Nissan Navara 2015 review: road test
Bill Buys road tests and reviews the 2015 Nissan Navara, with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.
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Mitsubishi's Triton has been around for almost 40 years and has sometimes been regarded as the poor relation of Japanese rivals Navara, HiLux and Mazda BT-50. To some degree that image was diluted by the current model released in Australia in 2006. For the next few months that current model "tradies special" will be sold alongside the all-new Triton, launched this week.
The new model Mitsubishi Triton takes this popular utility to the next level with a more sophisticated body style, improved all-new turbo diesel engine and a quiet, fashionable cabin worthy of a modern car.
Mitsubishi are calling the 2016 model the best and safest Triton yet. After two days at the wheel in a variety of conditions – the sands of Fraser Island, open highway, country roads, steep climbs and descents – we have no argument with that claim.
The light commercial segment has been redefined in recent years by all-new designs in the shape of the Volkswagen Amarok, and cousins Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50. It's fair to say Triton now joins that group in terms of refinement, handling, fuel consumption, towing and load capacity. Externally, the current Triton polarised buyers, but the new vehicle addresses all shortcomings. We found the ride and handling to be similar to some well-sorted SUVs.
Triton's 'J-curve' tub serves a useful purpose by giving the rear seat passengers a 25 degree angle to the seat back meaning more comfort. However, some felt the rounded tub looked soft. That has been corrected by Mitsubishi adding a shoulder line that starts with the front mudguard and then re-starts with the rear door that leads into the tub which now has defined straight lines and higher sides.
Along with tighter gaps between the tub and the cabin, the J-curve is less defined giving the vehicle a more powerful appearance from the rear and profile angles. Looks matter, even in dual cab utes.
With Triton now having a 5-star ANCAP safety rating Mitsubishi will have access to the fleet markets including the mining sector. This will also be received well by private buyers where the dual-cab pickup often doubles as a workhorse and family car.
The safety rating applies across the entire Triton range with Triton dual cab boasting seven airbags and a host of technology including stability and traction control.
The new engine develops 133 kW of power (up 2 kW) but more importantly delivers 430 Nm of torque in both manual and auto variants.
Available with a six-speed manual gearbox or five-speed auto (the Aisin system borrowed from Pajero) with manual override option, the new Triton has an all-new 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine that replaces the old 2.5 litre turbo diesel.
The new engine develops 133 kW of power (up 2 kW) but more importantly delivers 430 Nm of torque in both manual and auto variants. The previous engine delivered 400 Nm in manual vehicles and 350 Nm with auto.
Fuel consumption is down across the range by as much as 20 per cent through a combination of the new engine, lighter bodies and improved aerodynamics. Triton comes in three specification levels: GLX, GLS and range-topping Exceed.
With a more responsive throttle and more torque on tap from low revs the new Triton is no slouch. On the soft sands of Fraser Island we found it pulled away in second gear (manual) from as little as 750 rpm, then up moderate inclines without any complaint.
At highway speeds the engine seems to just idle along at under 2000 rpm, but ask the question for passing and there is a surge of acceleration that gets you out and back on the left side of the road in no time. We were surprised to see what our highest speed was during this manoeuvre past a 4WD and caravan.
The new Triton dual cab has a tow rating of 3100 kg for both auto and manual variants which is paired with a high Gross Combination Mass (GCM) rating of 5885 kg. This figure is important as it means if you have the complete 3100 kg behind you.
Triton still has a significant tray load ability, after the combined weight of passengers is subtracted from the GVM. "Triton's development was focused directly towards the quality of its towing capability and performance, with much of the tow testing carried out in Australia," said Tony Principe, Mitsubishi Australia's marketing manager.
Mitsubishi stated that the majority of people who tow with a Triton, tow between 1000 kg and 1500 kg. A much lesser number tow up to 2500 kg and only a handful go over 3000 kg.
Triton retains the 3.0-metre wheelbase that gives the vehicle a best in class turning circle of 11.8 metres – important if the pickup is used around town for shopping, as well as being off-road when you're on tight tracks. It now has just 3.8 turns to go lock to lock.
Mitsubishi did not fiddle around with the size of the three offerings, single-cab, super-cab and dual-cab are close to the same dimensions as the soon to be superseded model.
Drivers will also be happy because, at last, Triton has both reach and tilt adjustment for the steering wheel.
The suspension has also been tweaked as well as changes to the rear damper design and the leaf springs which have been lengthened by 120 mm to improve ride. Triton now has a slightly improved entry angle of 30 degrees while the departure angle is 22 degrees while the double cab ramp over angle is 24 degrees. Wading depth is 500 mm or if you take it really slow at under 5 km/h, you can get into depths of 600 mm.
Mitsubishi also announced Triton's capped price servicing
Triton entry-level GLX models have the Easy-Select 4WD system that uses a dial to choose between 2WD and 4WD on the move. There is also 4WD low range that has been adapted even lower gearing for serious off-road rock hopping.
Mitsubishi also announced Triton's capped price servicing: $350 for the 15,000 km (12 month service); $580 for the 30,000, (24 month) 45,000 (36 month) and 60,000 (48 month) services.
We really like this new Mitsubishi Triton. It's a well thought-out vehicle that should appeal not just to tradies, but also to the off-road and towing markets.
The current Triton has reached 150,000 sales in Australia, the lion's share of the 265,000 Tritons sold in here over the decades. This latest Triton seems likely to hold that momentum.
|Exceed (4x4)||2.4L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO||$21,500 – 29,150||2015 Mitsubishi Triton 2015 Exceed (4x4) Pricing and Specs|
|GL||2.4L, ULP, 5 SP MAN||$7,800 – 12,100||2015 Mitsubishi Triton 2015 GL Pricing and Specs|
|GLS (4X4)||2.4L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN||$19,700 – 27,390||2015 Mitsubishi Triton 2015 GLS (4X4) Pricing and Specs|
|GLX||2.5L, Diesel, 4 SP AUTO||$10,800 – 15,840||2015 Mitsubishi Triton 2015 GLX Pricing and Specs|