Mit­subishi pro­duces its best Tri­ton to date

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE - JOSHUA DOWL­ING

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.

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