BANG FOR BUCK
MITSUBISHI’S TRITON IS AUSTRALIA’S THIRD BEST-SELLING UTE FOR GOOD REASON – IT’S EXCEPTIONAL VALUE FOR YOUR HARD-EARNED.
IN CREATING the fifth-generation (MQ) Triton, released in early 2015, Mitsubishi didn’t try to build a big ute like the Ford Ranger, Volkswagen Amarok, Holden Colorado, or any other new-generation ute released a few years earlier. Instead it took the previous-generation Triton, pulled it apart and put it back together with a whole raft of new or revised parts. The most notable of these are an all-new 2.4-litre engine, new six-speed manual, heavily revised suspension and a slightly bigger cabin. The result is a smaller ute than the Ranger (and friends), with a lower GVM and less towing capacity. The Triton’s relatively short wheelbase also means just about the entire tray is behind the rear axle, which isn’t ideal for carrying heavier loads.
However, the Triton has a couple of big aces up its sleeve in the form of extremely sharp pricing and selectable full-time 4x4 in the mid- and topspec models – the Volkswagen Amarok auto is the other mainstream ute to offer full-time 4x4.
The Triton’s value for money comes to the fore in the top-spec Exceed model, our pick of the range. For the price of most competitors’ mid-spec manual dual-cabs you get a five-speed auto as standard, Super Select selectable full-time 4x4 system, a rear locker, keyless entry, pushbutton start, leather seats (with electric adjust for the driver), sat-nav via a seven-inch touchscreen, and a reversing camera. You also get auto wipers and headlights, paddle shifters for the five-speed auto, dual-zone climate, daytime running lamps, sidesteps, and all the safety stuff that’s standard across the rest of the range. Against competitors’ top-spec dual-cabs you’ll save between $6K and $12K.
The Triton’s new 2.4-litre donk is quite revvy given its maximum torque isn’t available until 2500rpm, but the auto effectively masks any sense there’s insufficient power at low revs. The engine is relatively smooth, quiet and refined. By class standards the Triton also offers competitive performance thanks in part to its light weight.
On the move the Triton has light and sporty handling compared to most in its class, and it benefits from the all-roads functionality of selectable full-time 4x4. With Super Select the driver can also select rear-wheel drive, which stands this system apart from conventional fulltime 4x4 systems.
The Exceed isn’t class-leading when off-road, but its rear locker puts it in front of lower-spec Tritons. The relatively short wheelbase helps in tight situations and the Super Select means you can have 4x4 drive without locking the centre diff, which can be very useful at times.
The Exceed’s cabin is nicely detailed and the driver has the benefit of tilt-and-reach steering wheel adjustment, which isn’t standard on many competitor utes. All up, the Exceed is great value.