Mitsubishi Triton: A more civilised outing

By THOMAS HUONG | 10 September 2015


The fifth-generation Mitsubishi Triton gets even more passenger car-like in terms of creature comforts.

We were fortunate to drive the top-grade VGT (variable geometry turbo) Adventure variant on a 437km journey from Ara Damansara, Selangor to Batu Ferringhi, Penang.

In our books, this is among that special breed of wheels where the more you drive it, the more you will enjoy it.
Nowadays, many pick-up trucks are no longer just spartan workhorses, and the latest Triton offers a level of cabin comfort that is on par with family sedans in the RM100,000 price bracket.

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The Triton’s cabin noise insulation is top-notch as the clatter of the engine diesel was quite muted, even when we were heavy-footed on the accelerator pedal.

According to Mitsubishi Motors, this is largely due to the strategic placement of sound insulation, absorption and vibration damping materials.  Also, Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia was generous in adding nice stuff such as automatic dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, solid leather or fabric seats, a touch-screen audio system with USB, CD, MP3, Bluetooth and even voice command capability as well as a reverse camera to help with parking this huge pick-up.

It has first-in-class segment features such as engine push-start button, keyless operation, xenon HID headlamps with integrated daytime running lights, tilt and telescopic steering and paddle shifters.

Built in Thailand, the new 2015 Triton is offered in five variants, and priced from RM67,603 for the 4x2 unit with manual transmission, to RM108,273 for the top-grade VGT Adventure with automatic transmission.



It comes with a two-year free maintenance package, and a factory warranty of three years or the first 100,000km.
Family journeys

On the highway, the new Triton’s level of refined interior comfort is quite impressive.

According to Mitsubishi Motors, the Triton has more cabin space, with slightly improved shoulder and rear leg room as well as a rear seats back-rest angle that is among the best.

“Seats were designed for better comfort,” said Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia product specialist Felix Ng, and we certainly had no grouses with seating comfort during the long drive from Kuala Lumpur to Penang.

The powered rack and pinion steering is not really light, but has a direct feel and combined with the pick-up’s best-in-class turning radius of 5.9 metres (four-wheel drive) and 5.7 metres (two-wheel drive), made navigating and parking in tight spots less stressful.

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While the suspension set-up is a conventional double wishbone and coil sprung front, with a leaf sprung rear, Mitsubishi Motors has made tuning improvements for better occupant comfort.

“The leaf springs are now longer by 120mm, which results in less vibration and harshness; thus more comfort,” said Ng.

Running on Silverstone Estiva X5 tyres sized 245/65 R17, our Triton VGT Adventure test drive unit came with a touch-screen audio system that provided sound reproduction of adequate quality.

Combined with the nice leather seats and low levels of noise intrusion, the Triton VGT Adventure impressed us with excellent long-haul comfort.

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Off-road in Ulu Slim

The Triton VGT now holds the distinction of the most powerful 2.5-litre diesel engine for a pick-up, with its 178ps at 4,000rpm and 400Nm of torque at 2,000rpm.

“This is an upgraded engine, carried over from the previous-generation Triton,” said Ng.

He noted that the five-speed automatic transmission is new, and helped to improve the pick-up’s fuel efficiency by up to 5%.

Ng said based on Japan’s JC08 fuel consumption test cycle, the new 2.5-litre Triton VGT can run about 13km per litre.

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Part of the media drive involved an off-road session near Kampung Ulu Slim, Perak in the midst of gentle streams, palm oil plantations and Orang Asli villages.

The off-road route was somewhat muddy and slippery on certain stretches, and we kept the pick-up in low-range 4WD mode for this wet terrain.

The Triton’s four-wheel drive dial selector was convenient when we wanted to switch between 2H (two wheel-drive) and high-range 4WD mode when on the move.

We are not surprised that the latest Triton raises the bar for pick-up trucks, as it is the best-selling model for Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia with more than 53,000 units sold in nearly a decade.

It continues to be an business-oriented workhorse that can double up as a family vehicle, with a spacious and well-designed cabin, as well as refined on-road qualities.

 

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