Marcus Craft road tests and reviews the 2016 Mitsubishi Triton GLX Single Cab 4x2 diesel with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

At the business end of the ute market – the single-cab option ain’t for families – there’s no demand for bells or whistles. Buyers in this segment, fleet and commercial types, are a no-frills, no-nonsense bunch. After all, these things are designed for work, not play.

Toyota’s Hilux and Mazda’s BT-50 remain popular picks as diesel workhorses, largely for reasons of brand loyalty and efficacy respectively, but the 2016 Mitsubishi Triton GLX single cab 4x2 makes a strong case for your ute-buying bucks.

It’s bared to the bone, solid and strongly rumoured to be very reliable. It’s also pretty good value for money. Read on.

Price and features

Our tester – the GLX – with a 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine and five-speed automatic transmission and no-extra-cost alloy tray is $27,990 plus on-road costs.

It’s a single cab ute intended for work, so there is little in the way of any concessions to comfort, beyond the arbitrary.

Design

From the outside, the Triton isn’t going to set pulses a-racing, but that’s nothing unusual for the single-cab mob, which are, in all, a pretty plain-looking bunch. Much like the high-vis-loving blokes who drive them.

The interior is not going to win any awards for innovation, but it certainly has the hard-wearing attitude of a long-lasting ute.

The Triton is not a bad-looking unit: with that distinctive Mitsu grille and bullet-train cabin swoop, but beyond that there is very little to set it apart from its many rivals, which is fine, and at least it doesn’t have the challenging-chin issues of a BT-50.

Inside, the story is much the same; controls are basic, surfaces are plastic and durable, with cloth-trimmed seats and vinyl flooring, and everything is comfortable enough. There’s a real ‘ready for work’ feel here.

On the plush side, It does have tilt and telescopic steering and electric windows.

There are also steering-wheel-mounted controls – audio, phone, voice, cruise – as well as a USB port and aircon controls, but little else.

The audio system is good, producing a clear enough sound. (There’s that word again: “enough”.)

The interior is not going to win any awards for innovation, but it certainly has the hard-wearing attitude of a long-lasting ute.

Practicality

This Triton is comfortable to drive. (See what I did there? I avoided using “enough”.) The seats provide adequate support rather than actual comfort and that’s pretty much all she wrote. There is nothing special or spectacular about the driving experience, so it is perfectly suited to its market.

There is not a lot of room for two people – no surprise in a single cab – but there is space for bits and pieces: the cabin has twin cupholders, glovebox and big, deep door wells for “storing” all that paperwork that tradies love to collect. The centre console isn’t as roomy as those of some of Triton’s rivals, however.

The tray is is 2430mm long, 1770mm wide and 255mm deep, with three tie-down points on each side. With its fold-down sides and rear gate, this alloy tray is much more suited to hard work and cumbersome loads than models with high-fixed-sides, which make it more difficult to get stuff in and out.

The Triton’s tray sides are sturdy and the latches are old-school ‘turn and open, turn and lock’ units with substantial rubber guards, making for a firm fit; there are no rattles from the tray-sides when this vehicle is driven.

I’d like Mitsubishi to throw some protection over the cab’s rear window as standard. I’ve been on a ute comparison when even a properly secured load shifted in trying conditions (i.e. bad weather, tough terrain) and cracked the rear-window glass, which is the kind of easily avoidable disaster no one needs.

The Triton’s payload is 1165kg, which is again adequate (or enough, if you prefer). It is rated to tow 2500kg (braked) and 750kg (unbraked).

Safety

This Triton has a five-star ANCAP rating. It has six airbags but, in a sure sign of cost-cutting, no parking assist tech or rear camera. Tradies and excitable, impetuous children don’t mix well, so all utes – hell, all vehicles – should have a reversing camera as standard.

Safety tech is a line-up of the usual suspects including ABS, electronic brake force distribution, emergency brake assist, active stability control, active traction control ad trailer stability assist. And you do get one child-restraint anchor point, for those days when your other car breaks down.

Engine and transmission

The Triton GLX has a 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel donk producing 133kW@3300rpm and 430Nm@2500rpm. It has been mated to a five-speed auto box.

Driving

For a vehicle designed and packaged to specifically target the actual working sector of the ute market, the Triton yields ride and handling that wouldn’t be out of place in a passenger car. Surprisingly, it’s not an unpleasant place to be.

The engine is quiet and refined and works well with the smooth auto overall. From foot down to go, there was an occasional hint of turbo lag, but nothing too serious, or annoying.

At 110km/h on open roads and when pushed to overtake, the Triton remains a quiet place inside.

At much slower speeds and on city streets, it’s easy enough – there I go again – to tuck in and out of traffic and to deal with any tight spots you might face.

We did most of our driving without any load in the back and while it’s rather jittery as a result, and tends to thump over serious lumps and bumps, it’s not torture. For tradies accustomed to driving utes around, laden and unladen, this bumpiness won’t even register on their elevated, hard-as-hobnails discomfort scale.

We did skip the unladen Triton’s arse-end around a bit once or twice when giving the cheeky diesel a kick in the guts around slippery bends – all in the name of fun and research – but the safety tech kept us in check.

Obviously, it rides better with a load, as does any ute, so we threw a couple of medium-sized dogs, bikes, camping gear and more in the tray to see how it would go.

Now, this load wasn’t anywhere near this Triton’s 1165kg payload but it was heavier than a couple of circus midgets, so it gave me an indication of how the ute would settle with a burden onboard. It did well. The rear leaf springs soaked up the extra weight, and if the engine and auto box were troubled they never let on.

It would cop a much heavier load, closer to its maximum, with ease, I reckon.

Fuel consumption

Claimed fuel consumption is 7.3L/100km.

Ownership

The Triton has a five-year/130,000km warranty. Servicing is scheduled for every 12 months or 15,000km. Capped price servicing is $350 for service no.1 and then $580 for the next three, leading up to the first 60,000km clocked.