REVIEW | The 2019 Mitsubishi Triton is a sharp alternative
The Triton proves a fine substitute for the two nameplates that dominate sales in this competitive category, writes Brenwin Naidu
My colleague Bruce Fraser recently ventured through Botswana and Zimbabwe. He was piloting an appropriate steed: the Toyota Hilux Legend 50.
This brand and pastimes of cross-continental exploration in Africa are deeply intertwined, that is for sure. It is a reputation that has rival brands undoubtedly green. From behind the wheel of the 2019 Triton this week, one pondered about a season in which Mitsubishi held true currency in such a space. A reminder that the company was synonymous with the original iteration of the Paris-Dakar rally – when it still involved the capital of Senegal.
Nowadays, you really need to think when asked what the USP or defining hallmark of the brand is. No longer does it participate in motorsport. And its product offensive locally is a tad staid, with dated contenders such as the ASX, Outlander, Pajero and Pajero Sport alongside slightly newer offerings like the Eclipse Cross. Which itself seems to lag in many areas versus similarly priced contemporaries.
Although the latest Triton could be considered as the jewel in its crown. It is a truly fine alternative if you would prefer to stray away from the two nameplates that dominate sales in this category.
Be sure to go for the striking Sunflare Orange paint choice, which really accentuates the boldness of that countenance, boasting what Mitsubishi calls its Dynamic Shield styling philosophy. The Triton is an attractive thing – not merely attractive for a pick-up, but attractive full stop.
What also makes it attractive is the simplicity of the range. There is one specification level, which is the everything-in-as-standard specification level. A single engine choice serves, which is the familiar 2.4-litre turbocharged-diesel good for 133kW and 420Nm. And then you can pick between 4x2 or 4x4 with a manual or automatic gearbox, both six-speed. Finished.
We had the four-wheel drive model with the two-pedal transmission choice. There was little to fault it for in the week of driving, which including a trip to the edges of Gauteng and back. Its terrain-beating credentials require no corroboration: a 220m ground clearance, low-range and differential lock at the rear arm it for upper-intermediate off-road work.
The cabin of the Triton employs plush leather upholstery and surfaces that are classier than expected. A small gripe came in the form of the infotainment system – which did not allow Bluetooth audio streaming whilst simultaneously charging a smartphone. A minor thing, but annoying still. Navigation is included.
So are seven airbags, dual-zone climate control, electric adjustment for the driver seat, keyless-go and a reverse camera. This version of the Triton will cost you R599,995, which is less than its main rivals featuring the equivalent levels of specification. Brand loyalty aside, that makes you wonder why more shoppers do not consider the finest product that Mitsubishi sells in SA today.
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