A new year and a new long-term test truck for the magazine, as we welcome this Mitsubishi Triton GLX+ to the shed. The Triton finished 2019 as the third best-selling 4x4 in Australia, launching with a full reskin early in the year and receiving an up-spec towards the end of the year.
The new look came with a heavy load of standard safety equipment to give the Triton more safety kit than any other 4x4 ute on the market, including those that cost almost twice as much. The standard inclusion of rear cross-traffic alert puts it ahead of European rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz X-Class and VW Amarok, in terms of standard safety equipment.
Our demo model comes with more than 6000km on the clock and a few factory extras including the steel front bar, LED light bar, a tow bar, floor mats and a tonneau cover. These add around $7K to the drive-away price, but on current pricing you could drive out in a GLX+ with all this kit for $47,668. That’s a lot of truck for less than $50K, The Triton owes its sales success to sharp pricing and value for money.
There was good news for off-roaders with the 2020 updates, with the rear diff lock dipping further down in the range so that this GLX+ specification now has it as standard; it was previously only offered in the top-of-the-range model. Also new was the inclusion of 245/70R16 Bridgestone Dueler all-terrains to the GLX and GLX+.
These worthy additions add to a long line of standard features including the Super Select 4x4 system that gives the user the option of full-time AWD, as well as the usual RWD and locked 4x4 settings. There’s a comprehensive A/V system with Apple Carplay/Android Auto, and all the bits and bobs you expect in a mid-range pick-up.
We look forward to putting the Triton through its paces over the next six months. It’s always been an honest toiler that gets on with the job without any pretence; it’s not everyone’s bunch of grapes, but when you consider the safety package and drive-away pricing, it bears further investigation beyond the flash and glamour of some of the more popular 4x4 utes.
The complete ownership adventure on 4x4 Shed
4x4 Shed Log #1: 2019 Mitsubishi Triton GLX
Current mileage: 6775km
Price: $50,403 (as tested)
Update 1: Fitting In
The Triton finds its place in the shed during its first month with us.
The Mitsubishi Triton hasn’t left town for its first month with us, but it hasn’t been laying idle either. As always when you have a ute, especially one with a towbar, mates appear from everywhere wanting to borrow it.
This time it was Louis from MOTOR Magazine who was looking to tow his go-kart trailer over a weekend and the ZL1 Camaro he regularly drives strangely enough doesn’t have a hitch. I happily swapped keys with him and, as expected, the Triton made light work of the relatively light kart trailer. For the record; the ZL1 attracts a bit more attention than the Triton does. It goes a bit better, too, but it can’t tow a trailer or go off-road.
The MOTOR team nabbed the Triton again for use as a camera car on a shoot with the Camaro at the racetrack, and it gave us the chance to bag these pics.
Back in Melbourne, the Triton has slipped into commuter mode and is a very easy vehicle to live with for this use. It really is an appliance that you just use and it does the job without fault. It’s an easy vehicle to get in and out of, offers plenty of outward vision for the driver and is reasonably comfortable.
The Triton is one of the few 4x4 utes on the market that has a steering column that is adjustable for both height and reach, yet with my 185cm frame in the driver’s seat I still find the steering wheel a long way away and would prefer it closer. It is less than ideal, but moving the seat further forward would have my knees touching the steering wheel.
Related: Triton GLS long-term review
Speaking of moving the seat forward, the only problem we’ve had with the Triton came when Tristan Tancredi drove it and was unable to slide the seat forward any more than a few centimetres. There was obviously something jamming the left-hand seat slide, but looking under it didn’t show anything. Removing the seat revealed a five-cent piece that had well and truly wedged itself into the rail preventing full travel. The offending bent and buckled coin was removed to make things right.
While most of the cabin controls and functions within the Triton are simple and easy to operate, a personal hate of mine is the absence of dials to control things like the audio volume and cabin temperature.
Car companies seem hell-bent on doing away with dials and replacing them with buttons even though dials are more tactile, easier to use without having to look at, and faster responding to inputs. In this age when safety experts are always preaching about driver distractions, you’d think having the simplest controls for regular function would be a no-brainer. Mitsubishi isn’t the only company at fault here, most of them are guilty of disregarding knobs.
The cabin is otherwise well-appointed with all the stuff you want; single-zone climate control, a decent-sized display screen with access to Apple Carplay/Android Auto, and good storage compartments. Just as important, it doesn’t have the stuff you don’t want; there’s no keyless entry or start button, and no power tailgate at the back. Even so, it’s still frustrates when it doesn’t let you remove the key from the ignition before you put it in park, and the self-locking doors function can’t be switched off.
The Triton has proved itself easy to live with in town, so now we just have to get it out and get it dirty.
4x4 Shed Log #2: 2019 Mitsubishi Triton GLX
Current mileage: 8018km
Price: $50,403 (as tested)
Mileage since last update: 1243km
Average fuel consumption: 11.1L/100km
Triton GLX with red paint: $43,490
Tow bar kit: $1170
Black protection bar with fog lamps: $4193
Rubber mat set: $107
LED light bar: $708
Soft tonneau cover: $735