The Mitsubishi Triton has been essentially been on the market since 2006, having reviewed the new Holden Colorado and Isuzu D-Max last year I was very keen to see how the Mitsubishi Triton measured up against them when I was unexpectedly given the chance to drive one recently.
From the outside I like the look of the Triton it’s muscular looks give it the I mean business look, I’m testing the GlxR model so it features a few up grades like attractive 17in alloys, fog lights, side steps and chrome sports bar.
The cab features the iconic rounded backed which makes the Triton stand out from all the other trucks in the class.
Climb inside the GLXR receives leather seats which are somewhat comfortable and do offer some lateral support but I did find them a touch snug fitting.
The steering wheel features buttons for the cruise control, phone and audio system, I did however feel the rim of the wheel was touch to thin for my liking, A touch more thickness would of made it more comfortable to hold onto specially when off roading. The steering wheel also has height adjustment but just like others in the class offers no adjustment for reach.
The instrument panel is well set out the and instruments easy to read at a glance, in the upper part of centre stack is an info screen that can display things such fuel economy, outside temp, audio info, while it’s easy to read it does remind me of the equaliser graphics I had on a stereo in the 80’s.
Below that is the audio system and while the sound it offered was ok I found it a pain in the backside to use and when I first got in it I had to whip the manual out to see how I could connect my phone.
One thing I will give it plus for I have all my music is stored on USB sticks which it easy for me to move in between cars I review the Triton is the first Mitsubishi vehicle I’ve had that didn’t want to all of a sudden disconnect my USB drive in the middle of songs.
The back seat could of offered more leg room though I had 3 people in there and all complained about the lack of leg room and none of them are what you call tall.
Like all trucks in its class the Triton offers a huge amount of room in the tray at the rear which is a fraction little longer then some in it’s class but not quite as wide.
Under the bonnet the Triton is powered by 2.5L 4 cyl turbo diesel developing 120kw, I’m driving the auto version so it only gets 350nM of torque as opposed to the manual version which gets 400nM.
The is enough grunt to keep up with traffic and it will happily cruise on the highway speed limit with 5 on board, I did find at times I had to give it more accelerator then other trucks I’ve driven.
Fuel economy is not what I would call class leading, while the way the trip works out fuel economy makes it hard to get a good average for the week I got just over 500km out of the tank and that was with 300 odd km of highway driving, best figures I could get on the highway 9.3L/100km.
Part of it’s problem is the 5speed auto while a lot of its competitors are using 6 or more gears, fuel economy I say would be improved if it had another gear to drop the rev’s down that little but more at highway speeds.
The 5 speed auto however does perform well and shifts seem to be smooth enough, it does also have a sport shift function which handy specially when off road. Like all 4 wheel drives it did chew through the petrol off road specially when being driven through soft sand. But I found the Triton pretty took all the sand I could throw at it and performed great even with 5 adults and bunch of stuff in the tray.
Like all trucks the Triton is strung fairly stiff so when it’s empty it you feel every bump, I did find with 5 on board it did settle down a bit because of the extra weight but it was still bit of a bumpy ride although it wasn’t something I didn’t expect.
The steering wasn’t exactly perfect either and particular truck had an issue where I think the wheel alignment was out as when you held the straight the car start to veer left and you had to have the steering slightly left hand down to keep it in a straight line.
The steering was also very slow taking several turns of the wheel to negotiate some corners which was really pain specially when parking it.
The brakes while they performed well had a slight dead spot of the pedal when you would have to push the down a little bit before you feel the brakes start to bite.
Off road is where the Triton really belongs, it has plenty of ground clearance and 4WD system faultless, the Triton has separate lever to change between 2wd, 4wd high range, 4wd low range and a lower range gear. This Triton also had the optional rear diff lock fitted which meant The Triton went anywhere I wanted, while I spent most of time off road driving up and down the beach while we were fishing, I did find a few bush tracks to take it down as well and I couldn’t fault it.
Safety wide the Triton only has 4 star ANCAP safety rating and it’s fitted with the following safety features:
· Driver & front passenger side SRS airbags
· Curtain SRS airbags
· Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
· Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
· Active Stability Control (ASC)
· Active Traction Control (ATC)
· Side door impact beams
· 3 point Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) seatbelts (all seating positions)
· Front seatbelt pretensioners & force limiters
· Front seatbelt height adjustable shoulder anchorages
· Seatbelt warning lamp – driver
· Child restraint anchorage points
· Shift lock with key interlock ( Automatic )
· Anti-theft encrypted engine immobiliser
It did lose points for having no reverse sensors or rear view camera things that I think should be standard fit for vehicles of this type because the high back end reduces your vision.
So after a week in the Triton I had mixed feelings while it off road prowess it’s exceptional I found it’s on road performance a little lacking.
The Triton is suffering from being old this model has been since 2006 and at the time would have been one of class leading trucks but unfortunately it’s main competitors have been upgraded since then and therefore leap frogged the Triton.
What the Triton does however still offer a is decent enough package specially in the GLX-R model I tested, it looks great, is well equipped and has fantastic offroad capabilities and certainly if somebody was after a truck to mainly use for going off road the Triton would work perfect, but I do think at the moment though that other trucks on the market offer a more attractive package and really can’t wait til the new model arrives at the end of this or beginning of next year.
For more info on the Triton or the rest of Mitsubishi’s range of vehicles check out their website www.mitsubishi-motors.com.au