Mitsubishi Triton GL 4WD Double Cab 2011 Review

The Mitsubishi Triton gives you a good kick in the kidneys when you press the accelerator. It feels like it has more mid-range grunt than the Toyota Hilux we tested last week, and the Ford Ranger I’m driving now – a surprising amount that comes in a great surge starting at 2200rpm when the turbo kicks in. It’s like driving an early Saab Turbo – push the accelerator…wait a moment…hang on for your life.

This is due to the substantial 407Nm of torque that the 133kW 2.5-litre common rail turbo diesel produces, and it’s responsible for facilitating the Triton’s excellent 3000kg (braked) towing capacity. It will also take 1155kg in the tray while carrying 5 people with a decent amount of legroom. A five-speed manual is used to swap the cogs, and you’d imagine it’d be reasonably tough to handle that kind of weight and torque.

The load capacity is good and the convenient wide step at the back make it easy to drop things in the tray. There are load tie-down options that vary with the tray chosen, but usually 6 tie-down points in the wellside ute. Three black bars protect the rear window from moving loads.

This vehicle is the middle of the range for the Triton. Above it you’ve got the GLX and GLS Sport which give you sports suspension in the rear, an automatic gearbox option (though, it doesn’t feature a differential lock), and extra airbags. Below it you’re looking at single cab and club cab 4WD models, and the 2WD range (which also does have GLX and GLS models).

This vehicle is aimed squarely at those that don’t need to park it in the city and want a utilitarian workhorse with enough grunt to transport anything the workplace requires. It’s capable in the rough, though we couldn’t do a full on test with its city tyres. There are options for 2WD, 4WD and low range 4WD, with a manual diff lock in case you really get stuck. There’s no traction control, so be careful in the wet if it’s unladen as there’s only so much that leaf spring suspension can handle. The Triton also has a good approach angle – 32.7 degrees in the front is excellent (30 for Hilux and 28 for Ranger), but loses out in the ground clearance (205mm is OK, but Hilux has 227mm and Ranger has 232) and the departure angle (20.7 degrees compared to 27 in the Ford Ranger and 23 in the Hilux), which is undoubtedly worse if you have the optional towbar fitted, like we did on our test vehicle.

Wheels are 16-inch steel on this model and the tyres are 245/70. Higher models come with alloys. The Triton has reasonable brakes. It does dip a bit under braking – to be expected with the type of vehicle – but you get ABS and EBD which keep you heading in the right direction when braking hard.

Like most utes, it’s difficult to judge the rear corners when backing. There is an optional reversing camera or reversing sensors – the Ford Ranger has these as standard on most of its models, and in our opinion they should now be standard on every new vehicle sold in New Zealand.

Other technology includes Bluetooth integration for your phone, and a stereo that has USB input for your MP3 player. The speakers aren’t that flash, sounding a bit thin and harsh.

From the back and the front the Triton looks the part. It’s not as muscular as the Holden Colorado or the new Ford Ranger, but it’s brawny enough. The side profile needs some work, though, with its noticeably separate tray making it look like there’s an escape pod ready to jettison from the front.  The flared arches add more meat to the equation, and the whole ute looks smart with colour-coded front and rear bumpers.

Ultimately most people just buy the ute they like the most and all this talk of specs is really only a minor consideration. However, the Triton’s main strength is its power and towing capacity. For getting stuff from one place to another you’d be hard pressed to find something that would be much better in this style of vehicle or price range.

Our test car was fitted with the optional tow bar.

Why you’ll buy it:

  • Excellent towing capacity
  • More than enough power
  • Will carry you and four burly accomplices easily

Pros:

  • Towing ability
  • Power
  • Decent price for the specs

Cons:

  • Feels cheap in places
  • Needs more airbags – only has driver and passenger and that’s not really good enough in 2011.

