Mitsubishi produces its best Triton to date
THE Mitsubishi Triton is the first all-new model of its breed in 10 years.
Triton has been Mitsubishi’s best seller locally for the past three years. There is a lot riding on its shoulders.
The new model starts from $36,990 plus on-roads for the GLX, rising to $40,990 for the GLS and $47,490 for the newly named, leather-lined Exceed.
The new Triton may at first glance appear to be a reskin of the old model, such is the famili arit y of it s ungainly design. However, more than 80 per cent of t he vehicle i s new — only three sections of floor and the main chassis rails carry over.
Much effort went into body strengthening, which is one of the reasons it has earned a five- star safety rating. The shape also makes the Triton the most aerodynamic among its peers at freeway speeds, while the comparatively short distance between the front and rear wheels means it maintains the tightest turning circle in the class.
The 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine is another new item and, though down on power compared with rivals, is a highlight of t he car. It i s eerily quiet and smooth. There is also no need to replace the timing belt every 100,000km because Mitsubishi now uses a maintenance-free timing chain.
Weighing less than two tonnes, the Triton is roughly 100kg lighter than most rivals. In tandem with the new engine, this makes it the most fuel-efficient in its class. The cramped seating position of the previous Triton left tall drivers sitting knees up, but the new model feels more like a car.
Downsides? The new Triton can only tow 3100kg while the last four all-new utes launched by ot h e r make sc a n p u l l a claimed 3500kg.
Another shortcoming is that a rear camera is standard only on the two dearest Tritons. And Mitsubishi’s class- exclusive “Super Select” feature, enabling switching f rom rear- drive to four-wheel drive on sealed roads (not to be confused with “Easy Select”, which can only use fourwheel drive on loose surfaces) is available only on the two most expensive models.
On the move it’s apparent the Triton has l ess grunt than i ts peers. There is still a slight delay in power delivery from low revs but once you’re above 1800rpm there is sufficient pulling power.
With its revised suspension, Mitsubishi has done a good job making the new Triton feel less nervous, but there is still room for improvement. The Triton has skinnier tyres than the class l eaders. Wider r ubber on the road might help take some of the flutter and jiggling out of what appear to be relatively smooth roads.
This is the best Triton to date, but it falls short of being a class l eader. The competition has moved for ward f urther than perhaps Mitsubishi anticipated. Three stars out of five.