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Mitsubishi Triton single cab petrol 2019 review

The front end is truly aggressive, and to some it may look overly ridge and a bit nose-heavy.

Daily driver score

3.4/5

Tradies score

3.8/5

The single cab two-wheel drive ute is still a thing. You mightn’t have noticed, because there has been a lot of noise around dual cab utes in recent times, and with good reason - for every five 4WD utes that sell in Australia, just one 2WD aims up.

But it’s arguably vehicles like the one reviewed here - the 2019 Mitsubishi Triton GLX single cab-chassis - that are the real workhorse utes.

These are the ones you see on freeways and arterial roads before the sun comes up, or at the servo with two energy drinks, two coffees and a couple of pies as part of their payload. 

So how does the budget-focused Triton GLX one-tonner go about its work? Let’s find out.

Is there anything interesting about its design?

It’s so edgy you could almost put square wheels on the Triton. The front end is truly aggressive, and to some it may look overly ridge and a bit nose-heavy. 

The Triton’s new ‘Dynamic Shield’ front end divides opinion - for every supporter there’s a detractor. For me, the front end is great - but it looks better on a high spec dual-cab, or at the very least without the tiny looking (but actually not that small at 16-inches) steel wheels

It’s so edgy you could almost put square wheels on the Triton. It’s so edgy you could almost put square wheels on the Triton.

Unlike other markets, every Triton we get includes colour-coded bumpers. You might disagree, but I think the bulky dark grey plastic front bumper treatment would have looked even tougher. White paint is no cost, and on GLX you can only have it, Sterling Silver or Graphite grey (both of which add $590). 

Everything from the bonnet back is the same as it was before. You can choose to fit a different tray, but our test vehicle was fitted with a genuine Mitsubishi alloy tray with fold-down sides that was simple to use. 

Our test vehicle was fitted with a genuine Mitsubishi alloy tray with fold-down sides that was simple to use. Our test vehicle was fitted with a genuine Mitsubishi alloy tray with fold-down sides that was simple to use.

But what happened to the good old days of utes that didn’t sit up so high? Tray load-in height for this model is 950mm - so loading in heavy items by hand (or jumping on to the back of the ute) is harder than it could be. Toyota still offers a low-set single cab model (HiLux Workmate), as does Isuzu (D-Max SX Low Rider) and Ford (Ranger XL Low-Rider). The Nissan Navara RX is slightly lower than the rest of its range, too. 

While our version is the 4x2, it still has an excellent 30-degree approach angle and a 25-degree ramp-over angle, but the departure angle varies on the tray fitted. As for weight, this version is 1436 kilograms, with a huge 1284kg payload.

How practical is the space inside?

It’s as practical as you could expect a two-seat single cab ute to be. If you want more cabin space and can afford the extra expenditure, consider an extra cab or dual cab. 

The seats are pretty comfortable and offer decent adjustment, so much so that long-legged drivers won’t feel cramped, and because there’s tilt and reach adjustment to the steering wheel, you’ll be able to find a good seating position easily enough. Shame there is no seatbelt height adjustment, though.

The seats are pretty comfortable and offer decent adjustment. The seats are pretty comfortable and offer decent adjustment.

There is a covered centre bin (with a hard plastic cover) and there’s a pair of cup holders between the front seats. There are bottle holders in the doors, and you’ll be able to store booklets or magazines there too. But it doesn’t have handy dashboard storage like some of the other utes out there (a HiLux or D-Max allows you to store drinks near the air-con vents!).

The driver info screen has a trip computer and fuel use readout, but there is no digital speedometer, and the infotainment screen looks more aftermarket than a Clarion unit you’d get off Gumtree.

The USB audio connectivity was glitchy at best, but the Bluetooth audio streaming worked okay, the sound was fine for talkback and podcasts but not so good for music, and the reversing camera is not only clear in terms of the display resolution, the lens is also well concealed above the rear numberplate.

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

The Triton GLX single cab is only available as a tray back model, but you can get it in 2WD as you see here, or with 4WD. And there are petrol and diesel options, manual and auto options - you can read our full pricing and specs story to see how the range pans out.

Our model, though, is the entry point to the Triton range, listed at $22,490 plus on-road costs, or on a permanent drive-away deal of $24,990. 

That’s for a petrol manual 2WD including an alloy tray, and it makes it the most affordable utes you can buy from a ‘mainstream’ maker. 

Our petrol manual 2WD lists at $22,490 plus on-road costs, including an alloy tray. Our petrol manual 2WD lists at $22,490 plus on-road costs, including an alloy tray.

But the Toyota HiLux Workmate in the equivalent spec is $20,990 plus on-roads, so if budget matters, you’d probably just buy that. There are no other petrol single cabs from the big players. 

Consider this, though - if you just want a really cheap ute, you could get a Great Wall Steed diesel single cab for $19,990 (actually advertised at $18,990 drive-away). As for that other Chinese upstart, LDV, there is no petrol single cab there, either, but you can get a diesel for not much more than the petrol Triton ($26,990 drive-away).

You get a 6.1-inch media screen with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming. You get a 6.1-inch media screen with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming.

It isn’t loaded with equipment, but at the very least you get a 6.1-inch media screen with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, AM/FM radio, USB connectivity, a CD player, steering wheel controls and two speakers. There’s cruise control, power windows, electric mirrors, remote central locking, air-conditioning with a dust and pollen filter, and tilt and reach steering adjustment which many dearer utes still don’t have. 

