5 years ago I was in the market for a dual cab ute and for my price range it came down to a 2-4 year old Hilux SR5 or 1-2 year old Triton GLX-R.
After looking around for a few months I decided on the Triton due to its equipment and features, which left the Hilux stuck in the ages and also the price. I was after an Automatic and the Triton's 5 speed felt a lot more intuitive than the 4 speed Hilux box. The Triton came with a longer warranty and at the time a lot of the Hilux's in my price range had a lot more Km on the clock.
After 5 years I can truly say the Triton has served me well. At the time I needed a ute that was capable to get me to work comfortably and also able to hit the dirt on the weekend. I have now driven 100,000kms since I picked it up at 30,000km on the clock and it has hit every point.
The Triton at the time had one of the biggest cabins and I was able to carry three adults in the back with plenty of room. The engine had plenty of power and was comfortable for the city driving, and the idea of opening the back window with the dogs in the tray was a bonus that no other ute offered at the time.
Another big advantage was the cabin. The dash set-up and design felt more modern over the Hilux's, which still had the same interior as the 2001 Toyota Corolla that I was upgrading from.
Around town the Triton was quiet and comfortable, there was slight turbo lag that comes with turbo diesels, but the engine had plenty of low down grunt.
Off-road the Triton performed rather well. I didn't have the advantage of the rear diff lock in my car, however it has seen its fair share of difficult tracks and I must say it has never missed a beat. The ute is well set-up with a lot of the underbody gear tucked up nice and high which has helped get through some tough tracks with out any damage. The auto in the sand is dynamite, and the traction control with the ability to turn on-off is another advantage.
Since I purchased the vehicle I have upgraded the suspension, put bigger tyres on it, installed UHF, dual batteries and a few others to help me on the trips.
The main issue I have with the ute was the servicing costs. It is now out of warranty, however during the warranty period I had it serviced at the local dealer which gave piece of mind that they knew what they were doing, however it came at a cost.
The only other down-side was the fuel consumption - compared to the new and updated dual cabs on the market today and their 'claimed' L/100, my old Triton shows its age. I average around 10-11 per 100 which isn't bad but its not great either (considering I run bigger tyres).
Overall the Triton was a sound choice back then and to this day has never missed a beat. Capable on/off road, has enough power and grunt, and still has the technology to keep it current.
In the next year or so I will look to upgrade - would I buy a Triton again??? Yes I would, but I think I will look at something like the Ranger or BT-50 for something different, bigger engine, deeper tray and a bigger road presence.