2012 Triton packs a punch
  |  First Published: May 2012

In the world of 4WD utes, things don’t sit still for long. The VW Amarok has earned a lot of kudos since its introduction, with more models imminent. Many competitors vie for the tradie’s and recreational angler’s dollar so why should the Mitsubishi Triton be left out of the mix? Especially when you see just what it has to offer.

2012 refinements

The 2012 model Triton has been further refined. Some cosmetic changes are evident, like the fact the front sort of grins at oncoming traffic, and there is a snappy 2.5L diesel engine getting the rubber to the road via a five-speed auto or manual gearbox.

The Triton is a ‘proper’ 4WD with its low range gearbox, and boasts a towing capability of 935kg for an unbraked trailer and 3000kg for braked. The vehicle has plenty of room for up to five people, a decent ride and ample front seat gadgets.

The Triton’s interior trim might not be quite as upmarket as some contemporaries, but it’s still pretty much on the money. The Triton is not a passenger-orientated vehicle, it’s a work truck that can offer great recreational opportunities when work is over.

Instruments sit within an easy to monitor dash cluster; the handy Mitsubishi Multi Function Centre (MMFC) display keeps abreast of temperature, altitude and fuel economy. Estimated range at current average speed is also available in the MMFC that is situated centrally within the dash for quick reference. Blue Tooth compatibility is on tap, along with iPod and USB connectivity. Storage nooks and drink holders abound and there’s sufficient rear seat head and leg room to keep most passengers happy.

Nearly everything within the Triton is electrically-operated; including the rear window of the cabin so you can leave the fly rod protruding when moving from one area to another.

The GLX-R model as reviewed, did sport some bling in the form of a nudge bar, side steps and rear roll bars, which were all big, bright and shiny. The hard wearing cloth seats, with their ample adjustment, were quite comfortable on a long trip. The ride and general handling of the Triton made driving no chore whatsoever whether on the tarmac or a corrugated back road.

Low range save

When the going turned to sticky, muddy, tracks, the low range 4WD capability (via the second lever on the centre console) linked to traction control plus an engaged rear diff lock, was mighty handy to keep us going on the straight and narrow ‘goat track’ that was masquerading as a road. It’s the old story: the track looked okay going in but overnight rain quickly changed things when it was time to leave.

We encountered ruts, big washouts, and one wheel doing a bit of air time but the Triton ploughed on effortlessly thanks to its low range gearing and powerful engine.

The Triton can range from 2WD to 4WD at speeds up to 100km/h, which is brilliant for beach work.

The overall ride comfort was assured by the coils and double wishbone and stabiliser set up front suspension. This was mated to a leaf spring rear set up, which although tuned to take up to a 960kg payload was by no means rough riding when less weight was aboard.

Highway pleasure

On the highway things were far more relaxed at the wheel of the Triton. The five speed auto box mated to the 2.5L common rail direct injection intercooled turbo diesel ate the kilometres with ease. The engine’s variable vane turbo boosting was remarkable – it churned out 131kW of power, 350Nm of torque in the auto (400Nm in the manual version). This is ample power for any highway work, even when towing.

Cruise control is on hand, as are the brilliant head lights that seem to be common to Mitsubishi. Poor head lights are a pet hate of mine!

Other useful highway features include, a reasonable fuel consumption (9.4-10.2L per 100km) and the ability to monitor use plus range with the trip MMFC system. Fuel tank capacity remains at 75L which is reasonable, but by no means outstanding these days.

Features and Warranty

The GLX-R Triton has both side and front air bags, ABS, Active Stability Control, Active Traction Control, Electronic Brake Distribution to match the Mitsubishi All Terrain Technology.

Warranties include 10 year/160,00km drive train warranty, a 5 year/130,000km New Vehicle Warranty, and a 5 year perforation corrosion warranty. Drive away price as reviewed would be around the $48,500 mark.

Overall the Triton is good value for money. It’s a great work ute that can accommodate weekend fun.

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