Mitsubishi Triton GL 4WD Double Cab 2011 Review

December 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

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

Want a bigger deck? Mitsubishi NZ releases Triton Club Cab

October 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

For kiwi ute buyers who require a bigger deck and an increased storage capacity, Mitsubishi has just added two four-seat ‘club cabs’ to its 4WD Triton range. The club cab wellside’s deck now measures a full 300mm longer than its double cab sibling.

Club Cab models made up around 13% of the total 4WD ute market in 2009 and the introduction of the Triton GL Cab Chassis and Wellside models coincides with solid sales of the Triton workhorses.

Triton sales in 2010 have grown 65% over the previous year and the new Club Cabs are expected to provide a further boost claims Mitsubishi head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook.

“Triton is really starting to come into its own,” he said. “We are getting record enquirys and our success in becoming one of only two government ute suppliers speaks volumes for the value and quality of our product. The Club Cabs will add a further option for buyers looking for a proven workhorse that provides the perfect compromise between tray length and seating capacity. The rear seat area also provides useful, secure storage, which isn’t available in single cabs.”

Continue reading “Want a bigger deck? Mitsubishi NZ releases Triton Club Cab” »

Mitsubishi wins big with NZ government contract

August 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mitsubishi Motors has been selected by the New Zealand Government Procurement Development Group to supply vehicles for use by all government agencies over the next five years.

The popular Outlander LS, in both 2WD and 4WD, was selected for Large Wagon and Large SUV categories respectively, while Triton GL and GLX were both selected for the 2WD and 4WD Utility categories.

Mitsubishi Motors NZ national fleet sales manager Mike Davidson is delighted with the decision. “The endorsement is a reflection of the quality and value of both models, our industry-leading 10/5 Diamond Advantage Warranty and the strength of the Mitsubishi network,” he said

“Ever since its launch in 2005, Outlander has been a New Zealand favourite and it continues to top the sales charts in its class. Triton has moved from strength to strength and is recognised for its class-leading 4WD and safety features. It is the only option in the diesel ute segment with active stability control and the GL configuration is the only 4WD ute with rear diff lock as standard.

“The all-of-government procurement process reviewed 518 vehicles provided by 14 suppliers. Up to eighty five percent of the vehicles available to agencies could potentially be supplied by Mitsubishi and two other suppliers,” said Mr Davidson.

Continue reading “Mitsubishi wins big with NZ government contract” »

Mitsubishi increases Triton towing capacity to three tonnes

July 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mitsubishi’s 4WD Triton truck has just been upgraded to a three tonne braked towing capacity across the range.

Improvements to the Triton range include a strengthened chassis to facilitate the new tow weight and a new high-efficiency air filter with pre-filter to improve cabin air quality on dusty roads.

“Triton’s new braked tow rating beats the segment leader by 20%,” said MMNZ head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook. “That is a significant margin and, stacked with safety features that gain a four-star ANCAP rating, Triton is fast becoming the best spec’ed, best value 4WD ute in the NZ market.”

To improve ride, the mid-range 4WD GLX double cab gains the premium GLS Sport suspension package and a wider alloy wheel set with 245/70 R16 tyres. To showcase the new wheels, body colour guards give the GLX a high-end appearance.

“4WD GLX has been a very popular model for us,” said Mr Cook. “It has received a lot of interest and success in the fleet market where customers are looking for a value-priced ute with full safety specifications. Large organisations that work in rural areas such as PGG Wrightson and the NZ Fire Service have rigorously tested 4WD utes for their fleets and all have agreed Triton is the best of the bunch.” Continue reading “Mitsubishi increases Triton towing capacity to three tonnes” »

Mitsubishi Triton GLS 2010 Review

March 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Talkback radio is usually the domain of the lonely and sometimes angry, but it is still a system with its own merits. While a radio audience is generally passive, talkback gives listeners the chance to not just stress an opinion but also actively change the landscape of the show. Radio may seem a far cry from the NZ utility vehicle market but it’s the talkback dialogue between Mitsubishi and its customers that has resulted in some vital changes to the facelifted Triton ute. To check the results of this mid-cycle refresh, long time listeners but first time drivers Car and SUV dialled up a new 2010 Triton GLS and took a long drive.

The biggest news for the updated Triton is lying under the bonnet where the previous 3.2-litre diesel engine has been replaced with a 2.5-litre unit for all the 4WD models. This may at first seem an odd response to customers wanting more grunt but the smaller diesel engine increases power 11% to 131kW and torque is up 17% to 400Nm in manual form. With the automatic transmission torque is rated at 356Nm. This increase is made possible by a fresh design to the engine’s internals and a hard-boosting variable geometry turbocharger.

Continue reading “Mitsubishi Triton GLS 2010 Review” »

Mitsubishi Triton – with free goat!

