Others claim toughness, Mitsubishi Triton aims for comfort
After what seems like an eternity the Mitsubishi Triton has been relaunched for 2017. With over 180 tweaks to the new version, we headed out to the Heidelberg 4×4 in South Africa to see if the new model can take the fight to the other established brands.
Styling & Interior
The styling of the new Mitsubishi Triton runs along a similar theme to the older model. The shorter wheelbase and more pronounced “J Line” behind the rear doors is hardly noticeable but according to Mitsubishi allows for more leg and head room in the cabin. The cabin has been stretched to 1.745mm, 20mm up on the previous version, 41mm up on Ford’s Ranger and 56mm on Toyota’s Hilux. The rear seats are sloped at a class leading 25 degrees, which negates the typical upright seating position commonly found in double cab pickups. The design has many tweaks and tucks appearing all over the revised body, although still in keeping with the older design.
Engine & Gearbox
he engine also weighs 30Kg less than before. The 133kW, 430Nm engine is very responsive from around 1800rpm but shows some lag between 1000 and 1700rpm. I found this to be less problematic on the automatic version, with the torque converters slip getting put to good use to get the RPMs up and engage the boost. Fuel consumption is rated at 7.6l/100 but with our spirited driving, on and off road we averaged about 10l/100.
On the Road
Triton’s on road ability has been greatly improved. Less noise thanks to more noise dampening and a class leading drag coefficient of 0.40 makes for a comfortable on road experience. Again the automatic version seems easier to drive, and much smoother than the manual with its slightly bitey clutch. The entire chassis has been revised, from the dampers to the stiffeners and larger rubber body mountings, making for less lean in corners and crisper handling.
In the city the 3.8 turns lock to lock works well compared to the the 4.3 of its predecessor and Triton also boasts a class leading turning circle of 5.9 meters.
Gravel and off-road
Where Triton shone, and most agreed, was on gravel. With standard tyre pressures, Mitsubishi Triton was able to cruise effortlessly and safely on varying gravel roads. From smooth, almost tar like gravel to bumpy, rutted farm roads, Triton handled them all with ease. Changing over to the 60/40 split 4-High mode was recommended but not necessary.
We finally got to the 4×4 testing facility, and the 2017 Mitsubishi Triton once again excelled. Going up and down rock faces with ease, thanks to its 28 degree approach angle, and even a novice 4×4 driver like myself made it look easy. On the uphills we engaged diff lock and not once did Triton seem out of its depth. It proved once and for all that it can be all things to all men – and women.
Triton, just like its competitors, offers the ability to do everything well, from carrying passengers in comfort to going bundu bashing with the lads and traversing long distances on gravel. It ticks those boxes and at the price point, it’s worthwhile to consider it over the more expensive competition. With proven Mitsubishi toughness and a fresh new look, I’d recommend a trip to the dealer, at least for a test drive, but make sure you get the automatic.
The new Triton Double Cab enters the market with a starting price of R479 900 and all models are introduced with a 5-year/90 000km service plan and 3-year/100 000km manufacturer’s warranty. Higher specification models are due to arrive later in the year.
Mitsubishi Triton 2.4 Di-D 4×2 (man) – R479 900
Mitsubishi Triton 2.4 Di-D 4×2 (auto) – R499 900
Mitsubishi Triton 2.4 Di-D 4×4 (man) – R539 900
Mitsubishi Triton 2.4 Di-D 4×4 (auto) – R559 900