The Best Triton Ever in Action
May 27, 2015
Last week, Mitsubishi Motors Australia invited a group of motoring journos and for the first time ever a forum admin to a 2 day test of the new 2016 Mitsubishi Triton at Fraser Island. Here’s a recount of the test from Robert Green and his thoughts on the new Triton.
After 3 flights and landing on the beach at Fraser Island we had our first chance to look over the new Triton. On first impressions the exterior looks good, more muscular then it predecessor, but not as daunting as some of the other new competitors in the market. The new Triton styling carries some of the attributes of the old models, like their ‘J‘ Curve cab, giving great rear occupant space. The driving position feels spacious but does not give me the feeling that I’m driving a ‘truck’, which is nice. Should go down well when convincing the Wife to jump behind the wheel or reach for the cheque book!
After a quick lunch, we were off to test out the new Triton through the scenic interior of Fraser Island.
Through the narrow sandy tracks it performed well and the Triton always seemed to sit in the right gear (Auto model) to put down the power and pull itself out of the soft tight turns. The Triton felt agile and the lower sill lines gave a good sense of spacial awareness. I quickly felt confident when it came to faster tough sections that had corrugations; not nervous at all. Something I appreciate when signposted corner speed are few and far between.
It was dark as we arrived at our accommodation: testing out the high adjustable HID lights on the last couple of KM’s was nice. Following in close proximity to the Triton in front, we were able to adjust them to light the track but not be offensive to the Vehicle in front, as we went over the undulating surfaces.
Off to a quick formal presentation of the new Tritons specs and features. I was interested to hear that a lot of the attributes I experienced and note in the past couple of hours, were in fact some of the key design points built into the Triton. Time for some dinner and a chance to share some thoughts with other Journo’s and enthusiast Blogger. We took the chance to do a bit of informal Q & A with the Mitsubishi Technical team.
Up at 6am and after some breakfast we were off, back in the Tritons, working our way back to the beach.
With an 80KPH speed zone on the beach, it was the first time we could give the Triton a bit of stick. Accelerated well and got up to speed with little bother at all. Admittedly at speed hitting soft sand I was a little apprehensive on how the Triton would deal with it, knowing from experience how auto cars can bog down and struggle with gearing. It did a great job and always kept moving, just plucking the gears at the right time to get through the soft stuff. As a staunch manual driver, I was quietly impressed that the Triton pulled it off.
With the beach run coming to an end it was time to hitch a ride back to the mainland through some open road and twisty bits to our lunch destination.
On the road the Triton felt well planted and nimble, delivering power across the rev range well. As a passenger, at first I was a little uneasy, ‘heck’, we are driving a 4WD and not a sedan car. But after a few K’s I was comfortable and could of grabbed a few zzz’s on our way to lunch. (I don’t passenger well, normally)
Lunch was a good time to take a break and have some lively discussion about our impression and experiences with the Triton. With the guys we chatted to, there was a definite a sense that the Triton had made a good impression on them.
The last leg after lunch was squirt down the high way to Brisbane airport. Both the passengers with me on this journey had a little power nap. It had been a busy couple of days.
After spending a couple of days on the tracks of Fraser Island and hinterland of South east Queensland with the new Triton, it has definitly got me trying to rationalize what I really want in a Duel Cab 4WD. I am traditionally a small car driver, so even though I’ve clocked over 40,000Km on my current Duel cab (D40 Navara) in the last year, it still feels a bit big.
The Triton somehow gives a feeling of connection and control that I’ve really only had in performance road cars. The interior and driver controls are nice, with everything where it needs to be and user friendly. It doesn’t feel like I’m at the controls of the SS Missouri.
The new MIVEC turbo diesel engine, mated with the auto works really well, with engine and transmission matching the terrain remarkably. Although sandy conditions are notorious tough on fuel economy, I was shocked to see how well the Triton was going, when I took a stationary few minutes to explore the trip data. It was a good 5lt/100 better then I expected. No doubt the claimed 7.2L/100km fuel claim would be close to the money.
There was a lot of discussion around GVM in relation to towing and load capacity over the couple of days. On my last trip I saw plenty of vehicles dragging tow chains with their front wheel in the air. Hence I’d like to see how it goes on a 4WD trip towing a trailer over rugged conditions, as this vehicle type seems to be becoming very popular out there with the retirees and seasoned adventurers.
At the moment we are spoilt for choice in this market and I was hoping that Mitsubishi would put on their game face. Job done, a big tick to them.
Will it be the biggest, most powerful or expensive? No, I don’t think so, but personally, the Triton impressed and gains strong odds for later this year, when I’m due for replacing my current daily drive/family car/tow vehicle/4WD/ work car!
I reckon Mitsubishi has delivered a cracker and look forward to some new owners’ feedback.