December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Would you like a free goat with your Mitsubishi Triton?


Mitsubishi NZ launches new Triton & Outlander

November 12th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Mitsubishi Outlander Launch fq

Mitsubishi Motors NZ has just released it’s new Outlander SUV and Triton ute to the local market this week.

The popular Outlander is back sporting an aggressive styling make-over which includes the company’s trademark “jet fighter” grille, and new comfort, convenience and safety upgrades. Improvements to the Outlander’s engineering include the addition of Hill Start Assist on all models and Super All Wheel Control to V6 models.

“Outlander has performed superbly,” said Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand general manager of sales and marketing Peter Wilkins. “With the option of five or seven seats it integrates well into large families and commercial users like the space, engine options and, of course, the price. “Over the Mitsubishi Outlander Launch rqpast four years, the Mitsubishi Outlander has been the best-selling medium SUV in New Zealand. After such impressive service, it was time for a freshen-up and the new exterior styling and interior appointments have achieved exactly that.”

In addition to the exterior changes, the Outlander interior design has been freshened with the addition of new seat, door and dash trims, leather look to premium models, double stitching, chrome accents and a new instrument cluster. Additional Lancer-Evolution-inspired design cues for the VRX model include aluminium racing style pedals and a sport-type steering wheel.

Technological upgrades for the new Outlander include the inclusion of Mitsubishi’s Super-All Wheel Control system (S-AWC) to V6 models, improvements to power delivery and fuel economy, the addition of Hill Start Assist (HSA) for all CVT and automatic models and USB inputs for audio connectivity.

The new Outlander retains two tried and trusted engine choices.  First, the 2.4-litre DOHC 16 valve MPI MIVEC engine which generates 127 kW of power @ 6,000 rpm and 230 Nm of torque @ 4,100 rpm.  The 2.4-litre engine is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with Sports Mode sequential style shift changes.

The higher-spec V6 3.0-litre SOHC 24 valve MPI MIVEC engine now generates 172 kW of power @ 6,250 rpm and 296 Nm of torque @ 3,750 rpm (with 95+ RON fuel).  The V6 benefits from improvements to the all-aluminium engine, including a reduction in intake restriction plus optimised camshaft timing and compression ratio.

“We’ve worked hard to raise the premium appeal of Outlander with our VRX offerings and the 3.0L model, in particular, provides a level of appointment, technology and power to match,” said Mr Wilkins. “We believe that this new range will raise the bar in the small and medium SUV segment. We have excellent coverage from top to bottom and the product’s success to date indicates consumers love Outlander and this model will continue to be a New Zealand favourite.
Mitsubishi Triton

Mitsubishi Triton Launch fqThe new Triton also had its launch this week and has already proved it’s off-road prowess to motoring journalists on a challenging 4WD track.

The 2010 Triton has seen a raft of changes, four-wheel drive models in the 13-strong range receive a new common rail 2.5 litre high-powered turbo-diesel engine; eight models have side and curtain airbags and all but four workhorse variants boast stability and traction control.

“This is a major upgrade for Triton and we’re thrilled with the result,” said Mitsubishi Motors general manager of sales and marketing Peter Wilkins. “We’ve thrown everything but the kitchen sink at it and the class-leading power, torque and safety speak for themselves.

The class-topping power output of 133 kW and 407 Nm is achieved with the manual transmission and generated from a new high-powered engine at 4,000 rpm and 2,000 rpm respectively, representing increases of 11 percent and 15 percent over the previous 3.2 litre power plant.

Mitsubishi Triton Launch rIncreased power has not come at the expense of fuel economy, which, at 8.3 L/100 km, is 9 percent better than the outgoing engine and second equal in the class. Automatic variants provide the same power as the manual, torque is 356 Nm and fuel consumption 9.3 L/100 km.

While the 2WD’s 2.5 litre power plant still generates 102 kW @ 4000 and 319 Nm @ 2000, improvements have been made to fuel economy, which now stands at 8.2 L/100 km for the manual and 8.6 L/100 km for auto variants. These savings have translated to lower CO2 emissions at 214 g/km and 224 g/km respectively.

There are two automatic specifications within the range. The GLS receives a five-speed automatic with Sports Mode, allowing drivers to manually select and hold gears. The rest of the range is equipped with the four-speed auto found in the previous model and Mitsubishi’s Easy Select 4WD transfer.

The GLS also gains Super Select, which, like Easy Select, allows drivers to engage 4WD at speeds up to 100 km/h. Super Select varies with the addition of a viscous centre differential, which, when employed with 4H, allows ‘when-required’ torque transfer between front and rear wheels, improving fuel economy in 4WD.

