Mitsubishi Triton looks macho and adds major family safety features
CHISELLED brawn and family-focused safety kit lead the upgrades on the next Mitsubishi Triton, which will arrive in January.
The macho makeover for Australia’s third most popular ute behind the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger was unveiled globally today in Bangkok.
The new Triton is billed as the “ultimate sport utility truck”, gaining a tougher appearance thanks to a stronger profile and corporate “dynamic shield” frontal treatment seen initially on the Pajero Sport.
The platform carries over, with tweaked 2.4-litre petrol (94kW/194Nm) and turbo diesel (133kW/430Nm) engines. Five and six-speed manuals are retained respectively and there is a new six-speed auto option with the diesel.
However, the Triton will dramatically improve its safety kit with features that match the Ranger and Mercedes-Benz X-Class and surpass rivals including the HiLux, VW Amarok and Nissan Navara.
It gained a five-star rating in 2015. Among the additions will be autonomous emergency braking that operates at “low and medium” speeds using camera and laser radar. If the tech recognises the risk of a frontal collision with a vehicle or pedestrian, it sounds a beep warns — if the driver fails to react, the brakes are applied automatically.
Blind spot warning, surround view camera and rear cross traffic alert also will be added to the safety repertoire, along with “Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation” — a first for the segment.
It is designed to stop pedal confusion or accidental use of the throttle. When cameras and sensors detect hard acceleration when setting off in forward or reverse, the tech cuts engine power.
Mitsubishi Australia played a key role in the development, with a vast testing program undertaken Down Under.
After Thailand, Australia is Mitsubishi’s second biggest market for the Triton, followed by Indonesia, Chile and the United Kingdom. Collectively those five markets make up more than half of the Triton’s global sales.
Cabins in higher specification models are more car-like, with soft-touch double stitched materials, darker colour scheme and extra silver garnishes. Creature comforts have been improved with the family in mind — the rear seat has a USB charging socket and aircon vents — and in high-end models, the 6.1-inch touchscreen gets smartphone mirroring.
The new look will extend the Triton’s appeal, enhanced recently by aggressive pricing — the base GLX manual is $32,990 drive-away.
The distinctive curve where cabin joins tub is retained but the rest of the sheetmetal has been overhauled to make the Triton look more robust.
In profile, a pronounced crease runs front to rear; fog lamps sit higher on the grille where there is extra chrome; and the tail-lights, now bold and square, no longer stretch toward the cab.
The six-speed auto partnering the turbo diesel replaces the five-speeder and marginally improves fuel economy. The cast aluminium cylinder block reduces weight over the front axle and the turning circle is sharper.
The suspension set-up — double wishbone front and leaf spring rear — is unchanged though ride performance is also claimed to improve, courtesy of bigger rear dampers.
Other additions include hill descent control, front and rear parking sensors and, on 4WD versions, an off-road selector that enables the driver to choose between gravel, mud/snow, sand and rock modes.
Pricing and full specification will be made available in December. Some models are expected to land before Christmas, with the bulk of new Tritons landing around New Year.
Colour choices will include two whites, grey, orange, red, silver, black, blue and brown. Single cab, extended club cab and double cab body styles continue.