2019 Ford Ranger Wildtrak Vs 2019 Mitsubishi Triton GLS Premium
Isaac Bober looks at number two and three in the dual-cab segment with 2019 Ford Ranger Wildtrak Vs 2019 Mitsubishi Triton GLS Premium.
The Mitsubishi Triton is the third best-selling dual cab ute in the country with the Ford Ranger holding down second spot and breathing down the neck of the top-selling Toyota HiLux. Well, both the Ranger and Triton have been updated, and in Wildtrak and GLS Premium trim these two pretty much level peg in terms of equipment if not price.
2019 Ford Ranger Wildtrak Specifications
Price $63,990+ORC Warranty five-years, unlimited km Safety 5 stars Engine 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel four-cylinder Power 157kW at 3750rpm Torque 500Nm at 1750-2000rpm Transmission 10-speed automatic Drive all-wheel drive Dimensions 5426mm long, 1860mm wide 1848mm high, 3220mm wheelbase Ground Clearance 225mm confirmed Angles 29-degrees approach, 25-degrees departure, 21-degrees rampover Wading 800mm Weight 2246kg GVM 2900kg GCM 6000kg Towing 3500kg (braked) Fuel Tank 80 litres Thirst 7.4L/100km combined-cycle claimed / 8.0L/100km tested
2019 Mitsubishi Triton GLS Premium
Price $51,990+ORC Warranty 7 years/150,000km (until June 30, 2019) Service Intervals 15,000km/12 months Safety 5-star ANCAP Engine 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel Power 133kW at 3500rpm Torque 430Nm at 2500rpm Transmission six-speed automatic Drive 2WD/4WD/4WD Low Range Dimensions 5409mm long, 1815mm wide, 1795mm high, 3000mm wheelbase Ground Clearance 220mm claimed and confirmed Angles 27.5-degrees approach, 23-degrees departure, 25-degrees rampover Wading 500mm Weight 2042kg GVM 2900kg GCM 5885kg Towing 3100kg braked maximum/310kg towball weight Spare full-size underslung Fuel Tank 75L Thirst 8.6L/100km claimed / 9.0L/100km tested
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE PRICE: The Ford Ranger Wildtrak we’re testing is priced from $63,990+ORC and comes with Ford’s 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine; the same one that’s in the Ranger Raptor. But you can also get it with the old 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that so many buyers love.
For the money, you get a tweaked front bumper and grille, LED fog lamps and power-lock tailgate, you get 18-inch alloy wheels with 265/60R18 rubber; Monument Grey grille, rear bumper, mirrors and Sailplane (sports bar); HID headlights; privacy glass; sidesteps; tray lighting; roller shutter; leather trim; heated front seats; 230V inverter; cooled centre console; dual-zone climate control; rain-sensing wipers; 4.2-inch colour TFT display, 8.0-inch colour touchscreen, sat-nav, DAB+ digital radio, Sync 3 with voice activated controls and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto; and remote keyless entry and start.
The Triton GLS Premium undercuts the Ranger Wildtrak, at $51,990+ORC, by more than $10,000. So, how do they compare, the GLS Premium gets a black nudge bar, chrome door handles, a tub-liner, sports bar, privacy glass for the rear windows, LED daytime running lights, low beam and high beam, electric folding mirrors, leather interior, power adjust driver’s seat, self-dimming rear vision mirror, rain-sensing wipers, and dusk-sensing headlights, reversing camera and both front and rear parking sensors as well as surround view monitor, dual-zone climate control, and heated front seats. The 7.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple and Android connectivity is a carry-over from the old car and misses out on native sat-nav; a big omission at this price.
WHAT’S UNDER THE BONNET? The Ford ranger Wildtrak can be had with a choice of the old 3.2-litre fiv-cylinder turbo-diesel or, the one we’re testing, the 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine which is shared with the Everest and Ranger Raptor. It makes 157kW and 500Nm of torque from 1750-2000rpm. The engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission and power gets to the ground via a part-time 4WD system, meaning 2WD on sealed surfaces.
