Small package, big value
UNBEATABLE ON VALUE, THE MITSI TRITON DELIVERS MORE THAN IT PROMISES ON PAPER.
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.