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review

2008 Mitsubishi Triton 4x2 Review

$8,330 $9,900 Dealer
  • Fuel Economy
    N/A
  • Engine Power
    100kW
  • CO2 Emissions
    N/A
  • ANCAP Rating
    N/A
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2008 Mitsubishi Triton 4x2 Review & Road Test

Model Tested:

  • 2008 Mitsubishi Triton Dual Cab 2.5-litre 4x2 - $ 28,990 (RRP)

Options:

  • Automatic transmission - $2000
  • Metallic Paint - $350

Spacious, Comfortable, Practical, Fuel consumption

Coarse Engine, Suspension too stiff, Plasticky interior

CarAdvice Rating: (3.5/5)

- Photography and words by Karl Peskett

The tradie's truck. It has to be tough as nails, go anywhere, carry anything, and cart everyone, but now, there's an economic downturn so, there's going to be a budget constraint.Fuel economy comes to the fore, reliability, servicing, ease of use, etc, all play their part. If you're never going to go off-road with it, then two-wheel drive is all you need.

Enter, Mitsubishi's latest offering - the Triton 4x2 Dual Cab. Now using a 2.5-litre diesel, instead of the previous 3.2-litre, Mitsubishi has shaved 0.9L/100km off the fuel consumption. It has also simplified the Triton, so it's a bare-bones workhorse.

We're talking industrial-grade carpeting, a cheap plastic dash and door trims, and very hard-wearing fabric for the seats. It's almost as if once you've finished with it for the day, you could hose the interior out, and hang it up to dry.

Thing is, while there's more plastic inside than a Fisher Price factory, it doesn't feel too cheaply done. Sure, look closer, and you'll see the way it's been put together - the fake screws around the gear-lever, the fluted grain of the dash, the visible seat bolts - but the colouring and mixture of textures means it hides a lot of the cheap'n'nasty look.

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The other thing the Triton has going for it, is the space. This can and does affect the look of the car. We're quite aware that it's not exactly the most attractive utility on offer - the Nissan Navara takes that title - but part of it has to do with the rear seating.

If the area behind the cab was vertical, to maintain the tray length the wheelbase would have to increase. Can't have that now, can we? The other reason for the scalloped rear, is for passenger comfort.

The front seats are fine. Very comfortable, if a little flat. However, the rear seats are able to maintain an angled backrest, due to the curvature of the cab. This makes for a comfortable back seat ride. Anyone who's been in the back of a Holden Crewman will know what we're on about. While that's all well and good in theory, the space is not the problem, it's the floor pan.

The distance of the floor to the seat squab is simply not enough. As a result, you end up sitting with your knees around your ears, not a great look. However if it's kids you're throwing in the back, you'll be fine.

Speaking of throwing in the back; one job this week was to help someone out lifting a few panels in a shop. What's going to be better than testing out the new Triton with a two-metre step ladder in the back? Two two-metre step ladders. Sadly, the Triton couldn't load them in without them hanging out of the tray.

The only way to get around it, was to lean them up against the bar at the front of the tray, and tie them down. Considering how many tradies do have ladders, that was a disappointment. However the load capacity isn't bad at all. 944kgs for the model we tested, which doesn't make it a true one-tonner, but it's pretty damn close.

That's due to the leaf springs, which although enable it to carry a load, also make the back end highly stiff, and unforgiving. Sure, it's expected, but every time you go over a speedhump, or a pothole, you get a massive jolt through the cabin, and a wobble that continues for a second or two.

The ride, then, isn't exactly smooth. It's almost truck-like in its handling, too, with plenty of roll, and bounce. Remember, though, that this is a workhorse, not a sports utility. It would be nice to have more direct steering however.

Similar to the four-wheel-drive version, the Triton 4x2 suffers from woeful steering input. You can whirl and twirl the wheel, but you'll still be turning, long after the corner's gone. The front drive-shafts are missing, so what gives? At least the feel is excellent - you'll never push it too far.

It stops better than you expect with good feel and response from the brakes, and plenty of grip from the 16-inch tyres. What it doesn't have plenty of, is power.

Now, I'm not expecting to have my pants set on fire, but with a yawning 0-100km/h time of 13.4-seconds, the 2.5-litre fails to inspire, and four-hundred metres? Forget it, you'd start, and the next century would be here before you finished. It also is one of the roughest diesels around.

Thankfully it's reasonably economical. 9.1-litres/100km isn't bad considering the load capacity, though, and on test, we were returning under that - around 8.7L/100km - despite mostly city driving.

The automatic that we tested also held its own, with very smooth shifts, and no flaring, or clunking. It's still a four-speed, but it wafts on the diesel torque, and the ratios are fairly evenly spaced, meaning it doesn't suffer too much from big drops in power every time it shifts up a gear.

Considering you get Mitsubishi's 5/10 warranty, as a tradies truck the 4x2 is value for money. If you're on a budget, and you don't want a Proton Jumbuck, at $28,990, with nearly a one-tonne payload, the Triton represents good buying.

CarAdvice Overall Rating: (3.5/5)How does it Drive: How does it Look: How does it Go:

Specifications:

  • Engine: 2477cc, four-cylinder,
  • Power: 100kW @ 3800rpm
  • Torque: 314Nm @ 2000rpm
  • Induction: Turbocharged, intercooled, common-rail diesel
  • Transmission: Four-speed automatic
  • Top Speed: N/A
  • 0-100km/h: 13.4 seconds
  • 0-400m: Not tested
  • Fuel Consumption: 9.1-litres/100km (Combined)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 75 litres
  • Fuel Type: Diesel
  • ANCAP rating: NA
  • Airbags: Front
  • Safety: ABS, EBD
  • Spare wheel: Full size steel (mounted under tray)
  • Tow capacity: 2500kg (braked)
  • Turning Circle: 11.8m
  • Warranty: 5-year/10-year (drivetrain)
  • Weight: 1817kg
  • Wheels: 16-inch steel