2019 Mitsubishi Triton Review
Isaac Bober’s 2019 Mitsubishi Triton Review with Price, Specs, Performance, Ride and Handling, Ownership, Safety, Verdict and Score.
In a nutshell: Refreshed Mitsubishi Triton gets some new clothes and improved active safety.
2019 Mitsubishi Triton Specifications
Price $51,990+ORC Warranty 7 years/150,000km (until June 30, 2019) Service Intervals 15,000km/12 months Safety 5-star ANCAP (2015) 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
Watch our video review of the 2019 Mitsubishi Triton GLS Premium
The fifth-generation Mitsubishi Triton arrived here only a few years ago and Mitsubishi has already had it crayon twirlers and engineers out to give the thing a mid-life nip and tuck. And it’s just as well too, because with a raft of updated rivals packing more creature comforts and active safety, Mitsubishi needed to do something. But, the question is, has it done enough?
What’s the price and what do you get?
Our test car is the top-spec Triton GLS Premium which lists at $51,990+ORC. This sees the Triton undercut top-spec equivalents from Ford, Holden, Mazda and Toyota, some, like the Ford Ranger Wildtrak by more than $10,000. Only the Nissan Navara ST-X level pegs it.
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 and 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.
The engine too is a carry-over and the 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel still only makes 133kW and 430Nm of torque but at least there’s a new six-speed automatic transmission. We’ll explore this later in the review. The new Triton also sees the addition of much-needed active safety like blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning and mitigation with pedestrian detection, automatic high beam and rear cross traffic alert.
In short, the Triton GLS Premium offers a competitive level of standard kit and a good level of active safety that makes it look extraordinary value against key competitors.
What’s the interior and practicality like?
There are hits and misses on the inside but we’ll start with the tray first. Although the new Triton is slightly bigger than the old one that’s mainly down to the way it looks – the jutting Dynamic Shield grille, and so on. The tray, however, is dimensionally identical (1470mm long and 1085mm wide between the wheel arches) to the old Triton, so much so the tonneau cover from the old car can be used on this new one.
And because this model and the old one are mechanically identical, despite Mitsubishi’s claim of more than 4000 changes, the tray has the same issues. That is that it hangs out a very long way past the rear axle, around 1400mm-plus from the rear axle to the towball. Indeed, there’s 1300mm of the tub beyond the rear axle which is just shy of half the wheelbase.
This has all sorts of implications for load carrying and towing but, given we didn’t tow with the Triton while had it, we can’t talk to its ability beyond the fact that given the rear overhang, we wouldn’t be towing anywhere near the Triton’s 3100kg limit or loading the Triton’s tray like you might a competitor.
And then there’s the tub liner which is sturdy enough but the finish is poor. The cut-outs for the tie-down points, which are up too high on the sides of the tray instead of down on the floor, are sharp and jut out from the tie-down ring. It’s not the best set-up.
The Triton could also do with a piston on the tailgate to make opening it and closing it a little easier on the arms. It’s a heavy thing and will easily drop if you’re not paying attention.
Okay, back to the front of the Triton. The interior looks a little more passenger car than the old Triton but despite that, the price tag and the addition of some contrasting trims, everything you touch, bar where your leg rests against the centre console, is hard, very hard, scratchy plastic. Now, while we should all be driving with two hands on the steering wheel, there’s the odd time when you want to rest your arm on either the window sill or the elbow rest on the door…only you won’t want to in the Triton because they’re hard and uncomfortable. Sure, they’ll likely stand up to weather and wear and tear better, but a little bit of comfort would have gone a long way.
The dashboard is simply laid out although up against 8.0-inch and more infotainment screens on offer in competitor vehicles, the Triton’s 7.0-inch unit seems stingy. It runs Apple and Android connectivity although there’s no native sat-nav so you’ll need to use your phone for mapping.