Price: from $48490

GENERAL GL GLX GLS SPORT
MODEL CODES RF7GL42 / RF7GL47 RF7GLX47 / RF8GLX47 RF7GLS47 / RF8GLS47
CAB STYLE Double cab
TRANSMISSION Manual / Auto Manual / Auto 5-speed
TRAY STYLE Chassis / Wellside Wellside
MODEL CODE RF7GL42 / RF7GL47 RF7GLX47 / RF8GLX47 RF7GLS47 / RF8GLS47
ENGINE GL GLX GLS SPORT
ENGINE 2.5L high power Common Rail Intercooled Turbo Diesel
DISPLACEMENT (CC) 2,477
MAX POWER KW@RPM 133 @ 4,000
MAX TORQUE NM@RPM 407 / 356 @ 2,000
FUEL CONSUMPTION – L/100KM 8.1 8.1 / 9.3 8.3 / 9.6
CO2 – G/KM 211 211 / 242 216 / 250
TANK CAPACITY (LITRES) 75
EXHAUST EMISSION REGULATION EU-STEP4
HIGH EFFICIENCY AIR FILTER WITH PRE FILTER All models
TRANSMISSION GL GLX GLS SPORT
TYPE 5-speed manual 5-speed manual / 4-speed automatic 5-speed manual / 5-speed automatic with Sports Mode
GEAR RATIO (1ST) 4.313 4.313 / 2.842 4.313 / 3.789
GEAR RATIO (2ND) 2.330 2.330 / 1.495 2.330 / 2.057
GEAR RATIO (3RD) 1.436 1.436 / 1.000 1.436 / 1.421
GEAR RATIO (4TH) 1.000 1.000 / 0.731 1.000 / 1.000
GEAR RATIO (5TH) 0.788 0.788 / - 0.788 / 0.731
REV 4.220 4.220 / 2.720 4.220 / 3.865
REAR AXLE RATIO 3.917 3.917 / 4.100 3.917
TRANSFER RATIO HIGH 1000
TRANSFER RATIO LOW 1900
4WD SYSTEM Easy Select Super Select
DIFFERENTIAL Manual Diff Lock -
SAFETY GL GLX GLS SPORT
AIRBAGS Driver & passenger (Passenger on/off switch) Driver, passenger, side & curtain (on/off passenger switch)
BRAKING SYSTEM ABS & EBD ABS, EBD, ASC & ATC
SMARTBRAKE All models
IMMOBILIZER All models
CHILD SEAT ANCHOR 2
CHILD PROOF LOCK ON REAR DOORS O
FRONT SEAT BELTS WITH PRETENSIONER 3 point ELR with adjustable pillar height
REAR SEAT BELTS 3 point ELR & 3 point centre belt
SEAT BELT WARNING LAMP All models
SUSPENSION (HIGH RIDER) GL GLX GLS SPORT
FRONT Wish bone with coil spring & stabiliser bar
REAR LEAF SPRING Heavy duty Sports
STEERING GL GLX GLS SPORT
POWER STEERING All models
3 SPOKE STEERING WHEEL
TILT ADJUSTABLE
Urethane with Cruise control Leather with audio, cruise control & hands-free Bluetooth
BRAKES GL GLX GLS SPORT
FRONT / REAR BRAKE 16″ disc / 11.6″ drum
PARK BRAKE TYPE Floor
WHEELS GL GLX GLS SPORT
WHEEL TYPE 16″ x 7.0″ silver steel 16″ x 7.0″ alloy 17″ x 7.5″ alloy
SPARE WHEEL – FULL SIZE Silver steel Alloy
FRONT & REAR TYRES 245/70R16 HT 245/65R17 HT
HYDRAULIC JACK & TOOL SET All models
EXTERIOR GL GLX GLS SPORT
FRONT BUMPER – COLOUR KEY Body colour Body colour with lower Silver panel
HALOGEN HEADLAMP All models
RADIATOR GRILLE Black 2-bar Chrome 2-bar Chrome sports
WHEEL ARCH FLARES Body colour
MUD GUARDS Front / Front & rear Front & rear
SIDE STEPS - Flat Sports
DOOR MIRROR ELECTRIC CONTROL Black Chrome
SIDE PROTECTION MOLDING (BODY COLOUR) - O
DOOR HANDLES Black Chrome
REAR STEP BUMPER Alloy Chrome sports
REAR CENTRE STOP LIGHT - Tailgate
FRONT SKID PLATE & ENGINE UNDER TRAY All models
FRONT TOWING HOOK X2 All models
