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Used car review Mitsubishi Triton ML 2006-2008

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    There was much debate over the looks of the ML Triton leading up to its launch, opinion was divided over whether it looked good or was too swoopy.

Graham 'Smithy' Smith reviews the used Mitsubishi Triton ML 2006-2008: its fine points, its flaws and what to watch for when buying it

The Japanese work ute is no longer the humble hard working vehicle it once was; today's ute is now also refined, sophisticated, safe and sporty.  Utes like the Mitsubishi Triton now regularly appear on our bestseller lists, among with perennially popular cars like the Commodore, Corolla and Falcon.

The ML Triton arrived on these shores in 2006 amid much fanfare about its funky styling, but it has since become a popular part of our ute culture.

MODEL WATCH

Australia has one of the strongest ute markets in the world. And where utes were once bare and basic work vehicles with very few frills and even less safety, the latest generation, of which the ML Triton is a member, are much more refined, better equipped, and slowly but surely they're becoming safer.

There was much debate over the looks of the ML Triton leading up to its launch, opinion was divided over whether it looked good or was too swoopy.  Three years on the debate has ceased and the Triton has become part of the regular road scenery.

The debate over its looks centred on the curved rear wall of the double cab ute's cabin, but it was done with a purpose in mind, to increase the space inside the cabin.  Where most dual-cab utes had a flat rear cabin wall that meant the rear seat had to be vertical with little adjustment, the rear seat in the Triton could be cranked back and was more comfortable as a result.

Mitsubishi described the look as striking, sporty and futuristic, and there could be little argument with that.  The range included two and four-wheel drive models, with single and dual cabs, ute or tray bodies, petrol and diesel engines, and three model lines.

The 3.2-litre common rail turbo diesel engine was new and boasted 118kW at 4000rpm and 347Nm at 2000rpm.  On the road it was very flexible with good pulling power, and economical to boot.  The 3.5-litre petrol alternative was a single overhead cam unit that put out 135kW at 4750rpm and 309Nm at 3500rpm.

Transmissions offered were a five-speed manual and a four-speed auto.  Four-wheel drive models had high and low ratio with the ability to change between two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive 'high' on the move at up to 100 km/h. The changeover is done using a lever on the console alongside the gear lever.

For those wanting more traction Mitsubishi offered a rear diff-lock, which was operated by a button on the dash.  Underneath, the ML had coil springs at the front with leaf springs at the back, large ventilated front discs and big rear drums, ABS braking and electronic brake force distribution.

Three model lines were offered beginning with the GLX, which came in single and double cab variants with petrol and diesel engines, GLX-R double cabs, and the fully equipped GLS rounded out the range.

ON THE LOT

Pay $15,000-$17,000 for a GLX single cab, add $5000 for a double cab; $25,000-$34,000 for a GLX-R double cab; $32,000-$40,000 for an all- singing, all-dancing GLS double cab.

IN THE SHOP

Tritons were built to do the hard yards off the beaten track or on the job site rather than soft miles in suburbia so look for signs of such use.  Check underneath for damage caused by extended use offroad, such as gravel rash, or bashed and bent brackets, exhausts, suspension components and floor pans etc.

Plenty have been used for family transport, towing a boat or caravan, so look for those.  Make sure of regular servicing with routine oil changes so engines don't get clogged up with sludge.

Also look for crash damage, particularly look for poor repairs that would cut the value of a vehicle.  The ML Triton is generally a sound, reliable and durable vehicle that gives little trouble; there are no major flaws to report.

IN A CRASH

Driver and front passenger airbags are standard across all models, along with ABS braking and EBD for optimum brakeforce at each wheel.
ANCAP rated the ML Triton at four stars.

AT THE PUMP

With relatively large displacement engines the Triton isn't a fuel miser, and particularly so as a four-wheel drive. Expect to see 12-13 L/100 km around town, with autos a little higher and diesels a little lower.

LOOK FOR

. Funky styling.
. Roomy interior
. Flexible diesel engine
. Four-star safety
. Robust and reliable

ALSO TRY THESE

TOYOTA HILUX - 2005-2008 Once promoted as unbreakable, the current HiLux has become one of the top selling models on the Australian market. A good driving, safe handling ute with pleasant road manners, good economy and comfortable ride. Pay $10,000-$40,000.
FORD RANGER - 2007-2008 A new name to replace the blue-collar 'Courier' badge brought greater appeal to buyers wanting an allrounder for family transport. A choice of smooth and economical diesel engines with two or four-wheel drive, but cabin is a little cramped. Pay $13,000-$36,000.
HOLDEN UTE - 2007-2008 The traditional Aussie ute has been surpassed by the Japanese, but it still offers car-like road manners, performance, and unbeatable style. Pay $16,500-$32,000.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Good driving and comfortable ute that can double as a workhorse or flexible family transporter.

