The buffed-up 2019 Mitsubishi Triton – a substantial mid-life update to the existing model – has been revealed in Thailand, ahead of its Australian launch in January next year.
Design-wise, it’s a big leap. The ‘dynamic shield’ grille, higher bonnet, pronounced flares over the front and rear wheel arches, new wheels, pronounced sculpting running along the side of the tray and revised tail-lights give this Triton the requisite ‘tough’ look.
"When you look at the general market tends they are going for the tough and durable image. The previous generation had its time..." said MMC COO Trevor Mann.
Inside is more evolutionary, with new silver plastic and metallic accents, more stitching, and soft padded bits. There are also new roof air vents, a new LCD instrument display, keyless start option, rear USB point and storage, and an overhead-view camera (all on higher grades).
The centre screen in the pictures is Thai spec, we will keep the current 7" Apple CarPlay/Android Auto enabled screen.
The engine is familiar, a 2.4-litre variable geometry turbo-diesel (codename 4N15), running what appears to be a higher compression ratio. Peak power is 133kW at 3500rpm and maximum torque is 420Nm at 2500rpm. It's believed the tow rating remains 3.1t.
MMC has also add a stop/start system to cut fuel use and improve emissions.
The other major replacement is the axing of the old five-speed automatic gearbox in favour of a new six-speed unit, instead of the related Pajero Sport’s eight-speeder. The familiar six-speed manual ‘box has not been changed.
Certain grades keep Mitsubishi’s Super Select 4WD system, which gets an upgrade. You can drive in RWD, but unlike most utes there’s also a road-ready shift-on-the-fly 4H (AWD) system with a 60 per cent rear torque bias. This is great on slippery roads and tracks.
You also get a 4HLc mode that locks the centre diff and is made for mud and snow, and a 4LLc low-range. The company has also added an Off-Road mode that fettles throttle mapping, transmission shifts and ESC parameters to best work with any surface; from gravel, to mud/snow, and rock.
The ground clearance is 220mm and the revised design is a bit more 4x4 friendly, with an approach angle of 31 degrees, departure angle of 23 degrees and ramp break-over angle of 25 degrees (dual cab).
There are no major changes to the suspension, which comprises double wishbones at the front and leafs at the rear. However, the company does claim to have fitted larger rear dampers to smooth the ride out and improve NVH. There are also bigger brakes.
Pictured: 2019 Triton top, 2018 Triton below
The company has also added a pretty strong range of safety features, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), making it just the third pickup in its class with this feature after the more expensive Mercedes-Benz X-Class and Ford Ranger.
There’s also blind-spot monitoring that beeps and flashes if you move to merge with traffic at the wrong time, rear cross-traffic alert that warns you of parallel traffic when reversing out of a parking bay, and a system called Ultrasonic Mis-acceleration Mitigation, which cuts engine power if you accidentally move forward or backwards from standstill towards an object and don’t brake (perhaps engaging R in stead of D, for example).
Click any of the new Triton photos above for more gallery images
The Triton is hugely popular locally. It’s Mitsubishi’s top seller, and regularly number three in the ute market behind the Toyota HiLux and Ranger, ahead of the Holden Colorado, Isuzu D-Max and Nissan Navara. Australia is actually the Triton’s second biggest market, after Thailand, out of 150 markets.
Much of this success is down to unbeatable pricing, though we don’t yet know local specifics on that front. Clearly it’ll remain sharp, though it might rightfully command some small increases on higher-grade models, based on the changes.
What do you think of the revised Triton? Is it a winner? Tell us in the comments.