This week it’s the all-new Mitsubishi Triton; just a few weeks ago it was the updated Ford Ranger; in a few weeks we have the all-new Nissan Navara and updated Mazda BT50; then - later this year - the all-new Toyota Hi-Lux. Never known 12 months like this for utes.
But, when they call nominations for ‘best-in-class’, you can be certain the all-new Mitsubishi Triton will be there. Mitsubishi has left no stone unturned to get back on the front foot – the all-new Triton boasts new looks inside and out, a new better-performing and more fuel-efficient turbo-diesel engine, improved four-wheel-drive (4WD) system, better driving dynamics and great refinement.
Significantly for fleet and corporate buyers, the all-new Mitsubishi Triton has earned the maximum five-star safety rating from ANCAP. And that’s a claim very few utes can make.
Mitsubishi Triton Overview
Mitsubishi management was succinct in its brief to the team responsible for the all-new Triton: this one is all-new from the ground up, ensure you maintain the hallmark durability and reliability but simultaneously introduce more car-like comfort, refinement, maneuverability and safety. Well, that’s how the pickup market has evolved.
So the all-new Triton has arrived with an adjusted model lineup. Entry-level GLX is available in both 2WD (single cab chassis or double cab pick-up) and 4WD (single cab chassis, the new club cab chassis or double cab pick-up). Mid-grade GLS (which replaces the GLX-R) and range-topping Exceed are exclusively 4WD double cab pick-ups.
An entry-level GLX single cab 2WD cab chassis model powered by a 94kW 2.4-litre petrol engine will follow in about six months.
Like all LCVs (light commercial vehicles), model cycles for the Mitsubishi Triton are longer than passenger cars. As such, there is a degree of ‘catch-up’ in specifications so, for example, across the Mitsubishi Triton range the all-new model debuts Hills Start Assist, Trailer Stability Adjust, Emergency Stop Signal (hazard lights automatically flash under heavy braking), adjustable speed limiter and the multi-function monitor…all are all standard.
Upscale GLS models score extras such as the latest ‘Super Select II 4WD’ system, HID headlights with LED DRLs, 6.1-inch full-colour touchscreen, reversing camera, dual-zone climate control,17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, side steps, sports bar, piano black/silver trim highlights and chrome folding door mirrors,
And Exceed goes further – the GLS specifications plus leather-trimmed seats (electronic adjustment for the driver), auto headlights and wipers and a 7.0-inch colour touchscreen with satellite navigation.
The 2016 Mitsubishi Triton Price and lineup looks like this:
|GLX Single Cab Chassis (6-speed manual)||2WD||$24,490|
|GLX Single Cab Chassis (5-speed automatic)||2WD||$26,990|
|GLX Double Cab Pick-Up (5-speed automatic)||2WD||$35,990|
|GLX Single Cab Chassis (6-speed manual)||4X4||$32,490|
|GLX Club Cab Chassis (6-speed manual)||4X4||$35,290|
|GLX Double Cab Pick-Up (6-speed manual)||4X4||$36,990|
|GLX Double Cab Pick-Up (5-speed automatic)||4X4||$39,490|
|GLS Double Cab Pick-Up (6-speed manual)||4X4||$40,990|
|GLS Double Cab Pick-Up (5-speed automatic)||4X4||$43,490|
|Exceed Double Cab Pick-Up (5-speed automatic)||4X4||$47,490|
Mitsubishi Triton Engine
All-change under the bonnet with the all-new Mitsubishi Triton debuting a new 2.4-litre, four-cylinder ‘MIVEC’ turbo-diesel engine. The good news is, power and torque are both up over the previous generation and fuel consumption is down in the range of 11 to 21 per-cent (varies according to model).
And – here’s the extra good news sure to be music to the ears of current Triton owners – a 10 per-cent reduction in the rotating inertia of the variable-geometry turbocharger has delivered more torque from low engine speeds. In fact, at 1500rpm, torque is up by 25 per-cent over the current generation (that means less frequent gear changes - appreciated by the likes of courier driver sand those who cart/tow heavy loads).
Maximum power is 133kW at 3500rpm and peak torque of 430Nm is delivered at 2500rpm.
Drive is via a new Mitsubishi-developed six-speed manual transmission or a new five-speed automatic sourced from AISIN (the same transmission as used in the Pajero SUV).
Mitsubishi says the all-new engine’s lower compression ratio (15.5:1) and shifting the diesel particulate filter as close as possible to the engine have played roles in the impressive reductions in Triton’s fuel consumption. We’re talking a range of 7.0l/100kms to 7.6l/100kms (combined-cycle).
Towing capacity is 3,100kgs for 4x4 double cab models. Mitsubishi stresses that Triton’s Gross Combination Mass (GCM) of 5,885kgs and low kerb weight provides an optimal balance between towing capacity and vehicle payload.
Mitsubishi Triton The Interior
It’s been a while since Mitsubishi’s stylists penned an all-new Triton and these days smarter technology leads to better interiors. The folks at Mitsubishi haven’t been left in the cold and clever design means despite the all-new Triton retaining its predecessor’s handy 3.0- wheelbase, interior length and shoulder room have actually increased (Mitsubishi says the all-new Triton now delivers the longest cabin in the class).
And here’s a Triton first – tilt and telescopic adjustment for the steering wheel. That’s just eight words but they make a world of difference to driver comfort – genuine passenger car feel behind the wheel.
Part of the comfort story is new seats – another area where Mitsubishi has put-in extraordinary efforts to address criticism of the previous model. That means new cushions, new side bolstering, the works (leather-trimmed in Exceed model).
Drivers will also notice the drive select system is now a rotary dial (the previous lever adjustment was irritating for your left leg on long journeys).
Mitsubishi Triton Exterior & Styling
Styling is all-new but nonetheless clearly a Mitsubishi Triton evolution. Noticeably there is a simpler, sleeker and more athletic look which we do like.
That more concise look is best seen with a more flowing profile and cleaner blending between the cabin and cargo bed. Double cab models maintain Mitsubishi Triton’s hallmark ‘J-line’ – the separation of the cab and tub on double cab models.
And the front-end look is also more cohesive than the superseded generation - a handsome chrome grille combined with new-design headlights. GLS and Exceed models go further with HID headlights and LED DRLs.
At the rear, all-new Mitsubishi Triton goes for new-design wraparound tail-lights.
Aero got some attention – notice the smooth A-pillars, cab and tub tapered towards the rear, smooth front bumper corners and trailing edge for the roof. The pay-back is a drag Cd of just 0.42.
Mitsubishi Triton On The Road
Mitsubishi showed due confidence in the all-new Triton by dropping us straight onto Queensland’s beautiful Fraser Island for a day of reasonably tough off-roading over the island’s multitude of tracks. Aside from the stop-and-stare stunning vistas around every turn, the Fraser sand tracks highlighted the improved prowess of the Mitsubishi Triton – we’re talking a major leap here.
The next day, after crossing to the mainland via the car-carrying ferry, we tackled the excellent winding Sunshine Coast roads en-route to Brisbane Airport. During that time your www.carshowroom.com.au correspondent sampled various Mitsubishi Triton dual cab models – entry-level GLX, mid-grade GLS and range-topping Exceed.
Consistently we were astonished how much Mitsubishi has transformed the Triton. In every department the all-new Triton takes the challenge right up to the likes of Ford Ranger and Mazda BT50.
For instance in 4WD models, torque distribution front-rear has been adjusted to a more rear-biased setting for improved driving dynamics. And the ‘Super Select II 4WD’ system (familiar in the latest Mitsubishi Pajero) now provides electronic lock-up of the centre differential.
Whereas previously the Triton’s 2.5-litre diesel was a noisy clunker, the new 2.4-litre is a gem – quiet, impressive performance and fuel economy. The low 15.5:1 compression ratio and focus on torque delivery at lower engine speeds combine to deliver vastly superior driveability in off-road conditions and acceleration on-road.
Similarly you could criticize the now-superseded Mitsubishi Triton for its relatively harsh ride. No more - the all-new model has lost the jittery stuff over bumps and in cornering and, combined with a new, more direct steering ratio and tight 10.8-metre turning circle (the best in-class Mitsubishi says)…yes it does feel as good as the Ranger/BT50 in the twisty stuff.
And refinement – well Mitsubishi has certainly brought its ‘A’ game to that aspect as well. In fact when cruising at the legal limit on the freeway, you hardly hear the engine (just 2,000rpm at 105km/h) and just some slight wind noise around the external mirrors.
Mitsubishi Triton Issues
Styling is a personal thing but for a clean-sheet design we reckon Mitsubishi’s stylists have been a bit conservative in their evolutionary approach to the all-new Triton.
Mitsubishi Triton Verdict
We’re giving very high grades to the all-new Mitsubishi Triton. In many ways it matches the best utes in the business – a very significant achievement given the high grades across the board in this class.
Moreover, as an overall package – when you factor-in value-for-money - you could mount an argument that Mitsubishi has served-up an ace with this one. Yep, the all-new Mitsubishi Triton really is that good.
Mitsubishi Triton The Competition
A bit like a tennis player in the opening round of a grand slam tournament, there’s so much competition for the all-new Mitsubishi Triton you don’t know where to look first. 2015 is certainly a big year for pickups.
The market-dominating Toyota HiLux (some months it is Australia’s biggest-selling vehicle outright) has an all-new model due late this year. While it will be the last of the major player to launch, Toyota being Toyota, expect the all-new HiLux to be very, very sharp.
Apart from the Hi-Lux the other www.carshowroom.com.au favourite in this segment is the Ford Ranger. Ford hasn’t missed a thing with the just updated designed-and-engineered in Australia Ranger – it looks the part inside and out, is as tough as a rugby forward with an ingrown toenail, agile off-road and comfortable on-road and has a massive range to suit all needs.
Of course it’s much the same story for the Mazda BT50 which is basically the same as the Ranger. As we write, the updated BT50 has not been launched and pundits who haven’t unanimously praised its looks are anticipating significant styling changes.
We’ve not driven the all-new Nissan Navara (launch is just weeks away) but reports say it too has impeccable on-road dynamics to match off-road agility and comfort to go with its hallmark toughness. Unfortunately Nissan will launch with only dual-cab models (starting price $26,490) as the single-cab variants don’t arrive until the spring.
And don’t sign-up for anything until you’ve evaluated the Isuzu D-MAX. Dollar-for-dollar and spec-for-spec the D-MAX gives the big name utes a run for their money. We’ve driven D-Maxs in Thailand in conditions which would have some utes looking for a garage to hide in.