Mitsubishi Challenger

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The Mitsubishi Montero Sport is a mid-size SUV produced by the Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors since 1996, spanning over two generations.

First generation (1996–2008)[edit]

First generation
1998-2000 Mitsubishi Challenger (PA) wagon 02.jpg
Also called Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
Mitsubishi Montero Sport
Mitsubishi Shogun Sport
Mitsubishi Strada G-Wagon (Thailand)
Mitsubishi Nativa
Beijing BJ2025
Production 1996–2008
Assembly Nagoya, Aichi Japan (Nagoya Plant, 1996–2010)
Laem Chabang, Thailand (Mitsubishi Thailand)(2001-2005)
Beijing, China (Beijing Benz, 2003–2008)
Catalão, Brazil (Mitsubishi Brazil, 2006–2010)
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door wagon
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
Related Mitsubishi Triton
Engine 3.0 L 6G72 V6
3.5 L 6G74 V6
2.5 L 4D56 TD I4
2.8 L 4M40 TD I4
3.2 L 4M41 TD I4
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed semi-automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,725 mm (107.3 in)
Length 4,620 mm (181.9 in)
Width 1,775 mm (69.9 in)
Height 1,735 mm (68.3 in)
Curb weight 1,845–1,920 kg (4,070–4,230 lb)
Successor Mitsubishi Endeavor (North America)

Production began in Japan in 1996, and was available for most export markets by 1997, where it was variously known as the Challenger, Pajero Sport in Europe, Montero Sport in North America, South America and the Philippines, Nativa in parts of Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East, Shogun Sport in the United Kingdom,[1] and Strada G-Wagon in Thailand. Based on the Mitsubishi Strada pickup truck of the same vintage, sharing many components and some body panels (i.e. front doors), the first generation Challenger was also built on the second generation Pajero wheelbase, and served as a junior model to the larger Pajero.

Like the Pajero, it featured independent front suspension with torsion bars and a live rear axle. In addition to numerous face lifts over the years, there was a major suspension change from rear leaf to coil springs in late 2000. As its popularity increased, local assembly for foreign markets was introduced in China in 2003,[2] and Brazil in 2006.[3] Sales were discontinued in Japan in 2003, in North America in 2004 (where it was superseded by the Endeavor),[4] and central and western Europe in 2008.[5] In Japan, it was sold at a specific retail chain called Car Plaza.

The 3-liter V6 is the most commonly used engine; it produces 175 hp (130 kW; 177 PS) at 5,000 rpm.[6] The North American market received petrol V6 engines during all years of production while a petrol 2.4 liter engine was offered on base models from 1997 through 1999. Markets outside of North America also had a variety of turbodiesel inline-fours to choose between.

A test in 2001 gave the Montero Sport a "not acceptable" rollover rating. This was highlighted when Lisa Lopes, member of multi award winning group TLC, was killed when the Montero Sport she was driving rolled over several times after she swerved to avoid a stationary truck.


Second generation (2008–present)[edit]

Second generation
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Spotted At Kota Kinabalu.jpg
Manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors
Also called Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (Bangladesh, India, Russia, China, ASEAN)
Mitsubishi Montero Sport (North America, Philippines and Latin America)
Mitsubishi Nativa (Latin America and Middle East)
Mitsubishi Pajero Dakar (Latin America)
Challenger (Australia)
Production 2008–present
Assembly Laem Chabang, Thailand (Mitsubishi Thailand)
Catalão, Brazil (Mitsubishi Brazil)
Barcelona, Anzoátegui, Venezuela,(MMC Automotriz),(since 2013)[7]
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Pragoti)
Chennai, India (Hindustan Motors)
Kaluga, Russia (PCMA Rus)[8]
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door wagon
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
Related Mitsubishi Triton
Engine 2.4 L 4G69 I4
3.0 L 6B31 V6
3.5 L 6G74 V6
2.5 L 4D56 TD I4
2.5 L 4D56 VGT TD I4
2.5 L 4D56 VGT Common rail DI-D I4
3.2 L 4M41 TD I4
Transmission 5-Speed Manual
5-Speed Automatic
Wheelbase 2,800 mm (110.2 in)
Length 4,695 mm (184.8 in)
Width 1,815 mm (71.5 in)
Height 1,840 mm (72.4 in)with roof rails
Mitsubishi Challenger (Australia)

The second generation of the vehicle, based on the ladder frame chassis of the Mitsubishi Triton, was gradually introduced to selected markets (Russia, South-East Asia and the Middle East) through the autumn of 2008, following its debut at the Moscow Auto Salon. 2.5 or 3.2 litre diesel and 3.0 or 3.5 litre V6 petrol engines are available as before, while five- or seven-seat interior configurations are offered.[5][9] As with the Triton pick-up on which it is based, production of the new Pajero Sport for all markets is concentrated in Thailand.[10]

