Latest Triton a higher, faster, stronger proposition

Peter Atkinson |

Mitsubishi’s latest, sixth-generation, Triton has an imposing presence.
Mitsubishi’s latest, sixth-generation, Triton has an imposing presence.

How appropriate that Mitsubishi should choose this Olympic year to pull the covers off an all-new Triton, the Japanese maker’s flagship in the super-competitive four-wheel drive ute segment.

It’s been a whole decade since Mitsubishi gave this go-anywhere work truck any kind of a major makeover.

But this new model certainly makes up for the delay.

Just like the Olympics, this rivalry in this segment features entrants from all around the globe.

Kia is already advertising wall-to-wall its first-ever ute, to be called the Tasman, almost 12 months before the big machine arrives Down Under.

But that’s not all.

Ford has won a slew of industry awards for its latest version of the Ranger. Toyota has cranked out a couple of new models – including a new HiLux GR giving it a performance-styled halo model which sets a new direction for the perennial buyers’ favourite.

Mazda, Isuzu, Nissan and VW are raising the bar while China’s keenly-priced utes are building a strong following.

So the ute pursuit shows no sign of slowing. And Mitsubishi is a good part of the reason why.

The new Triton is faster and stronger than the previous model thanks to an all-new powerplant that lifts it towards the top of the tech stack.

HIgher? Well, it’s easily the biggest Triton, and the most imposing.

In fact Mitsubishi has declared it the most powerful Triton ever, thanks to the inclusion of a four-cylinder, bi-turbo diesel engine which delivers a substantial 150kW and 470 Nm.

Perhaps it’s all just a way to thank Mitsubishi buyers for their patience and loyalty.

The Triton has been a favourite for most of its four or more decades in Australia.

Globally the model (also called the L200 in other markets) has sold almost six million cars in more than 150,000 countries. Little old Australia ranks as the third-largest market of all the places Triton is sold. And there’s a lot to like about this one.

The Triton first broke cover back in 1978. In the time since, it’s been a staple of the Japanese maker’s planning and, even 10 years since its previous iteration, has been Mitsubishi’s second-top seller behind the popular Outlander.

This model might just push it into the lead.

The Triton moniker arrived Down Under on its third-generation model (from 1996) and it’s been a stalwart ever since.

The fourth-generation gave the Triton a more car-like look and feel, but that sophistication is even more to the fore with this sixth-generation, which arrived in Australia late in 2023 with plenty of fanfare and buyer excitement.

They tend to be loyal buyers, the Triton troupe, and early indications are this model has hit the mark.

This model is offered in four trim levels starting with the entry-level GLX joined by a GLX+ variant (the first a two-wheel drive, the second with all-wheel grip). Starting at $48,820 the Triton is one of the most reasonably priced among its (mostly) Japanese peers.

What won’t please rusted-on local buyers is the fact that the new model adds up to $7600 to the base cost across the range. Inflation counts for much of the price increase (it has been a decade, and 4WD adds about eight grand to the base model).

Safety, capability and technology are clear improvements across the range. Mitsubishi was keen to move on from its reputation as the “cheap and cheerful” competitor in this segment. With the Chinese moving into its turf Mitsubishi needed to move up-market, and this car achieves that.

Mitsubishi Triton
Triton features display screens and a driver-alert system for a car-like interior experience. (HANDOUT/MITSUBISHI AUSTRALIA)

Standard equipment is generous, including two digital displays – a vivid nine-inch touch screen on the centre stack, and a smaller, fixed seven-inch screen in the instrument cluster.

Tested here is the GLS, sitting one from the top of the family tree and possibly the best value proposition.

The cabin is classy and comfortable. Outside, its trapezoidal wheel arches marry nicely with the big, squared-off design and high-sided stance.

A set of handsome alloys and some hefty design features around the bonnet set it apart from most of its rivals.

The high-tech diesel, pairs with a well-sorted six-speed auto, plus a handful of driving modes (include sand, rock and snow), switchable on the fly 4WD are highlights of the driving package which is excellent overall.

Engine smoothness and quietness and a well-resolved, nicely planted handling and braking ability give a sense of confidence.

While the cockpit is first class and probably a rung above what’s been previously expected from the Japanese maker, one or two things defied logic.

The driver alert system, for instance, which keeps an eye on weary drivers from the middle of the instrument panel, is placed in such a way it obscures part of the instruments, which seems a bit counter-intuitive.

What’s more, the system is on a hair-trigger so drivers can spend a lot of time being chided to ‘keep eyes watching ahead’.

Another over-eager feature is the stop/start system which is not only irritating by its constant intervention, but highlights the extent to which the twin-turbo shudders every time it stops and restarts.

Beyond that, the engine is responsive with plenty of low-down grunt to get the Triton up and running convincingly and without getting breathless.


* HOW BIG? The sturdy, squared-off design exaggerates the vehicle’s size. Reverse cameras and side alarms make it less of a problem to park. Interior space is comfortable and impressive and the 3500kg towing capacity is class leading.

* HOW FAST? These big buses are not strictly bought for their performance, but the Triton’s high-tech twin-turbo handles the task effortlessly.

* HOW THIRSTY? This is another area where the diesel is seen to advantage – official thirst is 7.5L/100km.

* HOW MUCH? Prices start at $43,690 for the basic GLX, while those with deeper pockets will eye the flagship GSR which pushes the $70k mark (but still undercuts most of its rivals).