New panels cloak Triton's carry-over chassis and the cabin's fractionally bigger.
Mitsubishi has unveiled its next Triton, the first in 10 years, which will be in showrooms by the middle of next year. Unlike the latest Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Holden Colorado - and the coming Nissan Navara and Toyota HiLux - the Triton does not appear to be a completely new model from the ground up.
Instead the Triton is a re-skinned version of the current model riding on the old chassis. This means it is still likely to be too cramped for the driver with its high floor and low roof. The rivals have roomier cabins.
Mitsubishi says the Triton's cabin has grown by just 5mm in height and 10mm in width. Rear passengers an extra 20mm of legroom thanks to newly designed front seats which are thinner at the back. Mitsubishi is yet to publish towing capacity and payload but it will need to step up from the current 3000kg tow rating.
There will be two turbo diesel engine options: the proven 2.5-litre in the current model (131kW/400Nm) and a new, alloy 2.4-litre (133kW/ 430Nm). The output of the 2.4 puts the new Triton behind the benchmark Ford Ranger (147kW/470Nm).
On the plus side, the new Triton is the only ute among its peers with a five-year warranty. And Mitsubishi claims it has the tightest turning circle among the rivals (11.8 metres) and "excellent" fuel economy, although it is yet to publish the figures.
Mitsubishi dealers have told Carsguide that the old model will continue to sell alongside the new Triton for much of next year, giving the company two price points: the outgoing ute will be at the bargain end of the market while the new model will attract premium pricing.
Utes are the third biggest part of the new-car market in Australia behind small cars and SUVs, driven by the mining boom and private buyers who want a vehicle for weekday work and weekend play. Next year, strong sales growth for utes is anticipated, given the attractions of the Navara and HiLux, as well as significant facelifts for the Ranger, BT-50 and Colorado.