For the Triton, you get a carried-over 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel with the same 133kW and 430Nm of torque at 2500rpm. Hanging off the engine is a new six-speed automatic transmission and power gets to the ground via a Mitsubishi’s clever Super Select II part-time 4WD system which allows the thing to run in either 2WD or 4WD on sealed surfaces.
ON THE INSIDE: The Ranger Wildtrak’s interior feels special, there’s a good mix of plastic types, and while they’re hard and scratchy, the surfaces are interesting, like the mountain-bike-esque armour on the door cards. And there’s some soft-touch stuff on the top of the dashboard with contrast stitching.
There’s good storage around the place with a deep, cooled centre console bin, more storage at the base of the centre console, cup holder, a big glovebox and door bins that’ll hold a 500ml water bottle.
There’s an 8.0-inch infotainment screen running Ford’s current-generation SYNC3 system which is a good system even if it does look a little graphically dated. With native sat-nav, voice control that works first time every time and Apple and Android connectivity it’s the pick of the two infotainment systems. While you can control just about everything from the screen, there are hard buttons and dials for audio and climate controls.
The Triton’s cabin feels bland in comparison and that’s despite getting a more passenger car design. The plastics are hard and scratchy and they feel a little cheap to touch. There’s okay storage in the front with a narrow centre console bin, cup holders and a tray at the base of the dashboard for your phone, although it’s tight, there are two USB outlets and one HDMI port here too. There are door bins with bottle holders and a glovebox.
The infotainment screen measures 7.0-inches and feels small compared with the Ranger’s 8.0-inch screen and it lacks native sat-nav but does offer Apple and Android connectivity. Of all the infotainment systems in top-spec dual cab utes the one in the Triton is a back-marker which is a shame.
WHAT ARE THE FRONT SEATS LIKE? In the Wildtrak the driver gets a powered front seat while the passenger gets manual adjust only. The seat is narrow and short in the base but it’s comfortable with enough side support in the back.
Moving to the Triton is another step backwards with a narrow front seat that feels flat and short in the base and lacks the Ranger’s side bolstering or general seat comfort. It is, however, power adjust while the passenger gets manual adjust.
WHAT ARE THE BACK SEATS LIKE? Over in the back is where the Triton’s smaller size is most noticeable with room only for two adults across the back. Both leg and headroom for me was okay but the seat back felt very upright although that is kind of par for the course for a ute. Moving to the middle seat and I had no legroom (my knees were touching the front seat) and my head was against the roof because of the dropped section accommodating the speed controls for the roof-mounted air vents. That said, the Triton is the only of our duo that offers vents for the back seat.
The Ranger, too, is best left for two adults but you get a lot more legroom and headroom but, of course, you miss out on rear air vents. The middle seat, like in the Triton is more of a perch than a seat and the centre console juts back robbing that position of legroom.
The Ranger’s back seat is the more comfortable of the two with more legroom and you get a curtain airbag reaching into the back (the Triton offers this too) but no rear air vents.
WHAT ARE THE TRAYS LIKE? The Ranger’s tray is bigger than the Triton’s and you get a roll-away tonneau cover and a better fitting tub liner. The sports bar is better on the Triton, though. On the Ranger, it’s just plastic and called a Wind Sail. Both vehicles have their tie-down points mounted high up on the sides of the tray and the poorly fitted tub liner on the Triton has poor cutouts that you could cut a finger on when using them.
But the Triton’s tray is yet another step backwards compared to the Ranger and not just because of the size difference. See, the Triton’s tray extends past the rear axle. In fact, none of the tray sits forward of the rear axle, whereas on the Ranger you get about 200mm forward of the rear axle and this is important. Not only do you get a greater overhang when off-roading, you’ve got a greater lever when loaded or towing, meaning, to avoid a bum-down drive you’ll need to steer clear of loading or towing at the Triton’s maximum limit.
WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO DRIVE? The 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder diesel makes a lot more sense in the Wildtrak than it does in the Raptor. It feels more energetic and more effortless in the way it builds speed. The 10-speed automatic is good 90% of the time with smooth, clever shifts but at around town speeds the shifts can at times be a little slurry.
The Triton carries on with its old engine and it’s off the pace against the Ranger’s engine, feeling lethargic and noisy by comparison. The six-speed automatic does the best it can with nice clean shifts but it can only do so much to refine this old engine.
For me, the Ranger’s engine, as you’d imagine, with more power and torque and peak torque arriving earlier in the rev range, and with more gears, is the smoother, more refined engine. The Triton’s engine is good, but it’s just not good enough and that’s despite being smaller than the Ranger.
Mitsubishi, like Ford did with the Ranger, fiddled with the suspension on the Triton for a more comfortable on- and off-road ride and better unladen body control. To be honest it’s hard to pick, because this updated Triton still feels bouncy, shaking violently when you hit an expansion joint and skipping sideways off mid-corner bumps.
Move to the Ranger and you can see just how evolved the updated Ranger has become. Ford focussed on improving body control and ride comfort and you notice the difference after tucking into your first corner…it’s not at the same level as the Amarok but it’s better than anything else in the segment.
That said, it’s not perfect and, like the Triton the rear will still skip off a mid-corner bump although it’s not as bad as the Triton and the general ride comfort is miles ahead of the Triton. And that’s the same with the steering feel; the Ranger’s wheel feels well weighted and direct where the Triton’s feels a little doughy.
But where the Triton wins back some brownie points is in the fact it can be driven in 4WD on sealed surfaces while the Ranger can’t. And, if you’ve ever driven an unladen ute on a wet road you’ll know just how important something like that is…although, it teemed down while we had the Ranger and grip isn’t really a problem even in 2WD.
WHAT ARE THEY LIKE OFF THE ROAD? Here again the Triton is a little bit hit and miss. The Super-Select II system helps the Triton to step ahead of most of its competitors by allowing it to run in either 2WD (rear-drive) or 4WD on sealed surfaces. The only downside to this extra grip is the fact the ride isn’t amazing and so, unless you’re on a well-graded surface you can’t really put it to better use.
The Triton’s ground clearance is another issue. At a claimed and confirmed (by Practical Motoring) 220mm (because of its taller wheel and tyre package – other Tritons have a claimed 205mm of clearance) it’s not amazing and on rutted tracks it can be easy to rub the belly. That said, there are at least some reasonably sturdy bash plates underneath the vehicle. The other problem is the side steps which hang down low and stick out further than those on the Ranger…they will catch on the ground.
The Triton doesn’t have as much ground clearance or wheel travel as the Ranger (especially at the back) and while its traction control system is good that’s only as long as you’re in touch with the ground, but lift a wheel and it can be slow to respond.
The Ranger is good off-road, with a little more clearance than the Triton and better wheel travel, especially at the rear. There’ve been improvements to the traction control which is now quicker to respond if you lift a wheel, and the throttle is more progressive to keep you from bouncing on it and causing the vehicle to lurch in rough terrain. The suspension is also better at controlling compressions allowing you to roll across obstacles where the Triton bounces.
If you’re looking at numbers, the Ranger can wade up to depths of 800mm, the Triton only 500mm. The Triton’s approach, departure and rampover are: 27.5-degrees, 23-degrees, and 25-degrees rampover, respectively while the Ford offers 29-degrees, 21-degrees and 25-degrees, respectively. So, on the balance, The Mitsu seems to best the Ford with things like rampover but that’s largely because of the Mitsubishi’s much shorter wheelbase and while the departure angles are the same the rear overhang on the Triton at more than 1400mm is much greater than the Ranger’s 1262mm and that makes a big difference to both load and towing balance.