In the Philippines and in Mexico, Mitsubishi Challenger is officially named as Mitsubishi Montero Sport. The Mitsubishi Montero Sport is available in seven variants: GLX-V 4x2 (5-speed Manual), GLS-V 4x2 (5-speed Automatic), GLS-V 4x4 (5-speed Manual), GT-V 4x4 (5-speed Automatic) all equipped with Variable geometry turbocharger giving maximum output of 178 hp and 350 Nm (Automatic) or 400 Nm (Manual) of Torque. Also offered are non-VGT variants GLX 4x2 (5-speed Manual), GLX 4x2 (5-speed Automatic) & GLS 3.0 V6 Gasoline (5-speed Automatic). The Montero Sport mainly competes with the Toyota Fortuner and Chevrolet Trailblazer in the Philippines and several other markets.

In India, Mitsubishi Challenger is sold under the name Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. It is equipped with 2.5-litre 16 Valve intercooled turbocharged DOHC diesel engine giving a maximum output of 175 bhp and 400Nm of torque. It weighs 2065 kg and gives out a mileage of 12kmpl. It sold with a price tag of INR 23.12 lakhs.[11]

In Bangladesh, Mitsubishi Challenger is assembled by state-owned automotive industry Pragoti and sold under the name Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.[12]

Sudden unintended acceleration issue[edit]

In 2011, Montero Sport owners in the Philippines reported that their vehicles suffered from sudden unintended acceleration[13] Mitsubishi Motors Philippines later responded with a statement saying that they conducted tests on the Montero Sport's electrical systems and found no problems; furthermore, they stated that the accidents related to the issue were more likely caused by human error.[14][15] Owners of Montero Sports affected by the sudden unintended acceleration issue plan to file a class action lawsuit against Mitsubishi Motors Philippines.[16] The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) opened an investigation panel to probe the accidents and complaints from 2010 to 2015, and will recommend either a product recall or a total sales ban on the Montero Sport in the country.[17]

Annual production[edit]

Year Production
Japan Brazil Thailand
1996 35,561 - -
1997 51,594 - -
1998 71,562 - -
1999 95,914 - -
2000 92,475 - -
2001 78,337 - -
2002 69,001 - -
2003 34,258 - -
2004 30,515 - -
2005 23,773 600 -
2006 17,455 5,370 -
2007 19,349 6,120 11
2008 9,210 4,470 15,065
2009 2,364 4,560 37,179
2010 2,154 1,380 55,289
2011 42 - 67,966
2012 - - 82,712


  1. ^ Facts & Figures 2001, p.23, Mitsubishi Motors website
  2. ^ "Locally Produced Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Launches in China", Mitsubishi Motors press release, March 14, 2003
  3. ^ "Mitsubishi launches locally-made Pajero Sport", Just Auto, April 18, 2006
  4. ^ "Mitsubishi Motors Announces "Project America" – First product Is Next Generation SUV", Mitsubishi Motors press release, February 14, 2000
  5. ^ a b "New Mitsubishi Pajero Sport SUV to be unveiled at 2008 Moscow Motor Show", Mitsubishi Motors press release, July 17, 2008
  6. ^ "Nativa GLS - Specification". Bahrain: Mitsubishi Motors. 2003. Archived from the original on 2008-02-14. 
  7. ^ "Mitsubishi Montero Sport de nuevo en Venezuela". Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Pajero Sport Offroadster Now Assembled in Russia". 2 July 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Mitsubishi Motors Russia". Retrieved 2012-05-21. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Mitsubishi Pajero Sport the “Stylish Riding –On-Demand SUV”", Mitsubishi Motors press release,, August 27, 2008
  11. ^ SouLSteer, Mistubishi Pajero Sport: King of all the roads, April 21, 2013
  12. ^ "Pragoti Industries Ltd.". Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  13. ^ Sarne, Vernon (2014-01-17). "Blog on Montero Sport Sudden Unintended Acceleration Is Back". Top Gear Philippines. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  14. ^ "Official Statement of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines on Claims of Sudden Unintended Acceleration". Mitsubishi Motors Philippines. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  15. ^ Neri, Jerome G. (2015-04-19). "Sudden acceleration: is it for real?". Sun.Star. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  16. ^ "Watch: Sudden Unintended Acceleration of Montero Sport". ABS-CBN. 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2015-11-26. 
  17. ^ "Philippines to Probe Sudden Acceleration on Mitsubishi Vehicles". Bloomberg L.P./The Japan Times. 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2015-11-26.