There’s okay storage in the front of the Triton, 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 driver’s seat offers powered adjustment and there’s just enough adjustment on the steering wheel that drivers of all shapes and sizes will be able to get comfortable behind the wheel. The seat itself is flat and short in the base with not a lot of side support in either the base or the back, but the leather seems of a reasonable quality and should age well.
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 was very upright. 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.
The roof vents work well but run them at full speed and it sounds like a jumbo jet taking off behind your ear, but I’d still rather have them than not; the system works by drawing the air from the front of the cabin which is why there’s a large forward facing grille and then force that into the back of the car.
What are the controls and infotainment like?
As mentioned the infotainment system is basic relying on you to use your smartphone to add functionality. The screen is small and the finish on it means that it washes out in full sun. I also had a few issues with connecting to the system after a day out in the bush; I had to connect and then disconnect, and then switch off and back on again the vehicle before it recognised my phone on the third try. And this happened several other times during my week with the Triton.
Beyond infotainment, the other controls are all clear and simple to use but they don’t look like they were designed at the same time, if you get what I mean. The switches are all functional but some look like they’ve been taken from other vehicles and some, like the seat heaters look like afterthoughts… indeed, the seatbelt reminder is clearly from the Pajero Sport which blanked lights for the third-row. It’s these things that knock more of the shine off the Triton’s interior.
What’s the performance like?
The Triton continues with the old 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine which makes the same 133kW at 3500rpm and 430Nm of torque at 2500rpm. However, this is now mated to a new six-speed automatic transmission and that alone helps this engine more than you might think.
Don’t misread me, this isn’t a rocketship but there’s a good amount of torque from early in the rev range and the transmission works well at getting the most out of the engine. Meaning it smooths out the engine, hiding the lag the five-speed automatic couldn’t.
The engine isn’t quiet, and even less so when being worked hard but it’s not an unpleasant sound and while peak torque is delivered at 2500rpm the Triton will happily rev beyond that.
Where the transmission can’t cope is in more significant throttle changes, say, when you’re diving into and out of a corner, or when you give it a decent shove to drop a gear for overtaking. The transmission tends to pause a moment before making a thumpy gear change, so, an even or progressive throttle is the way to go for a smoother experience.
In all, despite getting on a bit, the Triton’s engine feels more than energetic enough and will happily keep up with traffic with enough grunt for overtaking. And that’s largely due to the fact it weighs a touch less than two tonnes where most of its competitors are more than that. The six-speed automatic helps too.
What’s the ride and handling like?
Mitsubishi fiddled with the Triton’s suspension, softening the springs slightly for improved on- and off-road comfort and fitted it with larger rear dampers. The difference between this model and the old one is hard to pick with the Triton feeling very bouncy and bumpy both on- and off-road.
Across the Practical Motoring off-road loop which covers a range of roads from smooth, graded dirt roads to rutted tracks and everything in between the Triton was noticeably bumpy with the front passenger seat vibrating wildly and the steering shaking in my hands. And that was at 40km/h…in the last few weeks and months we’ve taken all sorts of utes down the same roads and could drive comfortably at 50-60km/h.
And it’s a similar story on-road where on smooth roads the Triton feels fine but find a bump or pot-hole or even an expansion joint and you’ll get a jolt through the cabin. Hit a mid-corner bump and the thing will skip; the Triton, even with the suspension changes, is not in the same league as the Ford Ranger or even the hard-riding HiLux.
The Triton’s steering is well-weighted but its action is slow although that doesn’t take away from the general feeling of nimbleness you get when driving the Triton, largely because it’s smaller than other dual-cab utes.
The turning circle remains at 11.8m which is tighter than most competitors, although that’s largely because the Triton is smaller than them, means the thing is easy to manoeuvre when you’re off-road although the slower steering will see more twirling.
One area where the Triton steps ahead of some competitors is that it can be driven in 4WD on sealed surfaces and that makes it easy and safe to drive on either a wet or dry road. But more on this in the next section.
