Car reviews - Mitsubishi - Triton - GLX 4x2 DI-D utility
2 May 2008
MITSUBISHI Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) has thrown down a value and economy gauntlet with its popular ML Triton pick-up by introducing a competitively priced diesel model for the two-wheel drive (4x2) versions.
Kicking off from $22,990 for the Single Cab and $28,990 for the Double Cab, the Triton 4x2 scores a new, 2.5-litre double overhead cam 16-valve common-rail with intercooler four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.
This Japanese-built Euro IV-emissions compliant 2477cc 4D56 DI-D unit delivers 100kW of power at 3800rpm and 314Nm of torque at 2000rpm in the Thai-manufactured Triton.
It is only available in the mid-range GLX 4x2 model for now, in either five-speed manual or four-speed automatic guise for an extra $2000.
The former returns 8.5 litres per 100km, while the latter uses 9.1L/100km.
Triton 4x4 models continue with the 118kW/343Nm 3.2-litre four-cylinder DI-D turbo-diesel unit, which is from another engine family, and unavailable in Triton 4x2 format.
The 2.5 DI-D brings the number of engine variants available on the ML 4x2 pick-up to three. The 94kW/194Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder and 135kW/309Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol units continue.
Brakes are ventilated discs up front and a set of drums in the rear, while the suspension continues with the ML Triton’s tradition of double wishbones and coil springs in the nose and a rigid axle with elliptic leaf springs helping to keep the tail up.
Other Triton 2.5 DI-D specs include a 75 litre fuel tank, powered rack and pinion steering with an 11.4 metre turning circle, 16x6 inch steel wheels shod with 205 R16C110/108R 8PR tyres, and a 2500kg towing capacity.
Payload capacity varies from 951kg for the Double Cab auto (961kg – manual), through to 1031kg for the Single Cab Ute auto (1046kg – manual) and 1161kg for the Single Cab Cab-Chassis auto (1176kg – manual). There is no Double Cab Cab-Chassis version.
Mitsubishi is confident that the combination of diesel economy and value pricing will hit a sweet spot with buyers.
To this end, all vehicles include ABS anti-lock brakes with EBD Electronic Brake-force Distribution, dual front airbags, air-conditioning, cruise control, power windows, remote central locking, variable intermittent wipers, reclining cloth-trimmed front seats, seat-belt pretensioners, 16-inch wheels, heavy-duty high-riding suspension and a limited-slip differential.
As with all ML Tritons, the ANCAP crash-test result is a class-leading four stars, while Mitsubishi’s five-year warranty also applies.
The 2.5-litre DI-D gives the Triton a useful heads-up in its three-way tussle for second place in the pick-up sales race against the Holden Rodeo, Nissan Navara and Mazda BT-50 – and may even edge the Mitsubishi within striking distance of the leading Toyota Hi-Lux.
In fact, MMAL has priced the $22,990 GLX Single Cab between the $20,990 Ford Ranger XL 4x2 and $23,225 Mazda BT-50 DX, as the pair currently account for 85 per cent of all 4x2 diesel single-cab pick-up sales in the segment.
Similarly, the $28,990 Triton 2.5 DI-D Double Cab slots underneath the $31,590 Ford Ranger XL DC diesel (which commands 50 per cent of sales in its class) by a margin of $2600.
Along with the aforementioned Ford and Mazda pick-ups, MMAL identifies the $22,490 Nissan D22 Navara DX, $28,390 Holden Rodeo LX and $29,690 Toyota Hi-Lux SR as the main 4x2 single-cab diesel competitors, while the Triton 2.5 DI-D Double Cab 4x2 clashes with the $33,020 BT-50 DX, $34,990 Rodeo LX and $35,690 Hi-Lux SR double-cab combatants.
Since its launch in late 2006, the ML Triton range has been one of the main drivers of Mitsubishi’s sales resurgence, with the 4x2 and 4x4 recording a 34 and 40 per cent sales growth respectively year-on-year last year.
However, MMAL has not been able to offer a 4x2 diesel variant until now.
“We’ve been effectively fighting with one arm tied around our back,” admitted product and project manager James Tol.
He expects to sell between 200 and 250 per month, with the automatic accounting for up to 40 per cent of volume, while around 60 per cent of buyers will choose the Single Cab 4x2.
“(We are also following) right through to competitors’ fleet pricing with our fleet pricing,” Mr Tol stated, adding that making automatic available throughout the 2.5 DI-D range will prove to be a decisive Triton advantage.
Meanwhile, MMAL has added cruise control availability on all Triton 4x4 3.2 DI-D models, while 17-inch alloy wheels are now standard on the GLX-R and GLS 4X4 Double Cab versions.
“(The new Triton additions) provide us with a foundation to cement our position as a major player in this segment,” Mr Tol believes.
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