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Date: 18 Dec 2017 Author Type: Public Review
Author: Julian Lurie Edited by Liam Mothilall
Source: Julian Lurie
The Mitsubishi Triton Double Cab range was initially launched in South Africa in March 2007, but for 2017, Mitsubishi Motors South Africa has introduced its all new completely redesigned Mitsubishi Triton, the fifth in the Colt/Triton lineage, and is the most advanced pick-up ever to be developed by Mitsubishi with its balanced combination of true SUV-like road manners with heavy-duty workhorse capabilities.

The new range comprises of four derivatives – two 4x2 models with a choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed auto and the two 4x4 models also offering with either the 6-speed manual or auto – all powered by Mitsubishi’s new Di-T 2.4 turbo-diesel engine. The derivative feature on these road impressions is the Triton Double Cab 4.2 automatic.

According to Mitsubishi, their engineers have improved no less than 185 key areas of the new Triton, compared to its predecessor, and these range from deepening and re-enforcing the loading bay, revising the shape of the bonnet for aerodynamic efficiency and refining the driving position for improved in-vehicle visibility and comfort. Gone is the” stage-coach cab” styling and other elements such as the distinct J-line between the cabin and the load bay which have been reworked for benchmark interior space. This is immediately apparent to all passengers, particularly those seated in the back where there is ample leg- head and shoulder room. There is good room in the back seats, and the shoulder room is also good as the cabin has also been 'squared-up' at the shoulders and the tops of the b-pillars moved outward. Most noticeable is the new sculpted bonnet, bold grille and wrap-around headlights which flow into a deep shoulder-line, connecting to the new tail-lights and curved tailgate that now facilitates effortless one-handed operation. The integrated brake light on the tailgate can't be obscured like those on cab-mounted versions.

Further enhancements are the addition of chrome accents around the front driving lights, grille and flush-mounted door handles and the newly designed side steps while the press vehicle was fitted with 17" alloy wheels with a sporty multi-spoke design and shod with Yokohama Grabber SUV all-terrain tyres.

Getting in and out of the new Triton is much easier as they now have side steps, and the high seating position provides the driver with much improved visibility.There’s also two grab handles on the inside A pillars and another three above the side windows.

Oddments storage is provided for in the large cubby, the four door pockets, a sunglass holder, lidded box between the front seats and magazine pockets behind the front seats.

The driver has full view of the dials capped under a sporty hooded binnacle. They are smart and easy to read, and there are metal garnishes and soft-feel surfaces. Other standard items are; leather upholstery, dual-zone auto air-conditioning, a reverse camera, an electrically adjustable driver's seat, tilt and telescopic multi-function steering wheel adjustment with Audio and Cruise Control, electric windows, rear view camera and cruise control, and Stop/Start system.

The press vehicle was fitted with the intuitive 7-inch touch screen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and Hands-free Voice Control, USB audio input, digital radio, as well as the keyless push-button stop/start. The cabin itself has been enlarged which allows for more cabin space, and more shoulder room for both front and rear occupants, while the redesigned seats have additional bolstering for more comfortable long distance driving. A nice feature is that the double-cab's rear bench is angled by a class-leading 25 degrees to provide additional leg and shoulder space, instead of the typical upright position synonymous with double-cab pick-ups. The cabin ambience with the leather trim and quality plastics, is much more up-market than before, plus Mitsubishi's engineers have added thicker sound deadening material to the engine firewall and under the floor.

In terms of safety, the new Mitsubishi Triton Double Cab GLS Exceed, achieved a full five-star safety rating in the Australian NCAP safety performance test, aided by Mitsubishi's patented Reinforced Safety Evolution technology. This is coupled to features such as; driver and front passenger airbags, a fully collapsible steering column and additional side-impact bars in the doors. Double-cab versions are standard with the Active Stability and Traction Control) system, ABS and EBD as well as Hill Start Assist.

The Mitsubishi Triton Double Cab 4x2 auto is powered by a new four-cylinder 2.4 liter MIVECturbo-diesel engine, developing 133 kW at 3 500 rpm with torque peaking at 430 Nm at 2 500 rpm, and delivers power to the rear wheels through Mitsubishi’s five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel consumption is given as just 7.6 liters per 100 km in the combined cycle, but that is a bit ambitious, as the trip computer on the press vehicle gave me an average reading of 9.9 litres per 100 km. However that did include handling tests, acceleration, gravel roads and high speed tests, all of which would account for the higher consumption.

For driving around town, although the Triton is a big vehicle, the well-weighted electric power steering and the good turning radius makes it relatively easy to drive, while parallel parking is also easier, courtesy of the reverse camera and rear parking sensors. On the highways, the new Triton has a car-like feel and is very quiet for a diesel SUV. Wind and tyre noise are well controlled and the whole package is more comfortable on long journeys. The engine is far more refined than its predecessor. It is red-lined at 4 000 rpm, low by modern diesel standards, but progress is swift as peak torque is delivered at 2 500 rpm. At 120 km/h on the highway, the auto is ticking over at 2 200 rpm and at just 3 200 rpm at 160 km/h, but when you need to overtake, power comes in so strongly that you don't need a long run-up to get safely by. The five speed auto changes up and kicks down decisively, and matches the low-down characteristics of the diesel. It is almost car-like in how quiet it is on the road, with just a hint of wind noise above 100km/h and the requisite tyre roar over coarse-chip surfaces.

The recommended retail selling price for the new Mitsubishi Triton Double Cab 2.4 Di-D 4x2 5-speed automatic, as tested, is R499 900 and that includes a 5 year / 90 000 km service plan and a 3 year / 100 000 km manufacturer's warranty.
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