The Skinny: Mitsubishi’s workhorse Triton ‘glams-up’ for the range-topping Exceed dual cab. And, no doubt about it, the Triton Exceed – exclusively a 4x4 Double Cab – successfully makes the transition from steel-capped boots to tuxedo thanks to generous equipment levels and pleasant on-road manners.
As we discovered at launch, those top-notch driving dynamics are shared across the all-new Mitsubishi Triton range. That’s one reason why we rank the Triton among the best of the current generation of working dual-cab utes.
Vehicle Style: Double Cab Ute 4x4
Price: $47,490 (plus on-road costs)
Engine/transmission: 2.4-litre 4cyl turbo-diesel/ 6sp automatic with sports mode and paddle-shifters
Fuel Consumption: (claimed) 7.6 l/100kms ; 8.3 l/100kms (tested)
Like major rivals in the ‘pick-up’ ute segment, the Mitsubishi Triton model range is massive. And it starts from just $24,490 (for the GLX Single Cab).
So the Exceed Double Cab with its leather-trimmed interior, thick carpets, satellite navigation and 17-inch alloy wheels (to highlight just a few of its inclusions) stands-out like a beacon as the luxury patriarch.
Underneath, the Triton Exceed shares the handy 2.4-litre turbo-diesel, dual-range 4X4 system (selected via a centre console rotary dial), 205mm ground clearance, 30-degree approach angle, 22-degree departure angle and 24-degree ramp-over angle – not to mention the 3100kgs towing capacity – of the other ‘more workhorse’ models.
And, despite the luxury inclusions, it’s no shrinking violet when the going gets tough.
Our week with the Mitsubishi Triton Exceed didn’t see any severe off-road action, stump pulling or trailer towing. But we know its credentials in those environments from tackling some heavy off-road conditions on Queensland’s Fraser Island and the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Key standard features:
- Six-speaker audio with DAB radio
- 7-inch touchscreen with 3D/colour satellite navigation and SD Card input
- Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming with voice control
- Leather-trimmed seats with height adjustment for the driver
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear-lever
- Carpet floor covering
- Piano black trim highlights
- Climate control automatic air-conditioning
- Reversing camera
- Keyless ignition
The nicely-trimmed leather seats, leather steering wheel and gear lever, and the seven-inch satellite navigation screen in the centre of the dashboard, give immediate clues you’re climbing into a Mitsubishi Triton Exceed and not the GLX model.
And it’s all very well done, though not the last word in style.
With tilt and telescopic adjustment for the steering wheel (still not the norm in utes) plus driver’s seat height adjustment, most pilots will readily find a comfortable position here.
The front seats themselves, while not looking all that sporty, are actually nicely supportive.
Styling for the dashboard is contemporary and easy on the eye with chrome and piano-black highlights, and soft-touch surfaces where you’d expect to find them.
The doors are also nicely trimmed and finished; the interior feel, in fact, is more SUV than workhorse (and a big step-up from the former model).
The centre-stack contains 3D navigation (full colour touch-screen) plus the audio and air-conditioning controls (the latter with a digital temperature display within the control – a clever touch).
Mitsubishi Triton Exceed offers reasonable rear-seat legroom and again very comfortable seats. If there’s only two in the rear, a centre armrest provides two cupholders.
If you’re carrying the family, they will be pleased with the theatre-style rear-seat accommodation and the snug comfort of the interior. There won’t be too many complaints from the back if you decide to do ‘the big outback trip’.
And interesting, while roomy, it feels a little more ‘manageable’ and smaller at the wheel than some of the really big dual-cabs now hitting the market.
ON THE ROAD
- 2.4-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel
- Six-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive with low range
- Towing capacity 3100kgs (braked), 750kgs (unbraked)
- Independent suspension (front) leaf springs (rear)
- 17-inch alloy wheels with 245/65 R17 115 tyres
- Ventilated disc brakes (front) drum brakes (rear)
Mitsubishi’s 2.4-litre turbo-diesel bursts into life with a purposeful growl. Its sound is quite different to the superseded older unit, and is certainly considerably smoother.
It’s also not overly noisy – though you will be aware it’s a commercial vehicle. In fact, it sounds and feels just like you would want your turbo-diesel to sound if you were planning on towing 3100kgs.
And that’s the thing with luxury dual cabs like the Triton Exceed – many prospective owners will be rural buyers and those who tow caravans, boats and horse floats.
No room for underperforming engines in that lot.
