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Mitsubishi Triton dual-cab GLX+ 4WD 2018 off-road review

Mitsubishi's heritage in Australia runs back 40 years to the Chrysler D-50 of the late 1970s which became the LS200 before the second generation landed as the Mitsubishi Triton in the mid-1980s.

Cheap and cheerful – some early utes ran with three-on-the-tree – those early Mitsus proved to be a value proposition as a commercial vehicle.

The overall profile with high-riding rear tray looks a little ungainly. The overall profile with high-riding rear tray looks a little ungainly.

Then into the 1980s, with a four-wheel drive version added to the line-up, Mitsubishi added more family-friendly variants with extra creature comforts and more sophisticated driving manners. The Triton, encouraged by Mitsubishi's Dakar success with Pajero racers, also served time as a sporting truck in off-road enduros such as the Australian Safari.

This current generation dual cab Triton (or Double Cab as Mitsubishi would have it) has been with us since 2015 – even while it looks much like the fourth gen, which introduced us to the Cinderella carriage-styled cabin. The GLX+ model here is one up from a base Triton.

Is there anything interesting about its design?

Well, there is that angled rear body-line on the four-door Mitsubishi ute's cabin; it's distinctive, a different style to any rival in this class.

The overall profile with high-riding rear tray looks a little ungainly and the chromed grille a bit toothy for some. Little wonder Mitsubishi Australia also offer a limited edition Triton Blackline edition with black grille, door handles and fender flares to offset some of the bling of a GLX+ model.

And while it's been heavily reworked the ute's all-steel body, on ladder frame, does not look too different from the fourth generation Triton of 2005 and that dates this body design somewhat.

The chromed grille might look a bit toothy for some. The chromed grille might look a bit toothy for some.

How practical is the space inside?

This dual-cab Triton GLX+ is now just the one up from a workingman's special GLX so there are plenty of hard plastic surfaces in a well-sorted, albeit basic, cabin which is roomier in all directions than its predecessor.

So there is good room front and rear while back-seat passengers benefit from that different line to the cabin's rear; there's more incline to the seats' back-rest compared with the straight up-and-down approach of some rivals. The rear seat bench though is fixed and doesn't fold up for access to underseat storage as in other one-tonners.

The Triton GLX+, especially with manual transmission, is more the workers' friend than an alternative to the family wagon. The Triton GLX+, especially with manual transmission, is more the workers' friend than an alternative to the family wagon.

Storage spots here include cupholders, good-sized door pockets plus glovebox and centre console.

Front seats are supportive, a driver sits tidily – helped by a tilt and telescopic steering column – with good vision to all corners of the vehicle.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

It's very good value at $35,000 though we're not sure whether family adventurers might prefer to move up a model or two to score Super Select II four-wheel drive, some nicer trim and dual-zone air-conditioning (as found on the GLX) or those bits plus differential lock, leather seats, auto wipers and lights and automatic transmission paddle-shifts (Exceed).

Nevertheless a four-wheel drive Triton GLX+ arrives with a stack of standard equipment including side-steps, 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity with voice command and seven-inch touch screen for phone and audio, trip meter, air-conditioning and a raft of safety gear.

16-inch alloy wheels come as standard. 16-inch alloy wheels come as standard.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

On paper the Triton's 2.4 litre turbocharged diesel sounds fine – 133kW at 3500rpm and 430Nm of peak torque at 2500rpm, more than its predecessor. This is a spirited, but pretty quiet and refined, powerplant that spins quickly through to 4000rpm.

Yet mated to the six-speed manual transmission the diesel can feel lethargic down low compared with others.  It loves to run at high road speeds, where 1500rpm in sixth can see better than legal speed limits, but it needs a little clutch slipping when negotiating off-road obstacles at crawl speeds in first gear, low range. Finding the clutch's take-up point can take practice too.

And where the dual-cab Triton is now rated for 3.1 tonne towing capacity that can be a big ask when the road heads uphill.

The dual-cab Triton is now rated for 3.1 tonne towing capacity. The dual-cab Triton is now rated for 3.1 tonne towing capacity.

How much fuel does it consume?

