From nowhere, the 2019 Mitsubishi Triton is now the clear ute-segment leader in the proliferation of active safety technology – features that are increasingly important to fleet operators and small business.
Additionally, the updated 20-variant range that hits showrooms in January gets a brasher look, a new six-speed automatic gearbox, plus small tweaks to the cabin and the rear leaf suspension.
Together, the tweaks are designed to improve Mitsubishi's already strong ute market share of about 14 per cent, third overall to the dominant Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger. Australia is the world's number-two Triton market, after Thailand.
Of course, RRP list prices and real-world transaction prices are two different things, and we all know Mitsubishi has been selling Tritons at a discount over RRP for years. So, let's watch and wait there...
There are still three body styles available: the volume double cab (dropside/cab chassis or pickup tray), plus the club cab (ditto) and single cab (dropside tray/cab chassis only).
• DRIVEN: 2019 Triton REVIEW
The three entry-spec levels remain GLX, GLX+ and GLS, while the Exceed range-topper is now called GLS Premium. The former two are the workhorses, the latter pair are the 'lifestyle' utes with more mod cons.
The first change you notice is the design. The nose is bluffer and taller, and fits the 'Dynamic Shield' brief. There are new character lines along the tray bed, and new tail lights/tailgate. There are also new alloy wheels and a few extra colour choices, including off-white and shiny red.
There aren't a heap of changes to the look of the cabin, though there are new soft-touch pads on the transmission tunnel, armrest and doors, roof-mounted air vents for rear occupants, rear USB points, and a new trip computer. Standard features are very good for the class, as listed below.
The chassis is largely unchanged, though the dampers at the rear are bigger to theoretically improve comfort. Payload comes down slightly, for example in the top-selling GLS it's reduced by 38kg, to 912kg. The base GLX single-cab can haul 1284kg, and the GLX dual cab 1093kg, for context.
Models with 18-inch wheels also get bigger 320mm ventilated disc/two-pot calliper brakes up front. Ground clearance is 220mm, while the approach and departure angles are slightly improved by the new designs.
The 2.4-litre turbocharged diesel engine across the board still makes 133kW of peak power and 430Nm of maximum torque from 2500rpm, allowing a towing capacity of 3.1 tonnes. The base 94kW/194Nm 2.4 petrol with manual gearbox remains in the GLX single-cab-chassis as a price leader.
The diesel's six-speed manual 'box is unchanged, but the automatic transmission option also now has six speeds, rather than five, giving drivers a wider ratio spread. MMC reckons the Pajero Sport's eight-speed auto is too heavy, hurting payload. We suspect pricing also comes into it...
Despite the addition of a new gearbox, the minor weight gain, throttle calibration and less aerodynamic design means fuel economy is actually slightly worse than before, though it's still low for the class. The claims vary between 7.9L/100km and 8.6L/100km on test, depending on grade and transmission. The tank is 75L.
The GLX and GLX+ 4x4s get a part-time system, but the GLS versions get an expanded Super Select 4WD-II system which, as before, retains both on-road and off-road oriented 4WD modes. They also now get four terrain modes that adjust the throttle/gearing/ESC and centre diff depending on your surface traction, plus hill descent control.
There's now a segment-leading array of active safety tech, in addition to the standard front, side and curtain (front and rear where applicable) airbags and 2015 five-star ANCAP crash rating. The GLX+, and GLX with an 'ADAS' options pack, both get Forward Collision Mitigation (including autonomous emergency braking) and lane departure warning.
The two GLS versions get blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, ultrasonic mis-acceleration mitigation (UMMS, for example, if you're near a wall and accidentally hit the throttle in D, it'll stop the car lurching forward), auto high beam, and lane-change assist. Kudos.
No rival matches this swathe of tech. The Mercedes-Benz X-Class and Ford Ranger can be had with AEB but are both costlier. Funnily enough, the closest match in terms of safety tech and price is the just-launched SsangYong Musso.
Mitsubishi management says it's already receiving great interest from larger-scale fleets with increasingly strict OH&S requirements for this tech, though ruled out the prospect of re-testing with ANCAP to attempt a tougher 2018 five-star rating, for now.
From an ownership perspective, Mitsubishi will sell the Triton until at least June 30 next year with a seven-year warranty, active for 150,000km, matching the year period of said Musso. The first three services (every 12 months/15,000km ) are capped at only $199 per visit.
GLX standard features
- Seven airbags
- Cruise control
- 6.1-inch screen
- Reversing camera (pickups)
- Rear sensors (pickups)
- Bluetooth audio/phone
- 2 x 12V input
- Vinyl floors
- Fabric seats
- Heavy duty suspension
GLX ADAS extras
- FCW with AEB (new)
- Lane-departure warning (new)
- Electro-chromatic rear-view mirror
- Dusk-sensing headlights
- Rain-sensing wipers
- 7.0-inch touchscreen
- Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- Digital radio
- Extra front USB point
- Front climate control
- Side steps
- 16" alloy wheels
- Blind-spot monitor (new)
- Lane change assist (new)
- Rear cross traffic alert (new)
- UMMS (new)
- Auto high beam (new)
- Hill descent control (new)
- Front sensors
- Two extra speakers
- Rear USB (new)
- Roof-mounted air vents for rear (new)
- Dual-zone climate control
- Carpet floors
- Leather steering wheel
- Nicer seat cloth
- LED headlights both beams
- LED DRLs
- Electric folding mirrors
- Sports bar
- 18-inch alloys
- Revised rear leafs (new)
GLS Premium extras
- Heated leather seats
- Electric driver seat adjust
- 18-inch alloy spare (not steel)
- 360-degree camera (new)
- Proximity key
- Button start
- Nudge bar
- Tub liner
2019 Mitsubishi Triton pricing (before on-road costs)
|Variant||Price||Increase over MY18|
|GLX 4x2 c/c petrol manual||$22,490||None|
|GLX 4x2 c/c diesel manual||$25,990||None|
|GLX 4x2 c/c diesel auto||$28,490||None|
|GLX 4x4 c/c diesel manual||$32,990||None|
|GLX 4x4 c/c diesel auto||$35,490||None|
|GLX 4x4 c/c diesel manual||$35,490||$200|
|GLX ADAS 4x4 c/c diesel auto||$38,790||New|
|GLX+ 4x4 pickup diesel auto||$40,490||$1000|
|GLX ADAS 4x2 pickup diesel auto||$36,290||New|
|GLX 4x4 c/c diesel manual||$36,240||None|
|GLX ADAS 4x4 c/c diesel auto||$39,540||New|
|GLX 4x4 pickup diesel manual||$37,490||$500|
|GLX 4x4 pickup diesel auto||$39,990||$500|
|GLX ADAS 4x4 pickup diesel manual||$38,290||New|
|GLX ADAS 4x4 pickup diesel auto||$40,790||New|
|GLX+ 4x4 pickup diesel manual||$39,990||$1500|
|GLX+ 4x4 pickup diesel auto||$42,490||$1500|
|GLS 4x4 pickup diesel manual||$44,490||$2000|
|GLS 4x4 pickup diesel auto||$46,990||$2000|
|GLS Premium 4x4 pickup diesel auto||$51,990||$3000|
Get more on the Triton range at the links below