INTERIOR GL GLX GLS SPORT
DASH & DOOR TRIM – SWITCH PANEL Black Silver
DOOR HANDLES Black Chrome
SEAT TRIM GL / GLX Type GLS type
FRONT SEATS Bucket Sports bucket Sports bucket high grade trim
SEAT ADJUSTMENT Manual slide, recline with driver height adjuster
REAR SEATS Bench type with centre arm rest
SEAT HEAD REST All positions
FLOOR COVERING Vinyl Vinyl / Carpet Carpet
GEAR SHIFT LEVER Urethane Leather
COMFORT & CONVENIENCE GL GLX GLS SPORT
ENTRY SYSTEM Keyless entry remote x 2
ELECTRIC DOOR WINDOWS All models
ELECTRIC REAR WINDOW - GLS only
HEATED REAR WINDOW WITH TIMER All models
TINTED REAR & REAR DOOR WINDOWS - GLS only
CENTRAL LOCKING All models
ASH TRY AND LIGHTER All models
FOOT REST All models
AIRCONDITIONING Manual Full auto
PASSENGER SUNVISOR VANITY MIRROR GLS only
GRAB HANDLES Front x 1 & rear x 2 Front & rear x 2
INTERIOR LAMP Front & rear Front & rear with map lamp
COURTESY LAMP ON ALL DOORS All models
WINDSCREEN WIPER, TWO SPEED WITH VARIABLE INTERMITTENT All models
HEADLIGHT ON ALARM All models
ACCESSORY SOCKET IN CONSOLE BOX All models
SPEEDO & TACHOMETER WITH DIMMER Black trim Silver trim
CENTRE MULTI DISPLAY METER - O
STORAGE GL GLX GLS SPORT
GLOVE BOX WITH KEY AND LAMP All models
FRONT DOOR POCKET WITH BOTTLE HOLDER All models
REAR DOOR BOTTLE HOLDER O
PASSENGER BACK SEAT POCKET O
STORAGE BOX UNDER REAR SEAT - O
FLOOR CONSOLE Large type with lid Large type with lid / silver trim
CONSOLE CUP HOLDERS 2
REAR SEAT CENTRE ARM REST CUP HOLDERS 2
SUNGLASS POCKET - O
AUDIO & MEDIA GL GLX GLS SPORT
SPEAKERS 4 6
SOUND SYSTEM AM/FM radio, CD, MP3, audio input, USB port
BLUETOOTH HANDS FREE TELEPHONE SYSTEM Integrated with stereo system Voice activated with steering wheel controls
PILLAR ANTENNA All models
DIMENSIONS / WEIGHTS GL GLX GLS SPORT
OVERALL LENGTH WITH WELLSIDE (MM) 5285 5385
OVERALL WIDTH (MM) 1800
OVERALL HEIGHT (MM) 1780
WHEEL BASE (MM) 3000
TRACK FRONT & REAR (MM) 1520 / 1515
GROUND CLEARANCE (MM) 205
TURNING RADIUS (M) 11.8
KERB WEIGHT (KG) 1765 / 1900 1885 / 1895 1905 / 1920
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT (KG) 2920 2930
MAXIMUM GROSS COMBINATION MASS (KG) 5700 5700
PAYLOAD (KG) 1155 / 1020 1025 / 1035 1025 / 1010
MAXIMUM FRONT AXLE LOAD (KG) 1260
MAXIMUM REAR AXLE LOAD (KG) 1800
SEATING CAPACITY – PERSONS 5
APPROACH ANGLE – DEGREE 32 33
RAMP BREAKOVER ANGLE – DEGREE 26
DEPARTURE ANGLE – DEGREE 21 22
TOWING BRAKED (KG) 3000
TOWING UNBRAKED (KG) 750
WELLSIDE FEATURES & DIMENSIONS GL GLX GLS SPORT
CAB PROTECTOR Body colour -
WELLSIDE INNER HOOKS 6 x hooks all models
WELLSIDE INTERIOR LENGTH (MM) 1505
WELLSIDE INTERIOR WIDTH (MM) 1470
BETWEEN WHEEL ARCHES (MM) 1085
WELLSIDE INTERIOR HEIGHT (MM) 460
WELLSIDE FLOOR HEIGHT FROM GROUND (MM) 850


Words and photos: Darren Cottingham

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