It’s been a very long wait, but the latest Mitsubishi Triton double cab bakkie was finally launched here a few months ago. Bigger, better and smarter than the old generation Triton, the new bakkie also faces a new brace of rivals in the hotly contested double cab segment.
Mitsubishi fans are a rather determined lot. Don’t dare say anything that may be construed as being negative about the brand. They’ll rip out the Dakar card (12 victories still make it the most successful manufacturer in the legendary race), quote gearbox ratios of the SuperSelect 4WD system (more on that later) and elaborate ad infinitum about the brand’s reputation for building super-reliable vehicles. And they would be correct. Mitsubishi has indeed won 12 Dakar Rally Raids. Those Mitsubishis were obviously specifically built for the Dakar, and were mostly far removed from the production derivative, but the record stands behind Mitsubishi’s name. It was well earned, too.
The SuperSelect 4WD system is a unique Mitsubishi party trick. It allows for a selection between 2H, 4H (open centre differential), 4HLc (locked centre diff for a 50/50 split), and 4LLc (low range, with a locked centre differential and 50/50 split between the axles). What that means is that, if you drive on a tar road in a torrential downpour, you can select 4H on the move and your Triton will drive like a permanently four-wheel-drive vehicle. You won’t damage the drivetrain with axle wind-up, but you’ll have the benefit of 4WD traction in the slippery conditions. For more arduous off-road driving, you can select 4HLc, which locks the centre diff in that 50/50 front-and-rear split. For really tough off-road driving, there’s the low range option, and a rear differential lock on the reserve bench. The 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine is a new generation unit, too. It delivers 133kW and 430Nm of torque, the latter peaking at a relatively high 2 500r/min. Thing is, on the open road this new Triton is a really classy act. With the engine spinning around the 2 000r/min mark, the bakkie will run up hill and down dale at 120km/h all day long in top gear (a five-speed automatic in this drive).
Which brings us to what we reckon is this bakkie’s best attribute: the cabin. It’s a really plush and luxurious affair, with a (surprisingly) upmarket feel. Tactile quality is really at the sharpest end of the double cab bakkie segment. Compared to the previous generation Triton, the new model feels more like a Maybach limo. Well, almost. What that means is that the Triton is a really comfortable long-distance touring bakkie. In case you feel racy, the five-speed automatic gearbox has a ‘sport’ mode with expansive paddle shifters for gear changes on the steering column behind the steering wheel. The impressive-looking shifters, which we reckon would probably be better suited to a Mitsubishi EVO performance model, is hardly needed; the gearbox does a pretty good job all by itself. The real challenge for the Triton though, is the fight in the hotly contested double cab segment. Like in the 2010 film Clash of the Titans, where all the big guns of the Greek myth of Perseus battle it out, the Triton is in a huge scuffle with a brace of other double cabs. Time will tell if it will live to tell the tale. What we do know is that the latest Mitsubishi Triton offers a unique and highly capable alternative in the double cab segment. It really deserves to do well. For the record, the Triton comes standard with a five-year/90 000km service plan and a three-year/100 000km warranty.
Open-road rating 7 out of 10.
The good SuperSelect II system, and cabin.
The bad Double cab segment is a tough nut to crack.
Specifications – Mitsubishi Triton 2.4di-D 4×4 At
Engine 2.4-Litre, Four-Cylinder, Turbodiesel
Power 133kw @ 3 500r/Min
Torque 430nm @ 2 500r/Min
Transmission Five-Speed Automatic
4wd System Part-Time 4wd (Superselect Ii)
Fuel Tank 75 Litres
Fuel Consumption 10.4 Litres Per 100km
Tyre Size 265/65 R17
Spare Yes (Full-Size)
Luggage Space Not Stated
Price R559 900