Mitsubishi Triton ute

By: Steve Vermeulen


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Mitsubishi’s Triton has received some significant enhancements for 2010. Thank goodness.

Mitsubishi Triton ute
Mitsubishi Triton ute
  • More power, increased torque, but more economical
  • Smooth acceleration
  • Exceptional safety features
  • Stability control

The previous model was a bit undercooked for the discerning Kiwi rural buyer: small tray, oddball curvy looks, middle of the road engine... too bloody soft. So, here’s the new one. What has changed?

Alright, it still looks fairly much the same; that stylised nose remains, albeit having a few tweaks to the grill, bumper and fog lamps, and while those swoopy lines that form the well-side tray have been straightened out somewhat, the Triton isn’t the toughest looking rig going. But don’t let the looks fool you, Mitsubishi has listened to customer feedback and has made some worthwhile improvements.

Engine and power

With modern engine technology as it is these days, more grunt doesn’t always mean you require more capacity. So, the 2010 Triton’s engine has shrunk by 500cc, now just a 2.5-litre diesel donk, but power and torque on four-wheel drive versions have increased by 13kW and 54Nm respectively.

Now with 133kW @ 4000rpm and 407Nm of torque @ 2000rpm, Mitsubishi’s improvements under the bonnet are enough to out-power the stump-pulling performance of the other 2.5-litre ute in the category, Nissan’s "well-hard" Navara STX.

The turbo’s boost pressure comes in gradually, so acceleration is smoothe and the turbo continues to deliver right into the higher end of the rev range.

This linear torque delivery is thanks in part to the variable vanes now fitted to the turbocharger (variable Geometry Turbo – VGT). A series of small, electronically adjustable flaps encircle the turbine blade and pivot depending on the speed of the intake air, by optimising the pitch of the vanes dependant on the level of airflow the Triton’s engine management system can maximise the turbine’s rpm even at low rpm. To be fair, it’s common technology in the modern diesel these days, but the more energy efficient method of turbocharging makes a notable difference in the Triton application over the previous model.

There’s also a better combustion chamber design and injectors, which all go toward extracting impressive performance on and off road from the engine. While also reducing your fuel bill. Average economy for our manual 4x4 GLX double cab tester is 8.1L/100km.

Towing capability is up also with the single cab/chassis 4x4 variants now capable of matching the Navara’s 3000kg braked towing weight. Disappointingly though, the Triton double cabs fall short and are restricted to 2700kg braked.

Transmission

You can select the GLX with either the five-speed manual, or a five speed auto – with reduced torque output of 356Nm. Despite the auto’s deficit in pulling power it might’ve be a benefit on some hillier topography as the manual’s clutch pedal is light and gauging the take-up point can be difficult. The manual box accompanied with 4WD high and low range gearing does offer the piece of mind when heading downhill though.

Performance and handling

The firmly packed soil, excellent 4x4 drive train and the Hilux-beating 32.7 degree approach, 26.3 ramp over and 20.7 departure angles didn’t have any of the Triton’s bodywork left behind when navigating steeper inclines or ditches.

On mucky terrain the electronic diff lock the cab/chassis is fitted with wouldn’t go astray, shame it’s not available across the range. But the 1.900 ratio low range and 16" Bridgestone Dueller tyres lugged the 1885kg GLX out of trouble spots.

The turning circle receives top marks, but the rack ratio remains a bit laborious in the car park, at 4.5 turns lock to lock, and you’ll appreciate the high riding, heavy duty suspension for farm work.

The tray is an improved 1505mm (L) x 1470mm (W) with 1085mm of space between the rear wheel arches; it’s deeper too at 460mm.

Safety features

The Triton’s strongest point of difference within the light commercial sector is the interior and safety specification. The high floor pan makes an ideal driving position difficult, but a relaxed rake to the rear squab makes rear seating comfortable.

As with any ute, the farm grade version is fairly bare bones but it’s nice to see steering wheel-operated cruise control standard on GLX (and above) models and a Bluetooth hands-free phone option.

Safety specification is class leading with lap-sash seatbelts in all seating positions and electronic stability standard starting with the GLX along with front, side and curtain airbags.

See the Mitsubishi Triton for sale.

Read more farm vehicle reviews in the latest issue of Farm Trader magazine, on sale now.

Specifications

Overall length with wellside (mm) 5210
Overall width (mm) 1,750
Overall height (mm) 1,775
Ground clearance (mm) 200
Turning circle (m) 12
Kerb weight (kg) 1,885
Gross vehicle weight (kg) 2,920
Payload (kg) 1,035
Wellside interior length (mm) 1,505
Wellside interior width (mm) 1,470
Between wheel arches (mm) 1,085
Wellside interior height (mm) 460
Engine 2.5L Hight Power Common Rail Intercooled Turbo Diesel
Max power (kW @rpm) 133 @ 4,000
Max torque (Nm @ rpm) 407 @2,000
Fuel consumption (L/100km) 8.1
Transmission 5 speed manual
Suspension Front - wish bone with coil sprint & stabiliser, Rear - elliptic leaf spring

 

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