Test: Mitsubishi Triton GLS Sport ute
In a crowded ute market with a focus on unit-shifting special deals, it's easy to overlook solid contenders getting on with the job of providing workhorses for all manner of uses. Of the latter variety, Mitsubishi's Triton GLS Sport comes to mind.
Before you even start poring over specification details, like Bluetooth hands-free systems and towing capacities, Mitsubishi New Zealand broadcasts one headline that, when you boil it down, is difficult to ignore.
Its Diamond Advantage Warranty scheme is pretty impressive — and if it's a reasonably hard life ahead for your ute of choice, it's something you'll definitely want to consider.
For a start, the company offers a comprehensive 10-year/160,000km power train warranty that covers mechanical issues with your engine, transmission, 4WD system, shafts, axles, and differential. On top of that, it also adds a five-year/130,000km new vehicle warranty that covers pretty much everything else.
Oh, and then there's also Mitsubishi's five-year roadside assist scheme as well — another component of the Diamond Advantage Warranty scheme.
Yes, it's a bit cart-before-horse to look at the paperwork before the product, but it's this sort of cover that really speaks volumes about a company's faith in its hardware, so it shouldn't be ignored.
Although increasingly recognised as a Japanese company strongly focused on hybrid power technology, Mitsubishi also possesses a vast amount of experience in the development of diesel power. Mitsubishi has taken learnings from their heavy truck division and applied them to the gutsy 2.5-litre unit that powers all 13 Triton variants in the New Zealand lineup.
The range-topping GLS Sport 4WD automatic we tested can also be optioned with a five-speed manual 'box, which gives you an extra 51Nm of torque at 2000rpm, although the 356Nm available in the five-speed auto is certainly more than sufficient to pull you along.
Mitsubishi also offers a four-speed auto 'box in the GLX-R, which sits just under our tester in the range and will cost you $53,990 plus ORC, versus the $59,490 plus ORC for the ute on these pages.
For the extra ask, the GLS gives you leather-faced seats, voice-activated Bluetooth controllable through the steering wheel, integrated fog lights, more bright work on the body and bigger 17" alloy wheels.
The Triton marries up perfectly well with modern expectations in terms of what comfort, convenience, and safety items are on offer to the driver and passengers, and its greatly-improved wellside tray configuration also stands out for us.
Mitsubishi takes a lot of pride in the 4WD systems it uses, these days the various traction systems featured in the Triton come under the heading of Mitsubishi All-Terrain Technology (or MATT for short).
The system really does provide the full gamut of active safety software designed to keep you on the road (or track), and includes Active Traction Control, a Multi-Mode Anti-Lock Braking system which sends different amounts of brake-force to individual wheels depending on the situation, and Active Stability Control, designed to combat under- or over-steer.
The Triton GLS's Super Select 4WD system allows you to change between four differing traction modes on the fly. In fact, you can change between 2H and 4H at anywhere up to 100kph, although we'd suggest slowing down a bit if the chip seal has just disappeared beneath groomed metal.
As you'd expect, the 4WD system incorporates full-time 4H and 4HLC (4WD high range) modes, along with 4LLC in the GLS, thanks to the centre diff-lock, specifically suited to a farm track that requires more crawling than actual driving.
Like almost all of its competitors, the Triton can be specified in four body styles: single and double cab-chassis formats, ready to accept your deck of choice on the rear; a Club Cab offering, which provides an extra modicum of space behind the driver and front passenger seats; and the full double cab, with seating for five.
Double cab Tritons also offer a back window with an electrically-opening partition – handy if you have a load of timber lengths that won't quite fit the tray or simply if you want to give the dog some fresh air without having it hanging out the side window.
Depending on your needs, the wellside tray versions are supremely practical with 1505mm of interior cargo floor length, a 1470mm cargo floor width (or 1085mm between wheel arches) and 460mm in height. The gross payload figure of 1010kg (or 1025kg for manual versions) is impressive, too.
Outside of the tray itself we were impressed with the standard rear step bumper the GLS Sport arrives with. Combined with the stylish looking side steps, the Triton in this state of dress is a good-looking truck indeed.
The Triton has flown under the radar of late, as several big brands scramble for sales supremacy. Regardless, there remains a lot to like here, not least the ute's proven off-road abilities and its back-up support in the shape of Mitsubishi's 10 Year Diamond Advantage warranty scheme.
At GLS Sport level, the Triton is a good looker too, with enough modern toys inside and chrome additions to the body outside to present a stylish overall package. Also the rear tray was redesigned a couple of years back to add valuable extra millimetres to proceedings.
All in all, the triple diamond brand continues to look after the needs of the light commercial market with a ute that covers all the bases.
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