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Driven: New Mitsubishi Triton to be sold alongside old

Choices, choices: Ten-strong Triton MQ range at launch will be complemented by solitary MN 4x4 for a while yet, says Mitsubishi Australia.

Two-tier sales until current ute runs dry as Mitsubishi launches all-new Triton

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Mitsubishi logo29 Apr 2015

By TIM ROBSON

MITSUBISHI Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) will continue to offer its current-spec Triton ute alongside its new-generation sibling for several months, according to the company.

Launched in Queensland this week, the new MQ-series Triton features a new 2.4-litre MIVEC-equipped four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, revised transmissions, advanced technology and an almost complete makeover of its body – improvements Mitsubishi is hoping will keep the popular ute at the pointy end of its segment against the forthcoming all-new Toyota HiLux, Nissan Navara and heavily upgraded Ford Ranger.

Significant chassis changes and an improvement in its safety package that combine to give Triton a maximum five-star ANCAP crash-test rating have also been highlighted, as MMAL chases after lost mining sector and government department market share.

Prices have been trimmed and extra equipment added across the line to the fifth-generation Triton, a nameplate which has accumulated 295,000 sales in Australia since its introduction with the second-generation vehicle in the late 1980s, with 150,000 of those being the current MN model.

Prices start at $24,490 plus on-road costs for the base 4x2 single cab manual, and peak with the $47,490 range-topping Exceed.

“Half of the Tritons we’ve sold in Australia have been the current model which shows you the success of the current model,” said MMAL executive director of marketing Tony Principe. “We are launching the new one, but we’ll have the old one for a while with us.

“We’ll still run the old model as an entry-level proposition, and that will give us a pretty strong presence at the lower end of the market, the tradie-type end.” Mr Principe said that as long as there are cars to sell, the MN would remain on the showroom floor.

When asked how long the cars would be sold together, he said: “Probably at least until June or July.

“Basically all we have left is the GLX Plus, the slightly upmarket vehicle that the tradies love.” The GLX Plus is currently listed at $29,990 driveaway in 4x4 dual cab auto guise.

The three-tier Triton model range now mirrors Mitsubishi’s other line-ups, and starts with the fleet-spec GLX, moving on to the private-buyer GLS and topping out with the new-for-Triton Exceed.

As before, three body styles – double cab, club cab and single cab – and 4x2 and 4x4 drivelines are also offered.

Save for a solitary single-cab GLX variant that will come on stream later in 2015 with a 2.4-litre petrol engine, all Tritons will use a new ‘4N15’ low-compression, MIVEC-equipped 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.

With a host of new technologies, including a lightweight variable geometry turbo, all-alloy block and a timing chain to replace the previous Triton’s belt arrangement, the engine produces 133kW of power at 3500rpm and 430Nm of torque at 2500rpm – 2kW and up to 80Nm more than previously – and fuel economy figures of between 7.2 litres per 100 kilometres (GLX dual cab) and 7.6L/100km (Exceed automatic).

A new heavy-duty six-speed manual gearbox makes its debut in Triton, while a five-speed Aisin automatic is lifted from the Pajero wagon for the ute, albeit with a different electronic control unit.

GLX models are equipped with the Easy Select 4WD system, with a lower gear ratio in the 4L sub-transmission than before. The GLS and Exceed are fitted with Mitsubishi’s latest Super Select 4WD II system which offers four driving modes including a locked 4WD mode, while the Exceed also receives an electronically locking rear differential.

Suspension has been heavily tweaked across the range. A thicker sway bar, heavier springs and revised dampers update the dual wishbone layout up front, while 120mm-longer uprated leaf springs fitted to a newly reinforced mount and redesigned dampers make up the rear. The new Triton now has an approach angle of 30 degrees and a departure angle of 22 degrees.

All Tritons measure 5200mm long and sit on a 3000mm wheelbase. Heights vary between 1765mm and 1780mm, while width ranges between 1785 and 1815mm. The tray area on the style-side dual cab models measures 1520mm wide and 1470mm high – a few millimetres wider and longer than the MN – and it will take a payload of between 935kg for the Exceed and 980kg for the GLX double cab auto 4x2.

The Triton tips the scales at 1555kg for the 4x2 cab chassis, rising to 1830kg for the GLX dual-cab 4x4 automatic and up to 1965kg for the Exceed. All variants have a braked towing capacity of 3100kg.

Inside, the dashboard has been completely redone, with remodelled seats, new steering wheel with adjustment for both reach and tilt, additional headroom and shoulder-room (head clearance is improved by 8mm, shoulder room is up by 10mm, while rear legroom is up by 20mm).

On the outside, all-new panels offer less wind resistance for improved economy, while the Triton’s signature J-curve styling on the rear of the passenger compartment remains.

Passive safety features include driver and front passenger SRS airbags, side and curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag, while seatbelts are fitted with pretensioners and force limiters.

Higher-strength steels have been adopted in the body structure, while active stability and traction control (ASTC) is standard across the 2016 range, along with Mitsubishi’s Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) function, which flashes the hazard warning lights under heavy braking to alert vehicles approaching from behind.

All models are also fitted with a brake override system, which uses sensors to recognise when both accelerator and brake pedals are being pressed at the same time and gives priority to the brake system to prevent accidental acceleration.

Other standard safety equipment equipment includes hill-start assist, trailer sway control (when connected to a trailer with electric brakes) and an adjustable speed limiter.

The GLX also comes with air-conditioning, cruise control, hands-free Bluetooth (with voice command and audio streaming), CD stereo with USB port, a multi-function steering wheel, trip computer, alarm and immobiliser.

The four-wheel drive variants also get the Easy Select 4WD system and a new shift dial.

The GLS adds the centre diff-equipped Super Select II 4WD system, 17-inch alloys (up from 16-inch rims), Xenon headlights and LED daytime running lamps, front foglamps, side steps, rear bumper step, polished sports bar, rearview camera (a $750 option on GLX style-side variants), folding door mirrors, dual-zone climate control, a 6.1-inch touchscreen, six speakers and DAB digital radio.

The range-topping Exceed grabs all the features from the GLS and GLX, and adds transmission paddle shifters, leather-look door trim panels, a smart key, push-button start, dusk-sensing headlights, automatic wipers, leather seats, a powered driver’s seat and Mitsubishi’s MMC infotainment and satellite navigation unit complete with seven-inch touchscreen.

Mitsubishi Triton pricing*
GLX 2WD Single Cab Chassis $24,490
GLX 2WD Single Cab Chassis (a) $26,490
GLX 4WD Single Cab Chassis $32,490
GLX 4WD Club Cab Chassis $35,290
GLX 2WD Double Cab Pick Up (a) $35,990
GLX 4WD Double Cab Pick Up $36,990
GLX 4WD Double Cab Pick Up (a) $39,490
GLS 4WD Double Cab Pick Up $40,990
GLS 4WD Double Cab Pick Up (a) $43,490
Exceed 4WD Double Cab Pick Up (a) $47,490
*Excludes on-road costs.

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