Small pack­age, big value


4 x 4 Australia - - Report Card -

MIT­SUBISHI’S Tri­ton 4x4 is the big mover at the pointy end of the top 10, de­spite re­main­ing in third place over­all and still a long way be­hind the two run­away lead­ers in Hilux and Ranger. That said, Tri­ton sales are up nearly 20 per cent with­out Mit­subishi do­ing much more than a mild tweak of the line-up, which, among other changes, has seen the in­tro­duc­tion of the Black­line dual-cab.

The sales suc­cess has much to do with its sharp pric­ing and on­go­ing fac­tory dis­count­ing, with drive­away prices on the pop­u­lar dual-cab vari­ants sit­ting well be­low other main­stream utes and bet­tered only by the In­dian and Chi­nese of­fer­ings. Dual­cabs make up 11,570 of the 12,127 Tri­ton 4x4s sold (more than 95 per cent) while au­tos make up 73 per cent of all 4x4 sales.

The Tri­ton stands out among the cur­rent crop of 4x4 utes in a num­ber of ways. One is the full-time 4x4 of GLS and Ex­ceed mod­els thanks to Mit­subishi’s Su­per Se­lect sys­tem. Full-time 4x4 adds greatly to the Tri­ton’s func­tion­al­ity, drive­abil­ity and safety un­der most driv­ing con­di­tions and stands it apart from all of its com­peti­tors bar the Amarok. Su­per Se­lect also has a 2WD mode, so it’s dif­fer­ent again from a con­ven­tional full-time sys­tem. Un­for­tu­nately, Su­per Se­lect doesn’t make the Tri­ton a gun off-road ute, but that’s all to do with its mod­est sus­pen­sion travel and ground clear­ance and noth­ing to do with the sys­tem.

The Tri­ton is also a small ute by class stan­dards in cabin size, pay­loads and tow­ing ca­pac­ity. The fact that most of the tray of the dual-cab over­hangs the rear axle is also a neg­a­tive for car­ry­ing or tow­ing heavy loads; al­though, the 2.4-litre diesel holds up its end, even if the chas­sis lay­out isn’t ideal.

One pos­i­tive here is that the Tri­ton is more ma­noeu­vrable than oth­ers in its class thanks to a rel­a­tively short wheel­base, and it also has a sporty feel to the way it steers and han­dles thanks in part to also be­ing lighter than most com­peti­tors.

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