Eye-catching looks are the primary attraction and separator between the Triton and the rest of the field. It’s also slightly longer now. Picture: SUPPLIED
Eye-catching looks are the primary attraction and separator between the Triton and the rest of the field. It’s also slightly longer now. Picture: SUPPLIED

Luxury bakkies have been steadily filling family car roles normally preserved for passenger cars, and they make a lot of sense to many people.

It’s no wonder there is so much choice. Conversely, this has also seen the rise of the bakkie that has solidly drifted away from being primarily a workhorse. Happily, the facelifted Mitsubishi Triton still retains that crucial feel of a tool despite looking suave and boasting enhanced amenities.

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It has Bluetooth with hands-free voice control, a touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and dual-zone climate control, among plenty. 

On the outside the updated Triton has big changes, with what Mitsubishi calls its “dynamic shield” front styling treatment first seen on the Pajero Sport model and is now also applied to the Eclipse crossover range.

The changes are also noticeable with newer, larger and bulging rear light clusters. The Triton stands out from the crowd whether you like the looks or not.

The interior is typical of the segment and exudes an ambiance not normally associated with lugging logs or shuttling lambs. The leather seats are comfortable and ensure quick and easy settling in.

The Triton along with the Navara, Isuzu D-Max, Mazda BT-50 and others listed below are no big sellers in a market in which Toyota’s Hilux and Ford’s Ranger dominate the headlines. Despite playing fifth or sixth fiddle in the establishment in terms of sales, this Triton is worth thinking about. The 2019 model uses a 133kW and 430Nm 2.4l turbo-diesel engine that is strong, refined and can be mated to either a new six-speed automatic with one more gear than before, or a six-speed manual transmission.

It’s right up there with best of them in terms of quality, comfort and luxury appointments. Picture: SUPPLIED
It’s right up there with best of them in terms of quality, comfort and luxury appointments. Picture: SUPPLIED

Our automatic test vehicle was the range topper of a four-model range. Mitsubishi says this engine is primed for “optimal balance of engine power, fuel economy and interior quietness with smooth acceleration at low engine revolutions” and this is exactly what it delivered.

It isn’t a brute such as the five-cylinder Ranger, but its combination with the new auto gearbox gave it keen performance everywhere. Our fuel consumption averaged 8.1l/100km on an urban test cycle which is close enough to the factory claim of 7.5l/100km.  

One of the noteworthy enhancements to the Triton is the ride quality, which is among the best in the class. Its suspension works wonders in rough off-road situations. Road fissures are soaked in superbly and this is one of the appeals of this Mitsubishi.

So is the Super Select II 4WD System. The new generation Triton is just as off-road-worthy as before with its ability to switch from rear- to four-wheel drive, a low-range transfer case, and a rear diff lock. Its jungle-busting capacity has now been boosted by the addition of hill descent control, and a new off-road mode with gravel, mud/snow, sand, and rock settings for improved traction.

It's without a doubt one of the most eye-catching workhorses on sale right now. Picture: SUPPLIED
It's without a doubt one of the most eye-catching workhorses on sale right now. Picture: SUPPLIED

The ride height was also raised from 205mm to 220mm to improve its clearances when off-roading.

Those who want to haul boats or enormous caravans will be pleased with the vehicle’s 3,100kg towing mass (braked) rating.

Mitsubishi has long eschewed the lower commercial end of the bakkie market, and instead focused its bakkie aims firmly at the lifestyle segment. Both ways, the Triton now has a fascinating new look and enhancements but is still basically the tried-and-tested old pick-up that delivers on the mandate and beyond expected of luxury bakkies.

Tech Specs

ENGINE

Type: four-cylinder turbo-diesel

Capacity: 2,442cc

Power: 133kW

Torque: 430Nm

TRANSMISSION

Type: Six-speed auto

DRIVETRAIN

Type: Selectable 4x4 with low range

PERFORMANCE

Top speed: N/A

0-100km/h: N/A

Fuel consumption: 7.5l/100km (claimed) 8.l/100km (as tested)

Emissions: 176g/km

 

STANDARD FEATURES

Tilt and telescopic adjustable steering column, multi-function leather steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth with hands-free voice control, touch-screen radio/CD and MP3 player, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, electric windows, USB and accessory sockets, leather seats, electrically adjustable driver seat, chromatic rear-view mirror, 7 airbags, active stability and traction control, ABS brakes, brake assist system, hill-start assist system, hill descent control, daytime running lights, rear-view camera, keyless operating system.

 

COST OF OWNERSHIP

Warranty: 3 years/100,000km

5-year/90,000km service plan

Price:  R589,995

Lease*: R12,630 per month

* at 10% interest over 60 months no deposit

 

Mitsubishi Triton 2.4DI-D 4x4 Auto

WE LIKE:

Looks, specification, refinement

WE DISLIKE:

Small range

 

VERDICT:

Gorgeous and it can still play out in the rough.

 

MOTOR NEWS

star rating

***** Design

*** Performance

*** Economy

**** Ride/handling

**** Safety

**** Value for money

**** Overall

 

Competition

Volkswagen Amarok 2.0 BiTDI Highline 4Motion Auto, 132kW/420Nm — R654,700

Mazda BT-50 3.2 4x4 SLE Auto, 147kW/470Nm — R569,700

Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 4x4 Raider auto, 130kW/450Nm — R637,500

Isuzu D-Max 3.0 TD 4x4 LX auto, 130kW/380Nm — R627,900

Ford Ranger 2.0 4x4 XLT auto, 132kW/420Nm — R570,200

Mercedes-Benz X250d 4Matic Progressive auto, 140kW/450Nm — R723,811            

Fiat Fullback 2.4 AT 4WD, 133KW/430Nm — R573,900