Mitsubishi claims a manual Triton ute will run around 7.2L/100km on the combined cycle – an 11 percent improvement over the previous model. In real life that's more likely to be around 8.5L/100km, still a very good figure for this class.

Off-roading can see that blow out to 14-15 litres through bush or beach; if towing those maximum three tonnes expect more than 20L/100km.

What's it like as a daily driver?

The Triton GLX+, especially with manual transmission, is more the workers' friend than an alternative to the family wagon. It doesn't have quite the shine of other recreational vehicles, isn't quite so cosy as some despite good cabin space.

The tall-geared manual transmission – and its clutch engagement – can need more attention in stop-start traffic.

Among daily annoyances are the fiddly slip-and-slide controls for the audio system on the touch-screen; steering wheel-mounted controls aren't always easy to find. How much would a pair of knobs cost?

That said, the Triton rides quite well for a one-tonne ute, the steering effort and 3.8 turns lock-to-lock is much appreciated in tight traffic and it is a relatively easy vehicle to park despite a 5.2metre-long body.

Pluses also include six tie-down points in the rear tray for all manner of cargo from jerry cans to dogs.

What's it like for touring?

With a comfortable ride, responsive steering and good handling allied to that diesel engine which loves to run, the manual Triton is a better than expected highway machine.

Tallish gearing needs to be countered with gear changes in slower road work – getting out of corners, for instance – yet the Mitsubishi ute verges on the sporting when given its head.

Again the dual cab GLX+ cabin may not be as plush as some but the room is good for four, maybe five, people. And, again, a family buyer might consider moving up to at least the GLS model for around another $4000 to score the Super Select system (with the advantage of safer road running in four-wheel drive) plus a grab-bag of extra conveniences.

Those looking to do some slowish, crawling off-road work – or even open beach cruising – should consider opting for the five-speed automatic. Those looking to do some slowish, crawling off-road work – or even open beach cruising – should consider opting for the five-speed automatic.

Those looking to do some slowish, crawling off-road work – or even open beach cruising – should consider opting for the five-speed automatic. It may not be as clever as six-speeders found in some competitors but will lessen the nuisance value of clutch-slipping when clambering over obstacles.

The Mitsubishi Triton GLX+ is a good touring machine thanks to comfort and accommodation levels, handling and fuel economy. Especially at this price.

It's just a more workmanlike option than dearer Tritons which may have more appeal to the recreational buyer.

Pluses also include six tie-down points in the rear tray for all manner of cargo. Pluses also include six tie-down points in the rear tray for all manner of cargo.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

The Triton runs with a five-star ANCAP rating, primary safety helped out by seven airbags – front, side, curtain plus driver's knee airbag – and a reverse camera mounted in the tailgate. (Make sure the tailgate's up if relying on the camera; just saying.)

There is also a welter of electronic aids from ABS to emergency brake assist, hill start assist and trailer sway control.

Those prissy seatbelt reminders can be annoying, especially when in and out of the cabin, out in the paddock or loading up at Bunnings.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

The Triton is covered by Mitsubishi's five-year, 100,000 kilometre warranty.

Service intervals are every 15,000 kilometres or 12 months while service costs are capped for the first three services – $430, then $530, then $550.

There is also 12 months roadside assistance, Australia-wide, offered.

Mitsubishi's Triton GLX+ is a good all-rounder at a good price but can't always match rivals for style or substance.

It isn't as sophisticated as others – albeit often dearer vehicles – if looking for a family get-away machine; it does stack up quite well as a working ute at this money. Downsides include the six-speed manual transmission's troublesome gearing off-road, those painful audio controls and the doors' central-locking on take-off is a proper nuisance out in the paddock or down the beach.

What do you think of the Triton GLX+? Tell us in the comments below.

$28,480 - $36,990

Based on 30 car listings in the last 6 months

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Daily driver score

3.5/5

Adventure score

3.3/5

adventureguide rank

  • Light

    Dry weather gravel roads and formed trails with no obstacles, very shallow water crossings.

  • Medium

    Hard-packed sand, slight to medium hills with minor obstacles in all weather.

  • Heavy

    Larger obstacles, steeper climbs and deeper water crossings; plus tracks marked as '4WD only'

Price Guide

$28,480 - $36,990

Based on 30 car listings in the last 6 months