RATING

85/100

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 11 comments

  • I've got a 2006 GLX-R 3.2 Diesel Triton that's done 170K. It has begun to surge (sometimes intermittantly) around the 2500rpm range - especially from 2 to 4th gear (manual) in the past month and just this weekend driving to Ballarat from Melb, when going uphill doing 110km/hour set on cruise control, it only could manage 80 - 100 km/hr! Couldn't believe it was struggling doing 80km/hr at one stage...thought it was going to die on me. I did already take it to my local Mitsubishi dealer the week before for them to check it out and he did say it'll likely to be carbon build up in the inlet manifold and EGR valve so they need a few days to repair which I couldn't spare them the other week. It will be going into the shop very soon for repairs.

    Wai of Melbourne Posted on 23 March 2014 9:30pm
  • You get what you pay for I guess. A brand new Triton can be picked up for $31,990 less $2000 cash back. What is a Troopy worth? But I don't think I would be taking a ute of any make on the Canning. Just asking for trouble.

    Wally of Port Lincoln of Port Lincoln, SA Posted on 19 December 2013 11:07am
  • We have had ours about 6 years and it is a bit plastic for us. We have lost confidence that it will survive what we wish to do such as the Canning Stock route. We are doing our last big trip to Wolf creek in a few weeks before getting a troopy. Disappointed by the constant surging that occurs at 2500 rpm, the work around is horrendous and Mitsubishi have walked away from the problem. Suspension was shot after two years (checked by two specialists) A recent trip loaded up to the hilt had the ute bottoming out easily. Good weekend warrior car if you don't want to go to hard. L/cruiser troopy is a better build for OUR purposes, bare bones but then that works best where it counts. Stuff the plastic.

    Peely R Noyd of Perth Posted on 12 September 2013 9:17am
  • I have a 2009 triton single cab 4x4 and I have had 4 front wheel alighments and is still not as good as it should be after 4 set of tyres it has to be the worst vehical on tyres I have ever had ,

    pete smith of victoria Posted on 29 July 2013 8:48pm
  • I got a 2006 GLXR turbo diesel and its a piece of shit every thing on it is plastic including iner guards in wheel well . . First water I went though ripped them off which the tyres then grabbed and destroyed then windscreen and all other plastics on out side trim come loose its one thing after another ..... DON'T BUY ONE PIECE OF CRAP !!!!

    Colin Quelch of Caboolture Posted on 28 February 2013 12:13am
  • I currently have a triton glxr 2007 love it now own it never want to let it go one problem in fuel management fixed under warranty they put a new manifold in no more surges runs great tows well lots of power and for once holding its own in price

    Paul Davies of Perth wa Posted on 13 January 2013 7:34pm
  • My 2007 duel cab go's great. It has done 105k without missing a beat. I have upgraded the suspension to SAX, fitted Micky T's at 100k and now it handles even better. Standard rear suspension squeaks real bad. Love this car, more pull then a 15 year old school boy reading a playboy mag smile

    Gt of Redlands Posted on 09 September 2012 9:15am
  • I had a 2007 Glxr.Was pretty happy with it until it started surging until while accelerating to the point where in 5th gear uphill you couldnt get above 80k's. Turns out an EGR valve was cactus letting exhaust gases hit a sensor which cut the engine. Checked some forums to see if anyone else had the problem and it was pretty common. Also found that my power steering fluid filler would get a black build up around it and the fluid inside would get quite black. Turns out engine oil was leaking in due to a cactus seal. Again on the forums this was not uncommon. Both were fixed under warranty however sold it pretty much straight after as others had reported it happening again and again. Dealer fixed it no worries but when i mentioned that i had noticed alot of people had similar problems he said it was the first they had heard of it which was hard to believe.

    Brendon of Brisbane Posted on 16 August 2012 4:31am
  • Good advice. Made me rethink some idea of this Triton.

    thompso Posted on 12 August 2012 8:09pm
  • i have a triton lots of power with a heavy duty tray, fun on out back roads and with the suspension i turned the bottom 2 leafs upside down now a little bit stiffer and handles better haven't had any problems at all with nothing.

    wayne of forbes 2871 Posted on 04 February 2012 10:14pm
  • I have a 2006 Mitsubishi Triton - bought it for a farm ute. During the test drive it had a lot of power, firm suspension but soon after buying it I realised that the stock tyres where like plastic, slipping on corners even at low speeds. The suspension didn't handle well when going off-road, getting whiplash on every bump. I would have preferred to spend the money on fixing up my 1994 Pajero especially after having engine, suspension and light problems with the Triton - not including two recalls on engine parts. If you were looking to get a Triton, make sure you get the extended warranty, it will save you money in the long run, and also consider getting airbags for the suspension. It has some good points such as loads of power - I've towed trees, other 4x4 out of the mud and my 8 tonne tractor when it broke down. Also has a deep tray which has come in handy on more than one occasion.

    Mitsubishi Triton Posted on 09 November 2011 5:49pm
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