WHAT ABOUT SPARE WHEELS? Yes, both vehicles have full-size spare wheels underslung.
CAN YOU TOW WITH THEM? This is a desktop exercise as the only the Ford Ranger was fitted with a brake controller and the weather was against a tow test.
Yes, up to 3100kg braked with a towball download of 310kg which is good. But there are the usual caveats and then some with the Triton. The kerb weight is 2042kg and the GVM (the heaviest the vehicle can weigh) is 2900kg which includes a maximum payload of 858kg at that maximum GVM but loading to this in turn reduces the weight of the trailer you can tow because you can’t exceed the GCM. The GCM (the maximum weight of the vehicle including everything in it and trailer) is 5885kg. If you subtract 3100kg from this figure you’re left with 2785kg which is the maximum weight the Triton can weigh to avoid going over the GCM. Subtract the kerb weight from this and the payload is 743kg which is what you’ve got left for the towball download, passengers and luggage etc.
Now let’s look at the Ranger. It can tow up tow up to 3500kg but only with a genuine Ford towpack and with a 350kg towball download. The vehicle’s kerb weight is 2246kg while the GVM is 3200kg and the GCM is 6000kg. So, say you’re towing at the maximum of 3500kg, subtract that from the GCM and the maximum your vehicle can weigh is 2500kg. Subtract the kerb weight of 2246kg and you’re left with 254kg of payload..
So, in this instance, the Triton comes out trumps.
WHAT ABOUT OWNERSHIP? Until June 30 (2019), Mitsubishi is offering Triton buyers a 7-year, 150,000km warranty as well as three-year’s capped price servicing at $299 per service for the diesel Triton – petrol Triton is capped at $199 per service. The service schedule is 15,000km or 12 months for both engine types.
The Ford Ranger offers a five-year warranty but there’s no limit on mileage. Cost of ownership is also covered by Ford’s Service Price Promise, a free loan car arrangement and even a Low Price Tyre guarantee. Servicing is every 12 months or 15,000km with service prices capped, starting from $360 for the first service.
In terms of value for money, it’s hard to argue against the Triton. And while some mention Ford reliability as a reason to be wary, in a week-long test it is impossible to assess such things. However, what I would say is that after a week of being driven on and off road, it was the Triton that was squeaking with dust working its way into the rear suspension. And, the tray liner on the Triton is sturdy, made of thick plastic, but the cut outs for the tie down points were very poor with sharp edges and only the top centimetre or two of the ring actually poking through the hole.
WHAT SAFETY FEATURES DO THEY GET? Both the Triton and Ranger, in top-spec trim, have been handed plenty of active safety. Both continue with old five-star ANCAP ratings from when the vehicles first launched.
Standard on the Ranger Wildtrak are AEB with pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assistance and automatic up/down high-beam. It also gets six airbags with curtain bags reaching into the backseat as well as ISOFIX mounts and more.
The Triton adds one extra airbag to the equation and matches the Ranger’s active safety list with or autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, bling spot monitoring, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors with reversing camera and surround view, and automatic high-beam.
THE VERDICT: Both vehicles are incredibly well equipped for the money and both perform well in isolation. Against one another, for me, the Ranger Wildtrak edges the Triton because it’s bigger and more comfortable, better to look at, better on and off-road and has a more refined engine and transmission set-up. Yes, the Triton’s Super Select II 4WD system is excellent and there’s more than $10k between these two vehicles in pricing, so, no-one would hold it against anyone opting for the Triton if money was an issue.
But we don’t want thise to be the sort of comparison where I tell you which one to pick because, at the end of the day, we’re all looking for different things from a vehicle and I can only separate myself so much from my reviews. So, I’ve done my best to point out the pros and cons of both the Ranger Wildtrak and Triton GLS Premium…why don’t you let me know which one you favour and why. See you in the comments.