First to market with active stability control and the inclusion of side and curtain airbags has bolstered Triton’s existing four-star safety rating, which Mr Wilkins says best meets the growing demands of consumers. Mitsubishi Triton Launch s”We’re delighted to lead the market with these critical safety features.”

Along with new bumpers and wheels, Triton’s new wellside tray delivers a squarer finish to the vehicle’s profile. The wellside has been extended by 180 mm and deepened by 55 mm, allowing much-improved capacity for tools and toys. Purchasers of 4WD cab chassis models will benefit from an increased braked towing capacity of 3 tonnes.

Inside, all vehicles receive a new instrument display, centre console and seat trims. All double cab driver’s seats gain height-adjust, offering more versatility for the driver, while the GLX and GLS double cabs have extra seat cushioning and bolstering.

The 2010 range holds something for everyone, including one of New Zealand’s few double cab chassis models. Seven 4WD variants include three manual workhorse GL options — in single and double cab chassis and double cab wellside — and GLX and GLS specifications with double cab wellsides available as manual or auto. The six 2WDs host one manual single cab chassis in GLX format. The remainder are double cab wellside with a manual GL and manual or auto GLX and GLS.

For both the Triton and the new Challenger Mitsubishi is offering its new Diamond Advantage warranty, including a comprehensive 5 year/130,000 km new vehicle warranty, backed up by its 10 year/160,000km power train warranty and a 5 year/130,000km roadside assistance package.
2010 Outlander Pricing

2.4LS – 5 seat CVT                              $41,990
2.4XLS – 7 seat CVT                           $44,990
2.4VRX – 7 seat CVT                           $49,990
3.0L V6 VR — 7 seat A/T                     $49,990
3.0L V6 VRX — 7 seat A/T                   $54,990
2010 Triton pricing

4WD GL single cab chassis manual        $41,990
4WD GL double cab chassis manual       $43,990
4WD GL double cab manual                   $45,990
4WD GLX double cab manual                 $49,990
4WD GLX double cab auto                     $51,990
4WD GLS double cab manual                 $52,990
4WD GLS double cab auto                     $54,990
2WD GL double cab chassis manual       $37,990
2WD GLX single cab chassis manual      $33,990
2WD GLX double cab manual                 $41,990
2WD GLX double cab auto                     $43,990
2WD GLS double cab manual                 $44,990
2WD GLS double cab auto                     $46,990

To find out more information on the new Triton and Challenger models click here to visit the Mitsubishi NZ website.

Mitsubishi Triton GLS 2009 Review

September 11th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

mitsubishi-triton-gls-fq

In the kiwi ute market it’s become a case of ‘go hard or go home’ with potential purchasers now expecting their spending dollars to buy more than ever before. While the Mitsubishi Triton is sometimes overlooked when compared to its competitors from Toyota and Nissan, it’s showing no signs of throwing in the towel and heading home. Instead, it’s ready to go hard and a 2009 model year update brings some new features and capabilities to help it compete.

Providing motivation for the updated Triton is Mitsubishi’s 3.2-litre diesel power plant. Using direct injection and an intercooled turbo the unit pumps out 120kW of power and 343Nm of torque. It’s a strong engine and pulls well making use of the full complement of torque from just 2000rpm. The generous torque figure results in a flexible driving feel. The Triton can work itself off the line briskly and is relaxed at motorway cruising speeds. While there is no doubt the Triton has a handy motor, it’s also a noisy beast. Utes are never librarian quiet but the Triton’s diesel chest thumping and chattering can unfortunately be heard in the cabin at most speeds.

Transmission options include a 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic unit. Our test vehicle was fitted with the automatic gearbox and while it could have benefitted from another ratio it did a decent job of changing gears. Without being too busy or too lazy it’s workman-like in sending available power to the wheels. Despite the auto box’s impressive work ethic it does deny the Triton very good fuel economy with the quoted consumption figure being 9.9l/100km; we achieved closer to 11l/100km.

Which wheels to power is the job of Mitsubishi’s clever Super-Select 4WD system. This allows four driving modes and can make on-the-fly shifts from 2WD to 4WD at speeds up to 100km/h. The high range 4WD makes use of the centre diff with a viscous coupling unit, but the diff can also be fully locked in this mode by a button in the cabin. When it’s time to really go hard, the Triton’s 4WD low range with permanent locked diff uses the vehicles low-end torque to maintain traction in more testing off-road terrain.

On the tarmac the Triton’s ride and handling are impressive. A double wishbone front and rigid leaf spring rear suspension setup make for a comfortable compliant ride because being hard isn’t always a good thing. Handling is also relatively good for a utility vehicle, some body roll is definitely evident but it doesn’t wobble round when changing direction. While the Triton is mild-mannered around town it’s not a total gentleman and being gentle on the gas pedal is still required to maintain optimum grip in wet conditions. On the downside the Triton’s steering is excessively long in its ratio meaning parking and U-turns require too many wheel turns. Steering feedback and feel is also a notch on the light side.

