2009 Mitsubishi Triton GLS Fastback Review & Road Test
A safe, well optioned and gutsy performer
- 2009 Mitsubishi Triton GLS Fastback 3.2-litre, turbo-diesel, 4WD, automatic, dual-cab utility: $53,990 (RRP)
- Metallic paint $350 (fitted: Gunmetal)
Capable engine and 4WD system; ample equipment list; unique styling
Noisy engine; reduced load area; long steering ratio; flat seating
- by Matt Brogan
Though Dakar may have swapped continents this year, the passion and heritage drawn from the great race cannot be denied, especially where Mitsubishi is concerned.
So to capture this sentiment in a marketable form, the triple diamond team have dressed up the Triton with a Dakar-esque body styling kit they call the Fastback.
OK, so calling a Triton fast might be stretching the truth a little, but that's not to say the unique looks on offer don't attract a lot of attention - especially from other Triton owners.
Based on the GLX-R model, the GLS Fastback comes with a packet of extra equipment including a lockable hard tonneau cover, semi-automatic climate control, electric tilt and slide sunroof, leather trimmed steering wheel, gear knob and seats (featuring blue stitching) and a powered driver's seat.
These options are in addition to the pre-existing extras list of 17-inch alloy wheels, rear and side steps, Bluetooth, cruise control, power windows (including powered rear-centre window), electric mirrors, remote central locking, front fog lamps, and single CD/tuner premium audio package offered in the derivative model.
It really is quite a generous package all up, but one has to wonder if it is worth the extra $7500 on top of the GLX-R's recommended retail price.
The cabin is rather generous proportionally and offers ample leg, head and shoulder room is both rows.
The back seat too is surprisingly comfortable thanks to the rounded design of the cabin's rear but sadly the seats are very flat in all seating positions and do not offer a lot of lateral support, which is quite bothersome off-road.
Under the bonnet, a 3.2-litre, common-rail, turbo diesel, four-cylinder engine manages 118kW at 3800rpm and an even handed 343Nm of torque from 2000rpm. It's a strong engine and pulls quite well, even when heavily loaded, though is remarkably noisy inside the cab, even when cruising.
The four-speed automatic gearbox does a decent job of swapping cogs and is adequate for the role despite the lack of ratios on offer.
Mitsubishi's Super-Select multi-mode 4WD system is both versatile and capable, and when combined with 205mm of ground clearance and a lockable, viscous limited-slip, rear differential, makes even the more challenging of off-road exercises a breeze.
Unfortunately however the gearbox doesn't afford Triton very good fuel economy, with my week returning 11.6 litres per 100km (combined), almost two litres over the published result of 9.9 litres.
Another issue for the Fastback is side-rearward visibility. Changing lanes to the left becomes a mirror based affair with considerable blind spots generated from the sails between the cab and the tray. Parallel parking too is almost a "by feel" exercise.
Braking too is a bit of a let down with the disc/drum combination feeling a little challenged under emergency situations. ABS is offered as standard fit and though it does feature EBD, it doesn't feel as certain as it should, even under ideal (flat/dry/sealed) stopping situations.
The steering is needlessly long of ratio which makes parking and suburban driving annoying with far too many turns lock-to-lock (almost four) and a rather large turning circle at 11.8 metres. Feel and feedback too is a touch light.
I guess what this all adds up to is that despite being a good looking and well optioned uti;ity there is no escaping the fact it is still a commercial vehicle at heart and should you chose to combine the purpose on hand with your family motoring, you'll find a payload of 870kg remains on offer - if you be able to fully utilise the compromised tray area that is.
Ride and handling are above average, but far from brilliant with body roll very evident on hard cornering. The stiffer ride although usual for such a vehicle is not as bad as some competitors though so as a multi-purpose vehicle, here the Fastback may hold a slight advantage.
On the safety side of things, the ABS and EBD are about as techy as this beast gets, though with dual front airbags (passenger side switchable) and three point inertia belts in all seating positions Triton scores an impressive four-star ANCAP rating.
Despite being safe, well optioned and a gutsy performer - especially off road - the Triton is a little way behind its competitors in most other areas and has been scored accordingly, and despite the unique looks, for the money you can do better elsewhere.
CarAdvice Overall Rating: How does it Drive: How does it Look: How does it Go:
- Engine: 3200cc DOHC four-cylinder (16 valve)
- Power: 118kW @ 3800rpm
- Torque: 343Nm @ 2000rpm
- Induction: Common rail & turbocharged
- Transmission: Four speed automatic
- Driven Wheels: Rear/All
- Brakes: Disc (front) / Drum (rear)
- Top Speed: 168km/h
- 0-100km/h: 11.3 seconds
- 0-400m: Not tested
- CO2 Emissions: 261g/km
- Fuel Consumption: 9.9 litres/100km (official ADR)
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 75 litres
- Fuel Type: Diesel
- ANCAP Rating: Four stars
- Airbags: Dual front
- Safety: ABS & EBD
- Spare Wheel: Full size alloy
- Tow Capacity: 2500kg (braked)
- Turning Circle: 11.8 metres
- Warranty: Five Year/130,000km
- Weight: 2070kg (Tare)/870kg (Payload)
- Wheels: Alloy 17 x 7.0-inch