Mitsubishi unveil next-gen Triton
Fresh looks and improved safety features highlight changes to the 2019 Mitsubishi Triton ute.
The manufacturer unveiled the 2019 Triton in Bangkok on Friday ahead of its local debut in January.
New front end styling features Mitsubishi’s “Dynamic Shield Concept” already found on the Mitsubishi Outlander and Eclipse Cross SUVs, lending what the brand describes as “a more powerful appearance” home to a bold lower bumper which says “I’m protecting you”. Fresh quarter panels bring integrated wheel arch flares, while the rear end features a cleaner look with a slimmer bumper and new taillamps.
More significantly, active safety features such as autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane change assistance and rear cross traffic alert systems are now present in the pick-up. While such features may not be considered vital by small businesses which operate dual-cab utes, the technology is almost mandatory in order to secure five-star ANCAP safety ratings required by many corporate fleets.
Hardware-wise, the Triton rides on the same fundamental chassis and suspension design of its predecessor, with diesel models powered by a carry-over 2.4-litre engine producing the same 133kW at 3500rpm and 430Nm at 2500rpm as before.
Missing out on the eight-speed auto of Mitsubishi’s Pajero Sport, the Triton switches its five-speed automatic transmission option for a six-speed version home to a taller final gear.
Without giving specifics, the brand says fuel economy will improve on the 7.6L/100km figure of current dual-cab models.
Other changes include an updated four-wheel-drive system which features an off-road mode with specific settings for slippery surfaces, such as sand, mud or snow, as well as rocky environments.
Hill descent control joins improved ground clearance and revised approach and departure angles, as does Mitsubishi’s ultrasonic misacceleration system intended to prevent low-speed mishaps when setting off or reversing.
As before, the Triton is available with a choice of three body styles - dual cab, single cab and club cab.
On the inside, new sound-proofing materials, a reinforced frame and retuned shock absorbers promise to make the Triton more comfortable than before.
High-grade models receive a 360-degree camera, LED projector headlamps and rear air vents accompanying USB power outlets for the back seats.
Thai-spec cars feature a 6.1-inch infotainment system home to a DVD player, along with a new digital driver’s display. Australian models should at least match the 7-inch screen with Apple CarpLay and Android Auto connectivity fitted to some variants of the outgoing model.
New colours include a passion orange option similar to the hero treatment for Ford’s Ranger Wildtrak.
Mitsubishi celebrated 40 years of one-tonne pickup heritage in September 2018, promising that its latest model is “engineered beyond tough”.
Yoshiki Masuda, chief product specialist for the Triton, says engineers travelled around the world to examine how customers use the car, following a long-held tradition at the brand that "the solution is to found in the field".
“The new Triton both inherits this heritage and makes dramatic evolutionary leaps forward,” he says.
“As such, I am confident it will win the satisfaction of our customers; even, that it will far exceed their expectations.”
The new Triton is a vital model for Mitsubishi. As the brand’s most popular vehicle, the current version is the third-highest-selling dual-cab ute in Australia, outsold only by Toyota’s HiLux and the Ford Ranger.
Full Australian prices and specifications for the model will be released closer to its arrival in 2019.
David McCowen is Drive’s news editor, combining automotive passion with more than a decade of reporting experience. Dave is often found at a racetrack – either in the press room, or driving his hot hatch.