It looks as though we will need to wait until 2014 to see a new Mitsubishi Triton on our roads. There are some changes to the Triton line up this year but by and large Mitsubishi have decided that if they are on a good thing they will stick with it. For now at any rate!
Moving forward just a tad, Mitsubishi have reduced the number of 4x2 models plus simplified the 4x4 range to make the choice easier this year. For instance, all 4x4 Tritons now come equipped with the acclaimed 2.5L four-cylinder common rail turbo diesel engine, which produces 131kW of power matching 400Nm of torque in the manual version, and 350Nm in the auto equipped ute.
However, despite the Triton’s popularity, it sits in some mighty tough sales territory with the VW Amorok, Mazda B250, Ford Ranger twins plus the Nissan Navara. Mitsubishi must have good faith in their model!
I recently drove the top of the range GLX-R Triton, a five-speed auto with plenty of comfort as well as ample power from the 2.5L diesel engine.
On receiving the vehicle I put its 3 tonne towing capacity to a modest test; a trip to Maroon Dam via Boonah saw the TABS Bullshark/25 E-Tec secured to the tow bar.
Only by looking in the rear view mirror (these are auto folding in GLX models) could I determine the boat was attached, so easy did the Triton handle the task! With the complete lack of turbo lag, the towing Triton zipped off the mark smartly at the traffic lights and cruised very easily on the open road.
After launching at Pointro Camp Grounds at Maroon Dam, and fishing in the rain for a while, the boat needed to be retrieved up a sheer and muddy lake edge. It was here that the low range capability of the Triton really earned its keep. With the second stubby lever engaged, all four wheels put the rubber to the ground with supreme effectiveness and the punt popped out of the lake like a cork out of a bottle. This is, of course, the major advantage of a true 4WD over the crop of very popular SUVs dominating car sales. In slippery, heavy-going weather they just can’t cut the mustard.
Comfort is an important and impressive feature of the current Triton. Doubtlessly, one of it’s greatest selling points.
A well-designed dash layout makes locating major dials and controls a piece of cake. The top of dash Multi Media display unit covers a host of functions with ease. It was pleasing to see a fuel consumption of 10.2L per 100km recorded while cruising on outer suburban roads, with 13.2L per 100km recorded with the boat in tow. Fuel tank capacity is 75L.
The ride was very good. A front suspension set up consisting of double wishbone, coils and stabilizer being well matched to a leaf spring set up at the rear; the latter having no tendency to rebound as with some work utes.
The Triton’s five speed auto offered seamless changes throughout the range with manual over-ride also on hand.
Head and leg room within the Triton was brilliant; for a vehicle that started life as a work ute a decade ago the Triton certainly has come a long way.
The four cylinder turbo diesel engine makes its presence felt – via some slight vibration and a good dose of decibels – at low revs and speed, but as the pace increases sound and harshness rapidly depart. At cruising speeds the engine intrudes very slightly with tyre and wind noise around the windows more evident.
The Triton drive has it easy, sitting tall with everything virtually at the fingertips. Steering wheel controls for the excellent sound system and Blue Tooth are to the left, and Cruise Control to the right.
The GLX-R has electrically operated windows and mirrors and, as of this year, revised seating and upholstery fabrics. A popular option is the selection of leather trimmed and electrically operated seats to round off the package.
The Mitsubishi Triton has an ANCAP four star rating and, along with a host of on-board features, there are front, side and curtain air bags at the ready.
Exterior goodies on the GLX-R included side steps, 17” alloy wheels, chrome door mirrors, fog lamps, privacy glass, plus side protection mouldings. A ‘must have’ option in the reviewed Triton was a rear tub liner; it ensured that any objects placed in the rear 935kg payload tub could not damage the shiny sheet metal exterior.
Yes, we will need to wait for an upgrade of the reliable Triton. Until then the existing model should continue to hold its own thanks to a well put together package with plenty of comfort mated to ease of driving.
The top shelf GLX-R, looking at feature against feature with competitors, is still a very attractively priced vehicle at $52,711 drive from showroom.
Mitsubishi’s standard warranty is for 5 years and 300,000km.Reads: 4498