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Juliet McGuire

First drive in the new Mitsubishi Triton

I am going to be honest right off the bat here, I have never really thought of the Mitsubishi Triton as a particularly good looking bakkie. It’s a flipping hard segment to stand out in. “The Three Musketeers”, as I like to refer to them (them being the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok), dominate the bakkie segment in such a way that it feels as if there is no room for anything else. The Mercedes-Benz X-Class tried to give it a good go, but let’s be completely honest, that was about the badge more than anything else. (Ducks her head to avoid stuff being thrown at her).

HEY THERE GOODLOOKIN’

Enter the new, handsome af, Mitsubishi Triton. I am going to talk about its looks first because it is the thing that really caught my eye (obviously). It is striking in every way and what fascinates me is just how subjective design is. I posted a pic on Twitter and there were those who felt the same way I did about it and those who think it is butt-ugly. I judge those people, even though I am not supposed to say that. But come on! It is a damn good looking bakkie/pick up/truck! Just look at it, LOOK!

Mitsubishi Triton

Back to a little bit of Mitsubishi Triton history, the very first one launched over 40 years ago in 1978 and since then it has seen success in the form of more than 4.7 million units being sold worldwide. But now, I introduce you to the “best Triton yet,” according to GM of Mitsubishi Sub-Subharan Africa, Hiroyasu Inoue.

It took Mitsubishi more than 80 000 hours of development to bring us this new model. And it shows. And because the bakkie customer has changed so much over the past few years, Mitsubishi made sure that it improved upon its existing functionality, performance, and off-road capability all in a design that customers would aspire to. Like Nic Campbell, GM of Mitsubishi South Africa says, “The bakkie customer is no longer 1-litre brandy, 2-litre Coke, 3-litre…”

Mitsubishi Triton

STEP INSIDE

The interior feels modern and although the optional infotainment system looks a little, well, a little budget, it is user-friendly and efficient. The seats are comfortable even though the back cushion pressed in to my back in a rather odd way, it wasn’t unpleasant though. It’s very spacious, in the rear as well, and rear passengers will appreciate the two USB ports afforded to them.

Speaking of functionality and features, the new Triton boasts a tilt and telescopic adjustable steering column, a multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth with voice control, the touchscreen infotainment system I mentioned with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (optional), dual-zone automatic air conditioning, electric windows, leather seats and an electrically adjustable driver seat to name but a few.

Mitsubishi Triton interior

Safety equipment has in no way been spared either with…wait for it:

  • RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) Body Construction
  • 7 Airbags
  • Side-impact Protection Bars
  • Collapsible Steering Column
  • ISOFIX Child Seat Anchors
  • ASTC (Active Stability and Traction Control)
  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System)
  • EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution)
  • BAS (Brake Assist System)
  • HSA (Hill Start Assist System)
  • DRL (Daytime Running Lights)
  • Speed-sensing Auto Door Lock
  • Rear View Camera
  • Keyless Operating System
  • High-mounted Rear Stop Lamp (Tailgate)

Powering this new beauty is its familiar 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine. It produces 133 kW and 430 Nm of torque and is now mated to a six-speed automatic transmission instead of the five-speed one found in the previous model. You can also opt for same six-speed manual you will know from the current model. Fuel consumption is claimed at 7.5L/100 km (7.6L/100 km in the new automatic).

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

We got to take the new Mitsubishi Triton off road and really put it through its paces. It took every obstacle in its stride and I felt like there wasn’t much this robust fella couldn’t do. The latest version Super Select II 4WD system is used with an Off-road Mode available on the automatic transmission derivatives. The Off-road mode has Gravel, Mud/Snow, Sand and Rock (in 4LLc only) settings for improved traction on different road surfaces. Hill Descent Control has been added to the 4X4 automatic transmission derivative and is effortless to work. I know most HDC systems are pretty effortless, but this one allows you to put your foot on the brake and control the speed while descending without the car going in to what can only be described as a freefall – as I have found in a few other off-roaders. Tap that break or accelerator and you pee yourself a little before quickly slamming on the brakes.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

This is the only real critiscm I have, the ride of the new Triton is not particularly smooth. I kept thinking it might be the kak-quailty SA roads we were traversing, but even on the roads that were well-kept, the ride was bumpy and not what I would want it to be, especially if were to be using this for getaways out of town.

If we look at the direct competitors, the new Mitsubishi Triton comes in around R25 000 less and you do get a lot of standard spec thrown in that the rivals might not have. Whether it will knock any of “The Three Musketeers” of their pedestals remains to be seen. But what is for certain is that this is definitely worth considering if you want a capable yet lifestyle-orientated bakkie that won’t necessarily break the budget.

NEW MITSUBISHI TRITON PRICING

New Triton 2.4L DI-DC M/T 4×2 – R509 995

New Triton 2.4L DI-DC A/T 4×2 – R529 995

New Triton 2.4L DI-DC M/T 4×4 – R569 995

New Triton 2.4L DI-DC A/T 4×4 – R589 995

The new Triton is covered by Mitsubishi’s Manufacturer’s Warranty of 3 years or 100 000km and a 5-year / 90 000 km Service Plan and a 5-year / unlimited mileage Roadside Assistance. Service intervals are every 10 000 km.

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