The Triton delivers with plenty of urge throughout the rev-range and noise levels don’t get intrusive even when giving it a belting. (Thanks to this urge, it’s not too bad getting out and around when overtaking, in case you’re wondering.)
On start-up on cold mornings it is a little more ‘diesely’ than the latest German turbo-diesels, but nothing to grumble about.
We only drove the Mitsubishi Triton Exceed unladen; we have a sneaking suspicion this up-specced model will spend a lot of its time on family duties, and the hard graft left to the cheaper workhorses in the Triton range.
We found the six-speed automatic to be impressively smooth in city driving, and quite well-mapped generally (it will readily change down when cornering or looking for a quick burst of speed).
Using the steering wheel paddle-shifters for manual changes however brought a slight delay in ratio swaps, but we soon acclimatized and adjusted shift-timing accordingly.
But the real strength of the new Triton is the ride and handling. It is not only a massive advance over the previous generation, but challenges the Ford Ranger for ‘best in segment’ honours.
What that means is that, on road, you will quickly adapt to the way this car rides, and the constant ‘bump and jiggle’ of earlier generations of workhorse ute is noticeably absent.
The Triton responds well in corners and is reasonably refined over road imperfections. Sure, it’s no saloon, but, even unladen, the leaf-sprung rear end was on its best behavior most of the time.
Calibration for the power steering also hits the mark and the Triton provides good feedback when the route gets twisty. However Triton’s 11.8-metre turning circle can be a bit of a chore in the car park at the mall (but all 4WD utes are similar).
If you’re heading off-road, low-range is easily accessed via the centre console rotary dial. Ground clearance of 205mm is good, as is the 30-degree approach, 22-degree departure and 24-degree ramp-over angles. The short nose of the Triton helps here, as does the heavy protection down below.
Lastly, fuel consumption is also pretty good. We averaged 8.3l/100kms during our week with the Triton Exceed.
Mitsubishi claims 7.6l/100kms (combined cycle): about what we’d expect given our week included a mix of work, some freeway trips and a quick dash out of town.
ANCAP RATING: 5-Stars. Beside the standard reversing camera (important in these high-sided, high-backed vehicles, other key safety features include Active Stability and Traction Control, Hill Start Assist, Trailer Stability Assist, adjustable speed limiter, multi-information monitor, Emergency Stop Signal function, among a suite of key safety features.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
The new Triton range is covered under Mitsubishi’s five-year/100,000km new car warranty. Service intervals are listed at 15,000km or 12 months, with the first three costing $580..
HOW IT COMPARES:
It is a happy world at the moment for family and trade buyers looking for a versatile, dual-purpose workhorse ute.
The new NP 300 Navara is a really good drive, the new Ranger is arriving this week, and the launch of the new HiLux and Mazda BT-50 is also imminent.
We’ll be putting them to a nose-to-nose test pretty shortly, but don’t feel you have to wait – Mitsubishi’s Triton is very good buying, and, though the $47,490 Exceed is getting up there, very well-priced.
But, also check out:
- Ford Ranger XLT 3.2 litre automatic - $56,590
- Toyota HiLux SR5 automatic - $54,490
- Nissan Navara ST-X 4WD automatic diesel dual cab - $54,490
TMR VERDICT OVERALL
If you’re looking for a luxury 4WD ute with off-road ability and towing capacity, the new Triton should be on your list.
But that’s underselling the seismic change which has happened here. The fact is, though an honest toiler, the previous generation of the range-topping Triton wasn’t on the same page as classier, smoother rivals.
The former Triton (still available incidentally) could cut it on building sites and in the bush, but lacked the finesse of rival models at the top end of town.
So Mitsubishi has delivered on two points. Now the Triton Exceed matches the best in class for both specifications and driving dynamics. And, for value-for-money, it might just have Ranger, BT50 and HiLux on the back foot.
PRICING (excludes on-road costs)
- GLX Single Cab Chassis - manual diesel - $24,490
- GLX Single Cab Chassis - auto diesel - $26,990
- GLX Double Cab Chassis - auto diesel - $35,990
- GLX Single Cab Chassis - manual diesel - $32,490
- GLX Club Cab Chassis - manual diesel - $35,290
- GLX Double Cab pickup - manual diesel - $36,990
- GLX Double Cab pickup - auto diesel - $39,490
- GLS Double Cab pickup - manual diesel - $40,990
- GLS Double Cab pickup - auto diesel - $43,490
- Exceed Double Cab pickup - auto diesel - $47,490