A fine driving experience
model retains Triton’s working vehicle durability and load-carrying capacity without compromising passenger and drive comfort.
The new power unit replaces the two versions of a 2.5-litre used in the previous Triton and despite giving away 100cc, it’s more powerful and more torque.
The old Triton’s 2.5 came in 102kW/ 319Nm and 133kW/407Nm versions, while the new 2.4-litre makes 135kW at 3500rpm and a useful 437Nm at 2500rpm.
Enough to tow up to 3100kg, Mitsubishi said, explaining that by using the Triton’s torque-toweight ratio, it has the potential to tow / carry a handier load than some trucks whose ostensibly greater towing capacity is cancelled-out by its kerb weight.
The motor is also cleaner and more frugal than before with economy and emissions rated from as low as 7.0L/100km and 182g/km CO2, which is about 20 per cent better than the old model.
As well as cruise control in every model, the Triton also uses a speed limiter which is better at holding the vehicle back to a predetermined velocity, a setting which can be driven through if necessary.
The new alloy engine also adds up to remarkably refined progress, with a lusty bottom end to its delivery of useful urge, suggesting that a good per centage of the model’s torque peak is available from well under 2000rpm.
Thus short-shifting the six-speed manual is a doddle allowing the driver to surf on the low- rev torque in sand and on broken surfaces rather than wheel-spinning into the power band.
A simple push and twist button on the centre console for selecting up to four drive positions, is a cinch to use, with a crenellated outer ring to help with touch familiarity and pictographs in the instrument cluster to confirm which setting you’re in.
The AWD uses Mitsubishi’s Easy Select transfer set-up in GLX versions of the truck, with the topechelon GLS working through the more advanced Super Select with additional low range all-wheeldrive with differential lock.
It was expected that the Triton would grovel easily through everything from the beach gravel, gullies and rock- slabbery we found within half and hour of central Wellington, after all, it has been the Triton name’s stock in trade for 20 years.
What this driver didn’t expect were the high levels of refinement on the motorway and nimble, communicative chassis.
Chassis rigidity, suspension compliance, changes to door seals, engine insulation pads / mounting rubbers and the use of more highstrength steel body parts than before help to give the new Triton its implacable feel on various surfaces.
It neither judders over holes and ridges nor transfers bump rebound into cornering disturbance and we’d say its flat, predictable cornering is one of the best in the segment.
Well-weighted, the power steering is meaty and communicative, but transfers little kick-back off road, just enough feedback to let you know what’s going on without the wheel rim flailing dangerously through your thumbs.
With front, side and curtain airbags and an extra bag for the driver’s knees, the Triton scores well for safety, and with ABS, EBD, ASC, and ATC, plus that trailer stability assist taking care of active safety the Triton out- points some passenger cars.
Every Triton is priced identically to the previous model, despite better performance, greater economy, improved emissions, increased equipment, safety, passenger space and load volumes.
The most impressive change in the new truck is that it can perform like a workaday ute all day and yet drive home with the refinement of a modern sedan.
Mitsubishi said it wants to increase sales to double last year’s for a total of 2500 for the year.
With highest figures for torque-to-weight ratio, lowest for fuel economy, the segment’s tightest turning circle and what its maker said is ‘‘classleading interior comfort, leg room and ride quality’’ – all with a 10-year warranty, it might just do it.
Mitsubishi Triton’s crisper styling works well. The bars, alloy wheels, deck cover and running boards are part of a long list of accessories available for the new range.