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Triton to maintain position despite price increase

Mitsubishi Australia says its pricier sixth-generation Triton can hold sales ladder place

6 Dec 2023

YOU may not be able to frighten a Triton, but buyers might want to know where the zhuzh is in the new model Mitsubishi one-tonner due out in February next year.


The new model looks “truck” chunky and imposing, but is somewhat conventional in the cabin, under the skin, and in terms of its mechanical and available specification that includes rear drum brakes.


New safety and infotainment kit makes an appearance this time around as well as a new colour range. Only one engine, a 2.4-litre twin turbo-diesel, is available initially and only with automatic transmission.


The new Triton has a double wishbone coil front and leaf spring rear suspension and rides on a ladder chassis. However, given the market is predominantly fleet customers, small businesses and tradies, Mitsubishi might be on the right track with its new ute especially as it retains the value proposition of the previous model albeit from a higher base line price-wise.


It will arrive in dealerships from February priced from $43,690 in two-wheel drive GLX Double Cab form and rising to $63,840 for a four-wheel drive GSR Double Cab.


Spec for spec, the ask is relatively competitive against similar vehicles from other brands, many of which cost more (except for a couple of the Chinese offerings and the SsangYong Musso).


Based on a recent local introduction to the gen-six Triton we found it is a competent all-rounder, good to look at, slightly larger outside, roomier inside, well equipped, capable, and no-doubt reliable, fuel efficient and safe; all points certain to appeal to the target audience…


Mitsubishi Motors Australia general manager marketing and product strategy, Oliver Mann, describes Triton as a so-called “tier one product” that has “stepped up to the premier division”, which we interpret as an admission that the Triton has caught up with the current competition but is not a benchmark setter.


Is it enough for Mitsubishi to maintain its position in the Australia one-tonne ute sales race? Possibly. But a full range of variants must be readily available sooner rather than later.


In the meantime, Mr Mann said the new model was a “colossal step up on its predecessor with better on road feel and broader off-road capability.”


We would agree with that, as it is measurably better across all applications particularly in the ride and handling department and for low-speed lugging.


That must be tempered by the fact that the high spec pre-production GLS and GSR test vehicles at a recent preview drive in South Australia were equipped with the superior Super Select II 4WD system which has multiple 4WD options yaw control and a locking centre differential.


Mr Mann said the new Triton was a step along the way to autonomous driving with new technology including lane centring and camera controlled ADAS.


At the preview media event for the Triton, GoAuto asked Mitsubishi Australia’s CEO Shaun Westcott if other engines would be available in the Triton range specifically cheaper, petrol engines in more basic “Workmate” style vehicle to which he replied in the affirmative.


“Our focus is on resetting the Triton at launch so we have a limited range to start with and then, subject to shipping and other variables, other variants will follow including cab-chassis models,” he said.


“I can’t give you detailed specification for these models or if they have petrol or diesel engines, but we will have vehicles to suit most buyers on the way.”


In terms of possible electrification in some form for Triton, Mr Westcott said Mitsubishi was “looking at it” but held reservations regarding range and other limitations with electrification while packaging was a problem if Mitsubishi was going down the PHEV and HEV path with Triton.


“Where do you put the battery?” he asked.


“You can’t simply put it under the floor because of the weight and other controls needed that take away load space and add to the vehicle’s weight.


“There would need to be a step change in battery technology before an electrified Triton is considered though we are studying the idea.”


Mr Westcott said Mitsubishi still has a competitive advantage with Triton even though the model is now similar spec to its competitors.


“The kit balances the price and it is similar dimensions to other brands and yes, a Euro pallet fits in the back,” he added.


On the subject of hydrogen powertrains, Mr Westcott commented, “Hydrogen has some challenges, and a few billion dollars needs to be spent to make it viable on a number of fronts including the supply chain.”

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