Mitsubishi joins the upmarket 2WD ute market. Damien O’Carroll tests it.
With the massive surge in ute sales over the last few years as the once bare-bones workhorses transformed into more luxurious family vehicles, the high-spec 2WD ute has become increasingly popular, but usually with a fairly hefty premium price tag attached.
Mitsubishi have now got into the act with a 2WD VRX version of the Triton, and, in typical Mitsubishi fashion, have managed to handily undercut pretty much anything else in the segment.
While the 2WD Triton VRX’s list price is similar to the likes of a 2WD XLT Ford Ranger, it does pack a bit more equipment in for the money, but here’s the really interesting part – Mitsubishi’s strategy of aggressive launch prices and periodic discounting means that you can actually pick up a 2WD VRX Triton for a rather remarkable $39,990.
Now, while some will struggle with the Triton’s somewhat polarising looks, it can look rather good indeed with the right accessories and it certainly stands out from the square ute crowd.
Personally, I will admit to rather warming to the Triton’s looks since it came out, but still cant shake the lingering feeling that there is just too much chrome going on.
Still, it is the inside where you will be spending the majority of your time and the Triton’s interior is nicely laid out, attractive and well put together.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are welcome additions to the VRX and it boasts a brilliant driving position – probably the best in the ute segment.
It is still a bit hard and plasticy in places and the seats, while supportive, are typically hard, but not uncomfortable.
Of course, the business end of things is under the bonnet, and Mitsubishi’s 2.4-litre diesel engine is smooth, quiet and refined, but also impressively powerful. It hauls the Triton along at a brisk and remarkably refined rate. While the five-speed automatic transmission is a nice shifter, with an excellent manual mode, it is only a five-speeder.
On the road the Triton almost certainly can lay claim to having the best ride of any ute on sale today, and is also one of the best handlers. Confident and assured over any surface, it is actually capable of being a bit of fun on a winding road.
The ride comfort is particularly impressive around town over rough or broken surfaces, where the Triton shows very little of the brittle jiggliness of most unladen utes.
While its looks are still somewhat polarising - although nowhere near as much as the previous model - the Triton rises above the pack when it comes to ride, handling and refinement.
Add in the twin barrages of Mitsubishi’s industry-leading 10 year warranty and that incredible price and you have a deeply impressive package that you owe it to yourself to check out if you are in the market for an up-spec 2WD ute.
Body type Double cab utility
Engine type Inline four-cylinder diesel
Engine capacity 2442cc
Max power 135kW @ 3500rpm
Max torque 437Nm @ 2500rpm
Fuel consumption 7.5L/100km
C02 emissions 195g/km
Front suspension Double wishbone
Rear suspension Leaf spring
Roof rack No
ABS brakes Yes
Air bags 7
Stability programme Yes
Air conditioning Dual zone climate
Lap/diagonal belts 5
Satellite navigation No
Electric seats Driver’s
Burglar alarm Yes
Boot release n/a
Cargo cover n/a
Boot capacity n/a
Wheel type 17-inch alloy
Spare tyre Full size alloy
ANCAP rating 5 Star