How much has changed, beyond the new look? We steal the keys to the CarAdvice Triton for a comparison!
You’d be forgiven for thinking the 2019 Mitsubishi Triton is an all-new model, because how it looks has changed so dramatically. Underneath that updated sheetmetal however, you’ll find it’s the same base platform that's been underpinning the range since 2015.
There are some important changes beyond the look, however, which might sway the new Triton onto buyers' consideration list. And what better way to point those changes out, than to compare Mitsubishi's new workhorse against the model it replaces?
To that end, we’ve brought along the CarAdvice Triton from out behind the camera, and thrust it into the limelight.
Our company-owned hauler is a 2016 GLX+ Triton, which has spent the last 80,000km ferrying the CarAdvice camera team (and all of their gear) to video- and photoshoots.
It’s basically stock, save for some side steps, a genuine snorkel, some Bridgestone Dueler 697 All Terrain tyres, and a MountainTop roll cover to keep the tub's contents secure. Oh, and there’s that distinctive vinyl wrap. It’s black underneath, just in case you’re wondering.
The interior is mostly the same, although a few tweaks do make a difference. The new model has a better centre console, a couple of USB points, and a small storage cubby. Another addition is the roof-mounted air circulation fan. Instead of going to the effort and expense of running air conditioning vents from the roof or centre console, Mitsubishi has whacked a big fan system in the roof.
The theory here is to draw warmer or cooler air from the front, and distribute it to the poor souls consigned to the back row. It works, certainly pumping a lot of air around, but it’s also pretty noisy, especially at higher settings.
The biggest difference is also the most obvious: how the Triton looks. From the windscreen forward, this is a much more square and bluff looking ute, that sits higher and certainly looks more imposing. The doors and the cabin are the same stampings, but the rear fenders have been tweaked mildly to complement the new look.
The major facelift undergone by the Triton’s is all about Mitsubishi's attempt at appealing to the type of buyer who is gravitating towards the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux.
They’re not driven by value, something the Triton has historically been very good at. It’s more aspirational, where the heart has a bigger say than the head. And a big part of that aspiration is the overall look of the vehicle.
The same 2.4-litre turbo-diesel resides under the bonnet, making the same 133kW of power at 3500rpm and 430Nm of torque at 2500rpm.
It’s at the lower end of the power/torque spectrum for the segment; most other utes have numbers north of 450Nm, and power closer to 150kW. But in saying that, the seat-of-the-pants experience is a positive one in the Triton.
There is a nice, linear push of torque through the revs and the gears, which doesn’t get caught out feeling sluggish. Other utes are quicker, yes, but the Triton doesn't necessarily feel slow.
While the Triton doesn’t have the cubic capacity or extra turbocharger that other donks have, there is variable valve timing on the intake side, which does let the engine feel happier and more willing across a wide range of revs.
What’s good news about the new Triton is the extra gear in the automatic transmission, making six in total. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the five-speed transmission; it shifts well enough and is smart enough to do a good job. Six gears are better, though, and the ratios have been fettled to give you a lower first gear along with a higher top gear.
A shorter first gear is better for off-roading and acceleration off the mark, while settling into a higher ratio on the highway is better for refinement and fuel consumption, theoretically.
Strange to report then, that the new Triton actually uses more fuel than the outgoing model, according to the quoted figures. A frugal 7.6L/100km on the old model, jumps up to a thirstier 8.6L on the new Triton. I’m not sure how that works.
The extra ratio is beneficial for the new model, though, and doesn’t spoil a painlessly operating transmission.
The steering and suspension tune has been tweaked as well, which does offer a subtle improvement to the driving experience. Once again, the old Triton is solid without being outstanding in this regard, but the new Triton is just that little bit better.
Higher specification Triton models continue to score the unique and versatile Super Select II system, which lets you run in either 2WD or 4WD on-road, along with a lockable centre differential and low-range transfer case for those off-road shenanigans. On lower specifications, it’s a more practical setup: 2WD on-road, with shift-on-the-fly 4WD and low range for off-roading.
The biggest, and arguably the most important change to the Triton, comes with the standard safety package. Triton was the first 4x4 ute on the scene with autonomous emergency braking, which is now being equalled by the likes of HiLux and Ranger.
There’s also something called Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation, which detects if you’ve accidentally selected drive instead of reverse (or vice-versa), and puts on the brakes before you hit something. Or someone.
Front and rear parking sensors and a 360-degree camera setup (on higher specifications) round out the tech side of things nicely.
Another big plus on the value side of things is the warranty offering, which has improved from five years and 100,000km, to seven years and 150,000km.
The Triton is the only vehicle in Mitsubishi’s range to score this improvement, showing how important the ute is for the brand. According to Mitsubishi's website, it’s available until the end of December.
Pricing has increased, roughly $4000-$6000, depending on specification. The good news here, though, is that Mitsubishi’s aggressive driveaway deals haven’t gone away. So don’t pay full sticker price, and see what kind of deals are floating around.
The Triton still represents very good value, despite those prices having been bumped across the range. That’s because of the better inclusions, which are also across the range.
While there are other utes that drive better, tow better and have better interiors, the Triton doesn’t have any big critical flaws. And it still beats most of the competition in its traditional battleground: value for money.