If you were to ask a group of tradies what the best 4-cylinder turbo diesel ute around was, you wouldn’t be surprised to get four different answers. The commercial ute segment has become completely saturated with various car makers either bringing out completely new models or continuing their existing lines, and it would appear there is no end in sight.
A popular choice amongst people looking within this category is the Mitsubishi Triton. The Triton is available in a multitude of models including the GL, GL-R, GLX and the GLX-R. With plenty to choose from, there is bound to be one to suit your needs as well as your budget. We have been given the top of the range GLX-R to test out and put through its paces.
The Triton is not known for its aesthetic appeal, but has built its reputation on being a tough car. It was quite a surprise then to find that the Triton had a smooth and quiet ride, the loudest note you will hear is the turbo spool and the trademark sound of a diesel engine.
The engine is an in line 4-cylinder double over head cam 2.5-litre turbo intercooled engine which produces 131kW @ 4,000rpm and 400Nm @ 2000rpm. As you can see it has plenty of power, however it does seem to suffer from turbo lag leaving you wishing the boost would come on that second earlier.
With all this power it still manages to churn out an efficient 8.3 litres per 100km highway and 9.6 litres per 100km city – according to the manufacturer, which is slightly less than what we were able to achieve.
With an independent wishbone type coil spring suspension at the front and a rigid elliptic leaf spring in the rear, we were easily able to traverse all conditions. Thus if you were to take a Triton off road, it could handle almost anything in its path.
On the inside there are plenty of creature comforts, however some of them are a little dated. With advancing technology it has almost become strange to see a car without a multimedia unit and 7 inch display, especially in a top of the range model. Though this is an optional extra for the Triton, the multimedia system is different to the Rockford Fosgate system found in other models from the Mitsubishi range.
The steering wheel controls are in convenient positions, however the function in some instances is annoying. One example is listening to the radio, instead of switching between preset radio stations, it searches for the next frequency. This essentially removes the practicality of the steering wheel controls as the majority of the time you will be surfing between preset channels and not searching for a new frequency.
Some enjoyable features include a USB port in the glove box and a 3.5mm jack in the centre console which should greatly expand your listening experience. There are also some unique features which have been integrated into the computer system including a digital compass, elevation and a barometer for the budding meteorologists out there. However you will generally not find yourself on these readings as for most people fuel economy will be the main focus when driving to ensure you are getting the best value for money at the pump.
The Triton GLX-R has a large and usable tray. With a maximum payload of slightly over 900kg and rough dimensions of 1505mm in length, 1470mm in width and 850mm depth, the tray will allow you tackle large jobs with ease. If you hate tailgaters, another advantage of the large tray is that you will hardly notice them sitting on your rear. However, the reduced vision of close up objects through the rear vision mirror will be counterproductive when trying to reverse park.
The use of the optional extra Interior Mirror with Reversing Camera would help negate this issue. Due to its large turning circle and lock to lock, even normal parking can be hard work as you have to swing extra wide to be able to park in one attempt.
With many manufacturers looking to bridge the gap between work and recreational vehicles, you can tell that this car is built with the worker in mind. For some people they will love that it is focused around this, however if the average person were to buy the car they would not be disappointed in any way. It is strange and I am unable to pinpoint the exact reason why; but the longer you drive it the more enjoyable it became. Mitsubishi has done a great job and it is easy to see why they have been so successful. With just a little more refinement, the car would become an even more pleasurable experience.
2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel
Five-speed automatic, dual range, four-wheel drive
131kW@4000rpm, 400Nm (350Nm@2000rpm for auto)
Towing Capacity (Braked):
F: 17 x 7.5 inch 245/65 R17
R: 17 x 7.5 inch 245/65 R17
Fuel Tank Capacity:
Tested average: 10.4L/100km
Official average: 9.6L/100km
GLX-R Double Cab Pick Up 4X2
Diesel Auto P/UP $44490
GLX-R Double Cab Pick Up 4X4
Diesel Manual $48990
Diesel Auto 51490
MRP – Manufacturer Retail Pricing as at 1 April 2012
Prices exclude dealer delivery and statutory charges
Low cabin noise
ADM give the GLX-R 4×4 Diesel Triton 4/5 helmets
Written by Jason Sharman