Com­mand­ing drive

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - COVER STORY - TEST VE­HI­CLE COUR­TESY OF IRE­LAND MIT­SUBISHI, CAIRNS

Mit­subishi has im­proved the ap­peal of its Tri­ton main stayer for 2017, re­ports

with metal­lic paint is about $45,990.

Ire­lands have deals on the GLS diesel from $38,990 and the GLX+4WD diesel from $34,990 on the road.

DE­TAIL­ING The re­view ve­hi­cle was Ire­land Mit­subishi’s top-of-the-range Ex­ceed, which was set up for tow­ing with elec­tric brakes and big­ger tyres.

It’s well equipped and as well as those fea­tures de­tailed ear­lier in­cludes a re­vers­ing cam­era linked to a 7.0-inch touch screen, pre­mium au­dio sys­tem with CD player, SD card and satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion.

Bluetooth hands-free with voice con­trol and au­dio stream­ing is avail­able on all mod­els.

Over­all there is a more up­mar­ket feel­ing about the sur­round­ings through use of tac­tile qual­ity ma­te­ri­als. The Tri­ton range is pow­ered by a new 2.4litre turbo-diesel en­gine putting out 133kW of power at 3500rpm and 430Nm peak torque at 2500rpm.

The Euro 5 com­pli­ant en­gine is more ef­fi­cient, pow­er­ful and re­fined than its pre­de­ces­sor.

Fuel con­sump­tion and emis­sions have been im­proved by low­er­ing the com­pres­sion ra­tio to 15.5: 1 and fit­ting the diesel par­tic­u­late fil­ter as close to the en­gine as pos­si­ble.

Tri­ton comes with a new sixspeed man­ual trans­mis­sion or, as with the test ve­hi­cle, an op­tional five-speed au­to­matic with Sport mode, a new vari­ant of the proven Aisin gear­box out of the Pa­jero.

Five for­ward speeds are a rar­ity in au­tos these days.

Of­fi­cial braked tow­ing ca­pac­ity is 3100kg for both man­ual and au­to­matic ver­sions of 4x4 Dou­ble.

All Tri­tons have an of­fi­cial five-star ANCAP safety rat­ing.

Higher strength steels ab­sorb im­pact from all di­rec­tions and dis­perse it, while re­tain­ing cabin in­tegrity in a crash.

DRIV­ING The lat­est Tri­ton is all about pulling power. The en­gine is tuned to de­liver 25 per cent ex­tra torque at 1500rpm, which re­duces the need for down­shift­ing to main­tain speed.

The Ex­ceed drives well but at the end of the day is a light truck.

The test route in­cluded the Ku­randa Range in the mid­dle of one of the heav­i­est tor­ren­tial down­pours I have en­coun­tered on this road.

For bet­ter grip I en­gaged 4WD, which helped keep the dual cab straight and true and pre­vented wheel slip­page.

I should have kept the 4WD en­gaged on the drive from Ku­randa through to Ma­reeba, as the Kennedy High­way was awash and at times I was aqua­plan­ing.

For­tu­nately the ESP picked up the loss of grip and dropped down a gear, slow­ing progress to a safer level.

At­tempts to go off road on the Ti­na­roo Creek Rd near Ma­reeba into the Dan­bulla For­est were thwarted with a cause­way well over so it was off to Bi­boohra, north of Ma­reeba, to take a track at the end of Bil­won Rd to Koah but, once again, I came to a flood­way where the wa­ter was flow­ing too swiftly to at­tempt a safe cross­ing.

I flicked the Ex­ceed into 4WD for the sat­u­rated down­hill sec­tion of the Ku­randa Range back to Cairns.

Ex­ceed mod­els are fit­ted with Mit­subishi’s lat­est Su­per Se­lect 4WD II sys­tem, which of­fers four driv­ing modes – 2H, 4H and 4L, plus locked 4WD mode.

Key ben­e­fits in­clude lower fuel con­sump­tion and quiet­ness in 2WD and 40/60 front/rear torque dis­tri­bu­tion in full-time 4WD mode for su­pe­rior cor­ner­ing sta­bil­ity. The Ex­ceed has an elec­tronic rear diff lock as stan­dard.

DE­CID­ING The 2017 Tri­ton has taken on a more com­mand­ing ap­pear­ance with­out los­ing aero­dy­namic ef­fi­ciency as be­fits a truck of to­day.

It’s an at­trac­tive pack­age for work and play, com­bined with good per­for­mance, oc­cu­pant com­fort, cargo car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity and a high level of safety.

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