The lights are halogen all around, including the daytime running lamps, and the interior has hard-wearing cloth seat trim with a vinyl floor covering.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

The petrol engine in the GLX base model is ancient. In fact, I learned to drive in a 2001 MK Triton single cab ute with a 2.4-litre petrol engine and a five-speed manual transmission… and the 2019 version runs essentially the same mill as that model.

The petrol engine has 94kW of power (at 5250rpm) and 194Nm of torque (at 4000rpm). The petrol engine has 94kW of power (at 5250rpm) and 194Nm of torque (at 4000rpm).

It has 94kW of power (at 5250rpm) and 194Nm of torque (at 4000rpm), outputs that are measly compared with the diesel manual 2WD’s 133kW and 430Nm. The diesel model costs just a few grand more ($25,990 list price), making it seem a pretty smart choice for hard working tradies.

The Triton’s petrol engine looks even worse when you consider the HiLux petrol model’s massive power advantage (122kW/245Nm).

Towing capacity for the petrol Triton is 750kg for an un-braked trailer, and 1840kg for a braked trailer. (Yet another reason to buy the diesel, which has 2500kg towing in 2WD manual spec).

How much fuel does it consume?

Fuel consumption is claimed at 11.4 litres per 100 kilometres for this grade of Triton, which is yet another reason to buy the diesel version (sure, it costs you a bit more, but you’ll get better fuel consumption and more grunt). A HiLux petrol single cab does a claimed 11.7L/100km.

For what it’s worth, we saw 11.4L/100km during a few hundred kays of unloaded testing with urban and highway driving in the mix. The figure we saw on test for our mainly urban loaded run was 15.8L/100km.

The fuel tank capacity is a huge 75 litres, meaning a decent mileage range if you do long distances. And it can run on regular unleaded petrol, too.

What's it like as a daily driver?

The engine is decent in the way it builds pace, with good torque for a petrol four-cylinder petrol, particularly at lower speeds, and it’s quiet enough too. 

But when you get on the highway and find yourself confronted by a hill, your jaw may clench as you prepare yourself to lose pace. It can struggle, even unladen, with climbs, and it feels like it lacks the grunt to maintain pace on inclines.

The manual shift is a bit rubbery, and the clutch is grabby at times because of the hill-hold assist system, which can be too assertive.

Any single cab that can carry almost its own weight in the tray will have a firm ride. Any single cab that can carry almost its own weight in the tray will have a firm ride.

Any single cab ute that can carry almost its own weight in the tray will have a firm ride, and that’s certainly the case for this GLX Triton. The leaf spring rear suspension is designed to deal with huge loads, and as a result it is punishingly firm around town within nothing in the tray. The worst kinds of high speed bumps are those on corners, as the vehicle can shimmy when unladen.

What’s it like for tradie use?

Definitely buy the diesel.

The petrol engine was a bit lethargic without anything in the tray, but it gets to be downright breathless with 750kg of ballast in the back. Thanks again to our mates at Crown Lifts for loading us up with weight.

  • The petrol engine was a bit lethargic without anything in the tray. The petrol engine was a bit lethargic without anything in the tray.
  • The engine was downright breathless with 750kg of ballast in the back. The engine was downright breathless with 750kg of ballast in the back.
  • Thanks again to our mates at Crown Lifts for loading us up with weight. Thanks again to our mates at Crown Lifts for loading us up with weight.

You need to work it hard at low speeds to get things moving, and it hates hills even more at higher speeds.

The ride doesn’t soften somewhat - the back end absorbed bumps fine, and rebounded after a sharp edge pretty nicely. The front is a little more jittery than you might expect, but if you do buy the diesel the extra weight over the nose will undoubtedly help calm things.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

The Triton retains its previous ANCAP crash test safety rating of five stars which it was awarded in 2015 - even though the front structure of the car has changed, and so have the requirements for five-star ratings. 

While the models higher up in the Triton range deserve the 10/10 score I awarded the range for safety, this end of the spectrum doesn’t quite warrant as big a number. This version still gets stability control, hill start assist, an adjustable speed limiter and trail stability assist, but doesn’t have auto emergency braking (AEB), lane keeping, blind spot monitoring or any of those other smarts you get in the GLX+.

The Triton was awarded a five start ANCAP safety rating in 2015. The Triton was awarded a five start ANCAP safety rating in 2015.

The GLX single cab has seven airbags (dual front, front side, curtain and driver’s knee), and there’s one top-tether child restraint but no ISOFIX

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

Mitsubishi is offering a lengthy seven-year/150,000km warranty on the Triton. At the time of writing, this was due to span until June 30, 2019, but it’s expected to stick around in place of the existing five-year/unlimited km plan.

Oddly, though, only three-years/45,000km of servicing falls under the brand’s capped-price plan. But for those maintenance visits, the costs are low - just $199 for the petrol model (a saving of $100 per visit over diesel models).

There is 12 months of included roadside assistance on all Mitsubishi models at the time of purchase, and that refreshes every time you service your car with the company, up to a maximum of four years. 

If you need a workhorse truck, the Mitsubishi Triton offers a good value offering with surprising levels of refinement. But for us, a single cab GLX diesel manual would make a heck of a lot more sense than the petrol, especially considering it’s only a few grand more. 

Check out our Mitsubishi Triton 2019 review for more info.

And thanks once more to the team at Crown for helping us out with this test.

Is there a place for petrol in the ute market? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

$22,490

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Daily driver score

3.4/5

Tradies score

3.8/5
Price Guide

$22,490

Based on new car retail price