Aesthetically the Triton is rich with styling features. It’s suitably masculine but marks a significant departure from the straight-lined style of its ute ancestors. It’s the Triton’s curves that set it apart, particularly the curved line that runs along the rear of the double cab separating it from the square tray. Elsewhere the GLS double-cab promotes a tough guy demeanor with its pronounced contrasting wheel arches and metal side steps. A grimacing face incorporates an integrated grille and fog lights housed into a chunky front bumper. Out back, wrap-around jeweled lights flank a tailgate with built in high stoplight. The rear bumper also has a handy built-in step allowing quick access to the rear tray. The tray itself isn’t very long in double cab form but has good depth and width and can handle a 1000kg payload. Overall, the Triton is a bit of a looker but you wouldn’t dare call it a pretty boy. It’s well rounded, distinctively Mitsubishi and is dressed to attract rather than intimidate.

Climb into the cab and your greeted with a detailed and stylish interior that may be a selling point for those looking in search of a work/recreation vehicle. A two-toned split-level dash is a focal point and blue accents are used on the climate knobs, instrument faces and even stitching on the steering wheel. The rounded theme continues inside with sweeping lines in the dashboard and extending into the door inserts. The GLS also receives a multi-function screen that can display a compass, barometer and altimeter if required during adventuring. Fit and finish is fairly sound, not all materials feel high quality but there is a general sense of durability to the Triton’s interior. Switchgear is minimal and well laid out, the only real complaint comes with the stereo which is dated in its appearance and has small untextured buttons not suited for thick fingers.

What’s most impressive about the Triton cabin is the level of space for both rows of seats in the double cab. The front seats are firm but well bolstered with ample head and shoulder room. The rear seat is excellent, there is genuine legroom for passengers of all sizes and this is further accentuated by a slightly reclined seat-back angle. The generous proportions of the rear seat possibly come at the cost of some length in the rear tray but if the back-half of the cabin is going to be regularly used it’s a smart compromise.

The 2009 model update has seen the GLS Triton’s specification list grow with the welcome inclusion of cruise control and 17-inch rims. Other standard equipment includes: leather steering wheel and gear knobs, electric windows, rear power window, air-con and a trip computer.

The 2009 upgrade has also seen the addition of side and curtain airbags, a first for a ute in the kiwi market and making safety one of the Triton’s greatest strengths. The Triton holds a four-star ANCAP safety rating and can boast a level of collision safety comparable to a new passenger vehicle. Dual front airbags are also standard as is ABS with electronic brake force distribution and the passenger airbag can be turned off if a child seat is in use.

So can the Mitsubishi Triton really go hard?

It definitely can, its diesel power source offers strong performer with ample torque and it’s off road pedigree is obvious. So it’s got no issues with rolling up its sleeves and getting dirty, but it has more to offer than just that. The Triton is a solid all rounder and although it’s unlikely to become the obvious choice in the utility vehicle segment it shouldn’t be overlooked either. With it’s passenger-friendly spacious interior, lively styling, and safety credentials it is better suited for work and family dual-purpose duties than it’s direct competitors. So when it comes to ‘Going hard or going home’ the Triton is a machine capable of doing both.

Click through to the next page for a list of specifications.

Price: from $50,990

What we like:

  • Spacious double cab
  • Safety focused
  • Strong diesel engine
  • Exterior styling

What we don’t like:

  • Dated stereo
  • Engine noise
  • Excessive steering wheel turn

Words and Photos: Adam Mamo

Mitsubishi Triton GLS – Specifications

ENGINE
Engine displacement – cc 3,200
Bore and stroke 98.5 X 105.0
Compression ratio 17.0:1
Max power (kW @ rpm) 120 @ 3,800
Max torque (Nm @ rpm) 353 @ 2,000
Valves 16
Fuel consumption – l/100km 9.1 – manual / 9.9 – auto
CO2 – g/km 237 – manual / 258 – auto

DIMENSIONS / WEIGHTS
Overall length with wellside – mm 5,174
Overall width – mm 1,800
Overall height – mm 1,780
Wheel base – mm 3,000
Track front – mm 1,520
Track rear – mm 1,515
Ground clearance – mm 205
Turning circle – m 11.8
Kerb weight – kg (manual [auto]) 1,920 [1,930]
Gross vehicle weight – kg 2,930
Pay load – kg (manual [auto]) 1,010 [1,000]
Maximum front axle load – kg 1,260
Maximum rear axle load – kg 1,800
Seating capacity – persons 5
Towing unbraked – kg 750
Towing braked – kg 2,700

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