A fine driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

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.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

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.

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