The Triton ute has been Mitsubishi’s best-selling model, and one of Australia’s top-selling dual cabs.
But that’s mostly because of price – it’s been one of the cheapest utes available. Mitsubishi is hoping to keep that momentum going with this: an all-new Triton.
Price and specifications
Engine: 2.4-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel, 133kW at 3500rpm, 430Nm at 2500rpm
Transmission and 4WD system: 5-speed auto, part-time dual range 4WD
Braked tow capacity: 3100kg
Spare tyre: Full-size
Fuel tank: 75 litres
Fuel use (claimed): 7.6L/100km
Fuel use on test: 12.8L/100km
Approach/departure angles: 30 degrees/22 degrees
Ground clearance: 205mm
WHAT’S THE DEAL?
It’s an all-new Triton, codenamed MQ, which replaces the ML/MN. Styling is evolutionary but Mitsubishi says everything is fresh.
Four-wheel drive versions of the dual-cab Triton start at $36,990 (plus on-road costs) for a GLX manual diesel. For that you get 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, stability control and seven airbags (dual front, front-side, side curtain and a driver’s knee airbag). The five-year warranty is handy, especially if you’re looking to do some big trips – and want the additional peace of mind over the three-year coverage of most utes.
By the time you get to the Exceed tested here there are LED daytime running lights and the obligatory sports bar, as well as 17-inch alloy wheels. There’s also digital radio tuning (only useful in major cities), dual-zone air-conditioning, smart key entry, leather trim, rain-sensing wipers, reversing camera and sat-nav displayed on a 7.0-inch touchscreen. Soft and hard tonneau covers are optional.
It’s a fair bit of gear and, at $47,490, it comes in thousands of dollars cheaper than the similarly equipped utes from rivals.
At 3000mm the Triton’s wheelbase is shorter than most rivals. That’s partly because the rear wheels sit closer to the passenger compartment. But the cabin also feels slightly smaller than that of rivals. Rear seat space, in particular, is best for kids rather than adults when you consider the leg room.
Up front it’s decent, though, and the steering wheel is adjustable for reach and rake, making it easier to find the right driving position. Storage spaces are generous and vision OK.
But the central touchscreen looks a bit like an afterthought and isn’t the easiest thing to navigate, with menus that aren’t particularly user-friendly. The buttons, too, are fiddly, which makes the whole system more difficult to juggle on the move.
ON THE ROAD
The MQ Triton gets a new 2.4-litre diesel with 133kW and 430Nm. The torque is the key figure, although it’s not produced until 2500rpm; below that it’s a tad lazy. Letting the side down is the five-speed auto (most rivals have six, seven or eight ratios). When under way it becomes apparent an extra gear or two would be handy to keep the engine bubbling along and boost performance.
Claimed fuel use is 7.6 litres per 100km, although we used 12.8L/100km in our mix of suburban, freeway and off-road driving.
To drive it’s basic but honest, with some bounciness when there’s no weight on board, particularly in that rear-end. The leaf springs don’t help and can make for some testing bumps, something not much fun on your average B-road.
But at least the turning circle is good by dual-cab standards, claimed at 11.8 metres.
The Triton has 205mm ground clearance and the requisite underbody protection. The approach angle is a decent 30 degrees and the departure angle as high as 28 degrees for GLX, which misses out on the rear step and more elaborate bumper. In many ways that makes it the better bet for those looking to get serious off-road, because the 22 degrees for the Exceed is a lot less useful, made worse once you plonk the optional tow bar on. It easily scrapes or gets hung up when you start with some pitching or falling off drop-offs.
The Super Select II four-wheel drive system allows easy shifting between 4x2 and 4x4. And 4H can be engaged at any time, allowing for extra traction on slippery surfaces – or just in preparation. There’s also a locking centre diff, which teams with a locking rear diff in the Exceed for additional traction. It’s a useful setup that works well for trickier terrain.
At 3100kg the Triton’s tow capacity falls 400kg short of class leaders, but it’s still able to lug a decent load.
It’s all about the value with the Triton. Feature for feature the price of entry is less than most competitors, and the five-year warranty is an added bonus.
The rest of the truck is less convincing – be it driving dynamics or the lacklustre departure angle – which may be why Mitsubishi appears to have focused its efforts on keen pricing. At least the good turning circle and decent 4WD system redeem it some points.