The 2017 model Mitsubishi Triton GLX+.
The 2017 model Mitsubishi Triton GLX+.

Road test: Mitsubishi Triton GLX review

AUSTRALIANS love a ute. Last month they were the most popular selling vehicle, and more families are loving the flexibility of five seats and a bloody big boot.

The Mitsubishi Triton presents as one of the best packages on the dual cab market.

Possessing a frugal diesel engine and comfortable on-road prowess, it may not have the kudos of the segment stars such as the Toyota HiLux or Ford Ranger, but they should be certainly on the shopping list for the thinking man, or woman.

VALUE

They do not come much better in this department.

Current drive-away deals for the GLX+ package with 16-inch alloys, cruise control, climate control air conditioning, chrome interior door handles and a piano black centre panel for $34,990.

Those shopping at the basement end of the dual-cab ute market will struggle to find a better deal. There are cheaper alternatives from China and India, but it's well worth stretching to the Triton which is a gigantic step above in performance and refinement.

Spending another $4000 will get you into the GLS which adds some bling and nice kit, like a roll bar, nicer seven-inch touch-screen, dual zone air con and larger alloy wheels.

The 2017 model Mitsubishi Triton GLX+.
The 2017 model Mitsubishi Triton GLX+.

COMFORT

Looking bereft of colourful inspiration, the dash is utilitarian. That's not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to a ute, and you're not besieged by an array of confusing buttons or dials.

There is a colour 6.1-inch touch-screen, but its functionality is basic although you still get Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity with voice control via a steering wheel button.

The ride is remarkably capable and not unlike a car in most circumstances.

The 2017 model Mitsubishi Triton GLX+.
The 2017 model Mitsubishi Triton GLX+.

SAFETY

Courtesy of testing which occurred two years ago, back when autonomous emergency braking wasn't a set criteria, the Triton maintains a five-star safety rating with seven airbags, stability control as well as trailer stability assist which helps prevent loads 'swinging'.

There are two Isofix points along with a pair of tether points behind the seats ... although they aren't easy to access on a regular basis.

Towing capacity is 'only' 3.1 tonnes compared to 3.5 in most other utes. Yet it has a gross combination weight rating of 5885kg, and with a low kerb mass, it's actually more capable than some rivals when you load the tray as it can haul a three-tonne load and have capacity to spare for passengers and gear.

DRIVING

Find the torque sweet-spot and the Triton can lurch with intent.

Our test car was a manual (shock horror), and keeping the revs around 1500rpm ensures there is a rewarding shunt at the whim of your right foot. Let the revs drop and you'll need to be patient to wind things up again, but performance never felt asthmatic or underwhelming.

Overall refinement is surprisingly impressive for a ute.

Things can be firm for those in the back, not an uncommon trait for dual cabs, but the engine power delivery is smooth and the diesel is a burly beast despite being a four-cylinder.

Steering feel is reliable and accurate, with a reasonably tight turning circle making things simple in car parks, although when the roads get slippery it's best to opt for four-wheel drive as the standard rubber can feel icy.

HEART SAYS

That 'praying mantis' front end can be hard to love.

HEAD SAYS

Trusted brand, impressive warranty and a solid powertrain which does the jobs admirably ... you have to dig much deeper into your pocket for a Toyota HiLux or a Ford Ranger even if you don't get the same resale.

ALTERNATIVES

Nissan Navara RX $39,990

Possessing more power, it doesn't feel quite as polished in the on-road manners department.

Tata Xenon Dual Cab $25,990 drive-away

Basic stuff here, primed to be bashed around with little care or resale value.

Great Wall Stead $29,990 drive-away

Excellent specification but worrying structural integrity and underwhelming performance.


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