The Mitsubishi Triton GLS is a capable family machine.
The Mitsubishi Triton GLS is a capable family machine.

With a ute the world of isolation has never looked so good

There could be no better time to own a four-wheel drive.

International travel remains on the backburner which means Australians are looking to holiday at home. With our domestic tourism operators struggling, the time is nigh to support our own.

Utes remain our favourite vehicles according to the national sales charts, with the Ford Ranger trumping Toyota’s HiLux last month to take top step on the dais.

While the Mitsubishi Triton finished ninth, the brand has just launched a massive incentive for those considering buying new.

Kelly and Grant Edwards.
Kelly and Grant Edwards.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

GRANT: So, what are you doing in 10 years?

KEL: Depending on how needy our two dependents are, I’m anticipating a house which doesn’t need to be cleaned five times a day and no footballs flying around my ears while trying to watch television.

GRANT: There is a fair chance both our boys will still be at home given the way house prices are going. But one thing is certain, if you buy a Mitsubishi there is factory warranty coverage for a decade or 200,000km.

KEL: That’s impressive, is there a catch?

GRANT: No such thing as a free lunch. Servicing must be maintained with Mitsubishi throughout the 10 years. Visit an independent mechanic for servicing and that drops to five years and 100,000km.

KEL: I could live with that and not only is it peace of mind but handy if you want to sell mid-way through its life. Resale will surely improve with a large warranty chunk remaining.

GRANT: Capped price services average $609 for 10 at annual or 15,000km intervals. That is mid to high range in terms of cost.

KEL: This GLS Triton starts from $46,290 drive away, so how does that compare?

GRANT: For similar money you could get a Toyota HiLux with far less features on steel wheels, while an XLS Ranger would set you back about $54K.

Deals on the Mitsubishi Triton GLS currently start from $46,290 drive-away with an automatic transmission.
Deals on the Mitsubishi Triton GLS currently start from $46,290 drive-away with an automatic transmission.

THE LIVING SPACE

KEL: There are good storage spots in the console and I like the simplicity of the various controls on the steering wheel and dash.

GRANT: The infotainment feels somewhat antiquated, but the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto essentially renders the Mitsubishi system irrelevant. Once you use the smartphone mirroring apps you never go back.

KEL: CarPlay is awesome, although after a couple of months when dictating messages through Siri the Triton system would always add “no” to the beginning of each sentence.

GRANT: Yes, it also did that when I was connected. And while the driver has a colour screen between the speedo and tacho for trip and vehicle information, there’s no digital speedo option. One of our friends bought a Nissan Navara purely because it wasn’t a feature on the Triton.

KEL: Best of all it doesn’t full like a work truck inside, and externally the blue colour scheme looks the goods.

GRANT: That costs $740 extra as only red and white are standard.

KEL: The tub liner ($614) was a worthwhile accessory, and I see Mitsubishi has a wide range of extras to toughen the look but that would quickly see the bottom line increase.

The Mitsubishi Triton GLS.
The Mitsubishi Triton GLS.

THE COMMUTE

GRANT: Under the bonnet is Mitsubishi’s tried and tested four-cylinder turbo diesel. Jump on the accelerator and it feels zippy, and performance is better than the Pajero Sport which runs the same engine.

KEL: From the lights it gets away nicely. The steering doesn’t feel too heavy either and I had no issues driving it around town and on some longer highway trips.

GRANT: It’s certainly capable off road, and on the road the ride is fine on most surfaces but like most utes there is a reasonable amount of bounce from the back end while unladen.

KEL: Some people have mentioned they wouldn’t tow with a four-cylinder.

GRANT: I’ve had the same conversations. Towing capacity is 3100kg so it’s down on some of the key rivals, but the Triton does reasonably well in the gross combination mass equation at 5885kg. So it all depends on what you’re towing and putting in the back of the ute…just because it says 3.5-tonne on the brochure doesn’t always mean you can.

KEL: We have no need to tow anything big so we had no issue there, and it felt better when we had a load on the back.

While the driver has a colour screen between analogue instruments, there is no digital speedometer.
While the driver has a colour screen between analogue instruments, there is no digital speedometer.

THE SHOPPING

GRANT: Like all utes, they’re large so fitting into the urban carparks can be challenging.

KEL: I felt like it was really long, but with some judicious manoeuvring it wasn’t too onerous at the shops.

GRANT: With a turning circle of less than 12 metres it’s one of the better dual-cabs in this realm.

KEL: Groceries can be painful though — lifting bags over the top and into the tray can be a battle. It’s fine when I was alone as I could load up the back seats and footwells, but a battle when we had a full load aboard.

GRANT: It’s certainly worth getting partitions installed in the tray to stop bags moving around if you need to do it regularly.

Alloy wheels are standard on the Mitsubishi Triton GLS.
Alloy wheels are standard on the Mitsubishi Triton GLS.

SUNDAY RUN

KEL: Having a ute is brilliant. During school holidays it made things so much easier to take the kids mountain biking.

GRANT: Moving gear and dump trips are also handled with ease. There are only four tie-down points in the tray, so it’s worthwhile looking at additional tie-down kits for improved cargo securement.

KEL: Things got slippery when it got wet and I found it the back end was happy to step out.

GRANT: It’s certainly worthwhile shifting from two-wheel drive into four-high, which can be done on the fly via a console dial. Same for off-roading with the low-range option.

Testing the Triton in the Outback of South Australia.
Testing the Triton in the Outback of South Australia.

THE FAMILY

KEL: Leg and head room was good, and while the seat backs remain fairly straight there were no complaints from the boys.

GRANT: The Triton is skinny so anyone installing two child seats will find the centre seat almost redundant.

KEL: For those looking to go away, whether it be camping or just to take sporting equipment, dual-cabs are brilliant.

GRANT: Absolutely. There’s good reason you see so many kitted-out nowadays. The Triton is handy off-road too, and in the past we’ve tackled Fraser Island and central South Australia and barely raised a sweat.

Shifting from two-wheel drive to four is as easy as turning a console dial..
Shifting from two-wheel drive to four is as easy as turning a console dial..

VERDICT

KEL: I’m a fan of the Triton. Easy to drive and with modern infotainment, it’s nicely does the job as family chariot during the week and then it opens doors to the great outdoors on weekends.

GRANT: The drive experience falls short of a Ranger and doesn’t have the same resale as a HiLux, but it’s more than capable for families and those not looking to haul massive loads.

AT A GLANCE

MITSUBISHI TRITON GLS

PRICE $46,290 drive-away (among best in dual-cabs)

WARRANTY/SERVICING 10 years or 200,000km (best); $2595 5yrs (OK)

ENGINE 2.4-litre turbo diesel, 133kW/430Nm (fine)

SAFETY 5 stars, seven airbags, blind-sport warning, misacceleration mitigation, rear cross-traffic alert, AEB (good)

THIRST 8.6L/100km (not bad)

SPARE Full-size (the best)

TOWING 3100kg (below rivals)



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