Unfortunately, the Triton is not the most comfortable of dual-cab utes to drive either on- or off-road and is a long way off the dynamism or comfort of key competitors, like Ford Ranger and VW Amarok. Although being cheaper than them will no doubt help some buyers overlook those shortcomings.
What’s it 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.
And while the suspension does the best it can to keep its wheels in contact with the ground, limited travel compared with, say, HiLux or Ranger mean the Triton is more likely to lift a wheel than most. Indeed, one section of our track where we cross-axle all 4x4s we test was too much for the Triton. We had to move further down the track from where we normally tackle the hump, and even then, there was a moment where the Triton sat spinning diagonally opposite wheels.
That said, traction control is generally good so long as the wheels are in touch with the ground (on a slippery surface) or just lightly touching it; it works nice and progressively to keep you moving in the right direction, rather than slapping you across the wrist and killing any sort of forward momentum; and that’s as it should be. But lift a wheel and it can take longer than expected before it brakes the spinning wheel and gets you moving forward again.
Then there’s the mass balancer forward of the rear diff. This is there to reduce vibration and is only fitted to automatic models but as we noted on the old-look Triton, it can foul against the ground and become filled with dirt although it can be cleaned out easily enough.
The other issue is the side steps. Although Mitsubishi has raised them by 20mm compared to the old car (they sit about 35cm from the ground) they still sit quite low and I found they either touched the ground or came close to it when driving across slow, rutted sections of track. Indeed, on one section of track during a hill descent control test the Triton inched its way over a hump on the track but the step crunched against the hump as the Triton’s front left dropped down the other side of the hump. Apologies Mitsubishi.
Should I have been more careful? Maybe. Maybe not. I was using downhill descent control and I’d driven down the same hill several weeks before in a Ford Everest and had only lightly brushed its step on the same section. At least the Triton’s steps are well built and solid. And the addition of hill descent control is a good thing and it works well in the Triton.
During our week of testing, a water crossing and mud driving were the two things we didn’t get a chance to try but at 500mm, the Triton’s wading depth places it towards the back of the pack. The other annoyance is the fact that when the rear diff lock is engaged it will kill traction control on the front axle; the Triton’s not alone in this set-up but it’s not ideal.
So, in the end, the Triton’s a capable off-roader but limitations like wheel travel and ground clearance mean it will be uncomfortable in the sort of terrain a HiLux, Ranger, BT-50, etc would stroll across. That’s not to say it won’t make it, don’t misread me, just that you’ll need to be more careful and aware of its limitations.
Can you tow with it?
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 gives you a payload of 858kg. The GCM (the maximum weight of the vehicle including everything in it and trailer) is 5885kg. So, if you were to tow at the maximum of 3100kg that leaves you with 2785kg which is what the vehicle, everything in it, including the towball download can weigh. Take off the 310kg for the towball download (assuming your trailer’s towball download is 310kg or 10%) you’re left with 2475kg. The difference between this number at the kerb weight is the payload leftover which works out to be 433kg which isn’t much at all when you then have to account for, say, four passengers and their gear. Of course, there are always variables, and I only include this run through as an example and reminder for you to always check weights when loading your vehicle or towing with it.
The other consideration is the length between the rear axle and the towball which is more than 1400mm and a lot more than you find in any of this car’s competitors. And that extra distance has a negative effect when it comes to towing stability, so pushing the Triton to tow 3100kg would be asking too much of it. Stick to around 2500kg maximum and balance your load and you’ll have a more stable platform.
Does it have a spare?
Yes, a full-size spare underslung.
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.
What about safety features?
The Mitsubishi Triton continues with the five-star ANCAP rating it was awarded in 2015 and while most models, if tested now, would fail to achieve a five-star rating, the GLS Premium we tested would. And that’s because Mitsubishi has gone heavy with active safety, including forward collision mitigation (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. There are seven airbags including curtains bags that reach into the back row but only the front seats have seatbelt pretensioners, although there are ISOFIX mounts for the two outboard seats.