It’s not every day I’m lucky enough to drive a top of the range vehicle with all bells and whistles, including leather seats and just about every electronic adjustment or function you could wish for. The Triton Exceed dual cab 4x4 provided the drive experience with ease.
Updated, re-styled – thanks to an 80% upgrade to parts and panels – and sitting square in a field of very serious contenders such as the Ranger, Hilux, Navara, Amarok, BT50 and Isuzu D-Max, the fifth generation 2016 Triton is a serious bit of kit. It demands attention from new car buyers looking for genuine luxury in a work ute, yet plenty of comfort for fun times. It’s a hard balance, by any standard, but Mitsubishi seem to have done their homework and got this year’s Triton exactly right. Sales are on the move and there are plenty on our roads.
Noise vibration and harshness have been cut to the bone. The ride has improved greatly with leaf springs still at the rear, more room in the interior, particularly with the expansion of leg room for both driver and rear seat passengers, and a feeling of overall comfort and easiness on the road that’s hard to define, but easy to appreciate.
This vehicle’s styling is more eye-pleasing with re-styled front bumper corners as well as the roof trailing edge. In the rearmost section of the main cabin, a tapering towards the restyled tub is quite noticeable. New, eye catching, rear tail lights are also a noticeable component of the redesign which sets the 2016 model well apart from previous models.
A 5-speed Aisin auto, smooth as a yard of custard and with imperceptible ratio changes, was icing on the cake. If a driver wanted to take control of gear changes it’s as easy as using the steering wheel paddles, or kicking the auto selector to the right to override the auto unit. While lavishing a bit of praise, let’s not overlook lighter steering and a smaller turning circle when comparing this model with its predecessors.
The latter improvement is very handy when moving in or out of suburban parking lots, while the lighter steering, linked to a peppy 2.4L diesel engine outputting 133kW/430Nm just makes driving so much better, whether it’s moving off the stop line in the suburbs or punting along with a load behind. The tow capacity is 3100kg for a braked trailer, 750kg unbraked, which means that longer trips are something to look forward to rather than a chore.
I feel that it’s worth mentioning that the new four cylinder 2.4L intercooled turbo diesel has been designed to pull extra hard rather than spin the wheels at the lights. There’s 25% extra torque at 1500rpm these days, but that said, the Triton auto was certainly no slouch off the mark.
As a tow test, we hooked up the 4.3 TABS Bullshark and 40 E-Tec for a country run culminating in some fishing at Cania Dam. Naturally, we had a decent load of camping gear in the rear as well, but none of this phased the Triton. We easily managed highway speeds on the M1 to Gympie, found the Triton took the uneven areas of narrow bitumen between Gympie and Kilkivan with ease and overall returned a very pleasing 10.4L/100km.
Looking at the maker’s claims of 7.5L/100km, it might seem as though we were short changed. I believe that in the real world of driving in quite varying conditions, the figure achieved was still very creditable. Night driving was as good as ever with Mitsubishi’s superb headlights, which is a big plus I’ve always admired in this maker’s vehicles.
Features I really enjoyed were the Triton’s car-like standard of ride and handling, and the feeling of the utility – let’s not overlook that it’s basically a work ute. It was very taut and surprisingly quiet, with both driver and passenger insulated from external noise and, to a large extent, road bumps and thumps. The top shelf Triton had a very good stereo system combined with a CD player, SD card and satellite navigation on the big 7” screen that was outstanding as a reversing camera.
Bluetooth voice control and audio streaming is available on all Triton models. It was pleasing to note a standard of interior finish that was both eye catching and highly practical. The overall design seems to flow from the centre of the dash to the outer areas and onto the centre console. In all, this is a very upmarket setup with a modern-as-tomorrow appearance.
Driving modes were activated by a console dial with 2H, 4H and 4L all at the fingertips. An electronic diff lock was standard as well. The new Triton is provided in two or four wheel drive variants with GLX, GLS and the top shelf Exceed all offering differing levels of luxury and convenience features.
A 5 star ANCAP safety rating is standard as is a 5 year/100,000 km warranty. My view is that anyone in the market for a sound, easily driven and appreciated work ute with comfort, refinement and modern styling for a bonus, should take a good look at the 2016 Triton. It’s more bang for your buck than some competitors, and has lot to offer.
Leather seating, electronic adjustment – that’s the Exceed grade Triton.
A massive central screen, dual air conditioning and a host of features on hand are all additions that the Triton owner can enjoy.
Subtle toning and flowing lines all enhance the Triton’s dash setup.
Changing drive mode on the fly is a handy Triton feature thanks to the console selector.
Take a good look at the Triton’s dash. Note the subtle way that areas flow into each other, particularly around the door.
Steering wheel paddles are on hand for those of us who like to play with the gear ratios.
Styling changes are evident here, particularly around bumper extremities and a new grille.
The Triton’s easy on the eye styling is apparent, at the Cania Gorge Boat Ramp.
An infinitely adjustable seating made for comfortable and easy driving in the Triton.
Out with the old and in with the new – this year’s Triton has looks to complement the enhanced ride and handling.Reads: 740