Launched in 2015 the Mitsubishi Triton leapt to the forefront of the Ute segment. A couple of years have now passed and the Triton, a multiple previous winner of the prestigious OzRoamer COTY Dual Cab Ute award, now faces much stiffer competition. The model we are testing here is the top spec Exceed Dual Cab 4WD.
What is it like outside?
Externally the Triton’s looks have always been polarising. Some saying it is too soft others saying they love it? I sit in-between. I like the look, especially as it follows functional design, giving extra room for a reclined seat for rear passengers, and style with its high waist lines. The rear loses the slab back from the last model and has crisp lines.
The exceed runs 5 pretty nifty looking 245/65/R17 Alloys, which are easier to get off road tyres for, along with front fog lights, HID headlamps, LED daytime running lights, roof rails, sports bar, side steps and a handy rear step. The design looks way better in the flesh than in photos, keeping the distinctive grill and front end.
What is it like inside?
Step inside the Triton and the older bland interior has been revamped. The first thing you notice is how comfortable the front seats are. The multi electrically adjustable leather driver’s seat, while lacking separate lumbar adjustment, is very comfortable and heated for those cold mornings.
Obviously the front passenger seat mirrors the comfort and the rear seats, with their slight recline due to the curved body ‘J’ design and sculptured base are more comfortable than many competitors. Like all dual cab utes, room is restricted but the Trion feels roomy inside for the rear passengers.
In front of the driver is a clear and precise dash with two large round dials and a MFD between. Above the MFD is a display showing the 4WD selection. Very simple but easy to understand and use. The height and reach adjustable leather clad steering wheel houses what are now the usual controls.
The centre stack/ console again is well laid out. The premium audio system 7-inch colour touch screen, CD player, SD card and satellite navigation are simple to use and clear. The screen especially adds clarity to the reversing camera. The system connects to Android Auto and Apple Car Play.
One thing I really dislike is Mitsubishi’s insistence on using your smart phones navigation system. This is all well and good where there is reception, but these cars are designed to go far from civilisation, where there is no reception, therefore no navigation system.
The Mitsubishi Triton Exceed is packed with standard features. In addition to those already mentioned, these include: Electrochromatic rear view mirror, dual zone air conditioning, automatic transmission with racing-style steering wheel mounted paddle shifters (a total waste).
Other features include: electric windows and folding mirrors, new-generation Super Select 4WD II system, electronic diff lock, One Touch start with smart key, dusk sensing headlights, rain-sensing automatic intermittent wipers, Bluetooth hands-free with voice control and audio streaming.
Engine and transmission
Let’s talk about the engine transmission combination for a bit. The previous model reduced the torque for the automatic version and that was a pain. I have been very critical of that in the past. Not anymore!
The Triton Exceed is powered by a new 2.4-litre MIVEC turbo diesel engine. It achieves 133kW of power at 3500 rpm and 430Nm peak torque at 2500 rpm. Importantly though is that the majority of that torque comes in at around 1500 rpm and another hit at 1750rpm and the delivery makes for relaxed and economical driving. The engine is now much quieter however still allows the comforting diesel sound to alert the senses.
The Exceed delivers this power and torque to the wheel through an ASIN 5 speed automatic transmission. Although this may seem one gear too few, the transmission is matched beautifully with the engine for smooth acceleration and control and maximises the availability of low torque delivery. Fuel economy is average at around 7.0L/100k on the freeway and 10L/100k around the city in the real world.
Another key feature is the throttle response, it’s excellent! This was evident on the sand of Stockton beach, around the farm, while towing and on forest trails and even around the city.
The Triton has an official braked towing capacity of 3,100 kg for both manual and automatic versions of 4×4 Double Cab models. While that isn’t as much as the headline 3.5t of some of the competitors the real world situation is that it is more than adequate.
This, coupled with a generous Gross Combination Mass rating of 5,885kg and low kerb mass, provides Triton with a practical, real world balance between towing capacity and vehicle payload. Trailer Stability Assist has been fitted to all models as a standard safety feature.
This system, in combination with the new, well-balanced suspension set up, ensures Triton delivers a stable and secure tow vehicle package that’s suitable for towing a variety of loads.
Ride and Handling
Let’s turn our attention to off road. The triton has always been a great performer off road, being robust, honest and reliable. We have had the opportunity to test the Triton at length this year over all manner of conditions.
Let’s be blunt here. The Triton Exceed excels over almost all surfaces and I have mentioned before it probably represents the best balance between all the competing requirements of different driving and towing conditions in its ride and handling.
I would like to point out that finally Mitsubishi has removed the old 4wd lever that had a habit of sticking into your left knee at awkward angles.
The Triton Exceed is fitted with Mitsubishi’s new generation Super Select 4WD II system, which offers four driving modes including locked 4WD mode.
Key benefits include better fuel economy and quietness in 2WD mode and Triton’s interesting and clever 40/60 front/rear torque distribution in full time 4WD mode for superior cornering stability. Exceed also has an electronic rear diff lock feature as standard.
The new Triton has an impressive approach angle of 30 degrees ramp over angle of 24 degrees and departure angle of 22 degrees. The manoeuvrability of the triton off road in enhanced by the tight turning circle of 11.8m and a lock to lock ratio of only 3.8 turns provides benefits off road.
Safety is a feature with the Triton achieving an official 5-star ANCAP safety rating. Triton’s safety is underpinned by Mitsubishi’s proven RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) body technology.
Passive safety features including driver and front passenger SRS airbags, side and curtain airbags and driver’s knee airbag, while seat belts are fitted with pre-tensioners and force limiters.
Active safety features – ASC – Active Stability Control (ASC), Traction Control System (TCS), Trailer Stability Assist (TSA), integrated within ASC and TCS – Hill Start Assist (HSA), Emergency Stop Signal function (ESS), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist System (EBA), ISO-Fix child seat mountings and brake override system to prevent accidental acceleration.
The Triton has a strong Australian influence with customer feedback sessions and many kilometres of local testing showing through in the design functionality, engine’s torque characteristics, high speed stability on gravel surfaces and overall towing performance and stability.
Mitsubishi has always had a great value proposition with the Triton and that was reflected in being a previous winner of the OzRoamer COTY Dual Cab Ute Award. It will be interesting to see how it goes this year with even stronger competition.
- Value for Money
- Internal Comfort
- Slightly low on power and torque
- Smart phone navigation only
- Prefer the 8 speed AT from Pajero Sport
Model: Triton Exceed 4WD Dual Cab Ute
Model Price: $53,127 RDAP
Engine: 2.4L DT-D 4Cyl
Drivetrain: 4WD 5 speed Auto
Power: 133 kW @ 3,500 rpm
Torque: 430 Nm @ 2,500 rpm
Safety: 5 Star ANCAP
CO2 Emissions: 201 g/km
Economy ADR: 7.6 L/100km
Tow Capacity: Max 3100 kg
Tow Ball Rating: 310 kg
Servicing: Capped Price
Warranty: 5 yr/ 100,000 km with 1 Yr roadside assist
Overall UteGuide Rating 90/100
Behind the Wheel 9
Ride & Handling 9
Fit for Purpose 10
Towing Ability 9
Off Road Ability 9
Value for Money 10