Nissan Navara 2020 review: N-Trek
Have you been hankering for a Wildtrak with Nissan badges? Hanker no more with the Navara N-Trek.
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Remember the HD Holden? Even if you weren't around at the time, like me, you might be aware it had the shortest production run of any Aussie Red Lion models.
That's because its design was a bit of a stinker, and was replaced by the more sedate HR after just 14 months, at a time where model changes were more like half the four year typical span these days.
The MR Triton's looks may be polarising, but few will disagree that it's a country mile better looking than the MQ it replaced in January this year. So why is being updated again barely eight months later? With no styling changes of note?
Now, it is just a model year change rather than a full-scale update, and the Pajero Sport has been treated to similarly frequent changes since it appeared in 2015, but when its two biggest rivals, the HiLux and Ranger have been updated since (the Ranger is about to score its second!!), you may as well play every card you've got.
|Mitsubishi Triton 2020: GLX|
But Mitsubishi didn't have that many cards to play, with the key changes focused on the two trim levels second from the top; the GLX+ and the GLS.
The GLS now comes with proximity keys like the top GLS Premium, and the biggest news is that it now gets the rear diff lock as well. The GLX+ now does too, which is a great backup plan when you're using it properly off road.
Prices are up between $500-1000 for the variants they've changed, but the Triton is still very much skewed toward the value end of the ute market. There's now 22 Triton variants available, spread across single, Club Cab (extra cab) and Double Cab (dual cab) bodies, tub tray (pickup) or cab chassis, two or four-wheel drive, and GLX, GLX ADAS, GLX+, GLS and GLS Premium trim levels plus the new Toby Price limited edition commemorating the two-time Dakar-winning Aussie.
If you can spot the design changes applied to the Triton range for 2020, you should be working in forensics, or perhaps step away from the Triton owners forum for a while.
The top spec GLS Premium's tray-mounted sports bar is now black instead of polished aluminium, and the next rung down GLS is now without a sports bar at all.
That is it, and fair enough at that. The MR Triton still has the freshest ute styling of all anyway.
Cabin practicality is unchanged, with comfortable, if a bit narrow for three adults, back seat accommodation in the Double Cab.
Not all utes get the Triton's reach and rake adjustable steering column and there's two cupholders up front. Double Cab models get another two in the back seat's centre armrest and there's bottle holders in every door across the range.
Single cab models get one ISOFIX for the passenger seat and Double Cabs get two on the back seat.
The top three variants, GLX+, GLS and GLS Premium, get a 7.0-inch multimedia screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus there's Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, DAB radio and GPS location - but not built-in sat nav.
The GLS and GLS Premium models' roof mounted air circulator also now comes on the GLX+ double cab.
Rather than sending the air conditioning to the back via console ducts, it sucks it from the front part of the cabin and then redirects it where you point it in the back.
It wasn't hot or cold enough to really put it to the test during the Tiroton's launch event, but it's a novel approach that shows Mitsubishi has had its thinking cap on.
Braked tow ratings are also unchanged, with 4x4 Double Cabs sitting beneath the 3.5-tonne segment status quo with 3100kg. Single cab 4x2s are rated at 1800 for the petrol and 2500kg in diesel, with all other variants wearing 3000kg ratings.
Payloads tend to decrease as the variant gets heavier, with the lightest (and cheapest) 4x2 single cab petrol rated to carry 1280kg, while the heaviest and range-topping GLS Premium will only carry 855kg.
Nothing new here, with all bar the base single cab 4x2 coming with a 2.4-litre turbodiesel four which produces a healthy-for-its-size 133kW at 2500rpm and 430Nm at 2500rpm.
The base variant comes with the 2.4-litre 4G64 petrol four the Triton has used for years, which produces 94kW at 5250rpm and 194Nm at 4000rpm.
The petrol variant is rated to use 11.4L/100km on the combined cycle, with all diesel versions ranging between 7.8-7.9L/100km with the manual transmission. Interestingly, automatic models are rated to consumer significantly more at 8.3-8.6L/100km.
All 22 Triton variants have a 75-litre fuel tank.
At the start of the year, the MR Triton represented a new benchmark for safety equipment, but times have moved on and it's been trumped by a handful of rivals, including Ranger, that include all the important safety gear range-wide.
GLX models are fitted with reversing sensors (aside from cab-chassis variants) and GLS-upwards get them on the front as well.
GLS and GLS Premium models add blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and an ultrasonic misacceleration system that will dull throttle response if it senses you're about to hit something at low speed. There's also lane change assist, front parking sensors and auto high-beams.
GLS Premium is the only model in the range to get the very handy 360 degree Multi Around monitor.
All variants get a reversing camera as standard - even cab chassis models, provided they're fitted with a Mitsubishi genuine tray.
Every model in the Triton range comes with driver and front passenger front and side airbags and a driver knee bag and curtain airbags which also cover the back row where fitted.
The MQ Mitsubishi Triton scored the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating against 2015 standards.
5 years / 130,000,000 km warranty
ANCAP Safety Rating
The MR Triton's introductory seven-year/150,000km warranty deal has been extended until the end of 2019, and builds on the brand's existing five-year/130,000km plan.
A capped price servicing plan is offered for the 12 month/15,000km intervals and is surprisingly cheap but only covers the first three services. The diesel costs just $299 per visit (yep, for the 30000 km and the 45000 km services it's the same), while petrol models are even less - $199 per visit ($597 = three years' cover).
Mitsubishi includes roadside assist as part of the ownership plan at no cost.
We already know the current Triton is a good thing off road, with a relatively short wheelbase and narrow body making it easier to manoeuvre around tight obstacles than bigger utes like the Ranger and BT-50.
So the fundamental design is good, and the systems are well calibrated, in Australia mind you, to make the most of the suspension and tyres. This includes the selectable off-road modes in the GLS and GLS Premium that tailor the traction control to suit different terrain types.
No Triton review is complete without mentioning the Super Select four-wheel drive system on the GLS and GLS Premium, which gives you the option of full-time four wheel drive in high range with a centre diff like an SUV, to give you more grip on wet or snowy bitumen as well as all rugged low range off road abilities.
One negative though is that the rear diff lock disables the traction control altogether when engaged, unlike some utes like the Ranger and BT-50 that leave it active on the front wheels.
There's nothing new about the way the Triton drives on the road either. Without any load in the back or any back seat passengers, the ride is more jiggly than what you'll experience in a Ranger and the steering ratio will keep you twirling the wheel more than you might expect.
The engine and transmission are still a great combination, even though it's still only the six speed auto, unlike the eight speed in the Pajero Sport.
It's good to see Mitsubishi refining the product so quickly, and the Triton represents a good value, quality ute. It'd just be nice to see the most important active safety gear fitted across the range.
|Price and features||9|
|Engine & trans||8|