Five things about the bargain-priced Mitsubishi Triton GLX+
FIVE things we learned about the updated Mitsubishi Triton GLX+ double cab, at $34,990 drive-away one of the best buys in the ute class.
1. I CAN'T GET OVER THE PRICE
This is why Chinese utes have struggled to gain a foothold in Australia. The Triton GLX+ double cab has been at $34,990 drive-away with auto for seemingly an eternity. It undercuts the starting price of its mainstream rivals by roughly $5000 to $10,000 and is almost as cheap as the Chinese pick-ups. And yet with the Triton you get Japanese quality - even though it's made in Thailand, as with most of its peers - and a five-year warranty. It also has capped price servicing … for just three years.
2. IT DRIVES BETTER THAN IT LOOKS
With its preying mantis stance and long ute tub the Triton is not going to win any beauty contests. Some of my mates joke that you need to park a couple of blocks away from your destination so you're not seen getting out of it. But buyers are getting the last laugh. It has one of the tightest turning circles among its peers (11.8m), so negotiating car parks and U-turns is a cinch. Riding on the comparatively tiny 16-inch wheels with tall profile tyres it irons out the bumps nicely.
3. IT HAS MOST MOD-CONS COVERED
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were added to the touchscreen as part of a running change earlier this year. The downside is that the volume knob disappeared in the process, making it fiddly to adjust quickly on bumpy roads. Sure, there's the toggle switch on the steering wheel, but that too is not as fast and as easy to use as a volume knob. A rear camera is standard and the GLX+ also gets alloy wheels, side steps and rear bumper.
4. THE ENGINE IS QUIET … FOR A DIESEL
This may come as a shock to many but the Triton's 2.4-litre turbo diesel is a sweetie. It's quiet, refined and frugal to boot. The six-speed manual is a gem, although most buyers opt for the five-speed auto, especially as Mitsubishi keeps offering a "free auto upgrade" every other month. Being one of the lightest utes among its peers, the 2.4 also accelerates smartly.
5. I ONLY HAVE TWO THINGS ON MY WISH LIST
No one makes the perfect ute but the Triton comes close - for the money. First wish: give the Triton a tougher appearance, perhaps borrowed from or inspired by the Pajero Sport. Second wish: a digital speed readout. Given Australia's strict speed enforcement every 1km/h counts. So, Mitsubishi, how about using that digital display in between the analog dials to give us a speed readout?
MITSUBISHI TRITON GLX+
Price: $34,990 drive-away
Warranty/servicing: 5 years/100,000km, 12 months/15,000km, $1490 for 3 years
Safety: 5 stars, 7 airbags, rear camera (AEB not available)
Engine: 2.4-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel, 133kW/430Nm
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling