a potentially fatal disaster. Cost to repair $295.00. The fun just doesn't stop.

I sold it after this. The costs were stacking up, and this was clearly a side effect of buying this car. I drive pretty slowly and carefully on most occasions, so I know it wasn't due to hammering that the car was like this. I then remembered when I sold it, the previous owner's cousin dropping in saying, "what is wrong with it now?" I ignored it at the time, thinking he was joking but now totally understand.

General Comments:

This car performance wise was OK. The engine was suitably powered and the trim was decent. It had a smooth ride when it was working fine, and suited the frame of a taller driver like myself.

The front window seemed low for some reason, and crowded to look out of. I would suggest to buyers to get this vehicle very carefully inspected, as I found it to be a huge pain to own in the end.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th May, 2012

11th Jul 2012, 18:54

I don't have any personal experience with the Challenger vehicles, but from what I can see, you had this vehicle for 43000 kilometres, and have spent probably less than $1000 on repairs.

To me, that doesn't sound too bad, considering the age of the car.

Have I missed anything in your story that would help justify your comments, or have you been lucky with previous cars?