Verdict The HiLux has the bigger cabin, better roadholding and tougher off-road ability. Budget buyers will find the Triton suits most needs, is cheaper to run and has a five-year warranty.
The GLX+ has been at a permanent price of $36,990 drive-away since launch. The savings vary depending on whether Mitsubishi includes auto in the price (as it did in June). For now, this is the price of a manual, so about $2000 off full price and still much cheaper than most rivals. Standard fare matches the HiLux — rear camera, cruise control, aircon, power windows and remote central locking.
The base model gets a tougher-looking matt black grille and adds a rear bumper and alloy wheels to broaden its appeal. Covered in dust, the new Triton looks like an off-road racer but detractors say its unusual design resembles a preying mantis. It has a shorter wheelbase than rivals, as much of the chassis is carried over. As a plus, it has a tighter turning circle.
The 2.4-litre turbo diesel (133kW/430Nm) is a highlight. It is quiet and refined and we really hope Nissan doesn’t rob the Triton of this asset once it starts to figure out what to do with Mitsubishi after its recent takeover. It is super-efficient and works superbly with the six-speed manual. Thanks to the lighter body, it is quicker and slightly more frugal.
As with the Workmate, the GLX+ comes with seven airbags (including one for the driver’s knee) and rear-view camera (with guiding lines that also don’t turn with the steering). The low-beam is OK but it could do with better high-beam coverage, extremely important on dark country roads.
Another base model that’s more pleasant to drive than the flagship. You feel that the Triton has a narrower and smaller footprint on the road but in most conditions it’s sublime (for a ute) over bumps and this improves with 200kg or so in the back. Only in tight turns or slippery intersections does the Triton start to get a bit unwieldy.