Mitsubishi Triton Review

In some ways the Mitsubishi Triton is an instrumental part of the ute brigade.

It is one of the least refined of the modern, established group of purpose-designed utes �?" as opposed to utes based off passenger car platforms �?" yet it is also one of the cheapest, so this Mitsubishi will most pertinently force the pricing hand of Chinese manufacturers wanting to sell their very �??green�?? utes locally.

Although the Mitsubishi Triton range extends from $20,990 for the 4�?2 cab chassis manual to $48,240 for the GLX-R 4�?4 double cab automatic tested here, it doesn�??t even take hardcore bartering on the dealer forecourt to reveal sharper deals than that; they�??re simply advertised cheaper in the classifieds.

Mitsubishi Triton 9

Even the before-bargaining RRP of the Triton GLX-R 4�?4 double cab is lower than that of top-spec rivals, all of which, with the exception of the $47,700 Isuzu D-Max auto, retail at beyond $50K.� The Mitsubishi is more highly specified than the D-Max, though, adding climate control, privacy glass, Bluetooth audio streaming nudge bar and a sports rear bar over it (and others in the class).

Also standard are 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, side steps, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift lever, cruise control, and, crucially for strictly OH&S-compliant worksites, stability control and side/curtain airbags. (Incidentally, on the Triton range only the GL misses stability control, but only this GLX-R gets side/curtain protection).

The Triton GLX-R can also be had with a five-speed manual for $45,740, instead of the five-speed auto tested here. Either manual or auto can be further specced with a ($3550) Luxury Pack with leather seat trim, electric-adjust driver�??s seat, body-coloured side mouldings and a diff lock, or just the latter for a stand-alone $750; in the ute class only the Volkswagen Amarok, Mazda BT-50, Ford Ranger and Holden Colorado can be optioned with the off-road-enhancing lockable diff.

Mitsubishi Triton 3

Going back the other way, if you can sacrifice some tradie-cred and get past the HR department, the $40,990 manual/$42,990 auto Triton GLX 4�?4 dual cab makes do with 16-inch steelies, while missing the above acoutrements, but it is perhaps more in tune with the Triton�??s unpretentious personality.

There are plenty of other options, like forgoing off-road ability but retaining five-seat practicality in the Triton GLX 4�?2 double cab for $31,990 manual/$33,990 auto; or go two or three seats at the front only, and replace body tray with just the chassis, for less than $30K, the GL 4�?2 priced at $20,990 manual-only, and the GLX 4�?2 $25,490 manual/$27,490 auto.

While only the base GL cab chassis gets a 2.4-litre petrol four-cylinder engine, all the other 4�?2 grades make do with a 2.5-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder. Except only the 4�?4 versions gets the �??Hi Power�?? version that raises outputs to 131kW of power at 4000rpm and 350Nm at 1800rpm (or 400Nm at 2000rpm on the manual transmission), up 31kW/36Nm (or 86Nm for the manual).

Mitsubishi Triton 11

In terms of power, the Triton is bang-on average for the class, adding a kilowatt to the D-Max diesel and giving away a kilowatt to the Amarok 2.0-litre and Colorado engine. It also comprehensively beats the HiLux�??s 120kW, while also affording an extra gear inside the automatic transmission.

Turn the table to torque, and the Triton 4�?4 manual beats all except the five-cylinder diesel BT-50 and Ranger and the V6-engined Navara�??s benchmark 550Nm. The auto we�??re driving, however, loses 30Nm to the D-Max, 70Nm to the Amarok and 170Nm to the Colorado (which, by contrast, gets less torque as a manual).

Regardless of its outputs, the Triton diesel is among the noisiest and slowest diesel engines in the class. Plenty of vibration streams through the steering wheel and pedals, accompanied by a nasally induction noise when pressed.

Mitsubishi Triton 6

Do press it, and a timed 13.4-second 0-100km/h leaves the Triton grasping the wooden spoon for class performance. Compared with the other diesel utes we�??ve timed it is only within three-tenths of the HiLux auto, but about a second or more adrift of everything else.

While the BT-50 shares the Triton�??s time, the Mazda has a manual transmission; the Ranger that shares the same engine but had a six-speed auto (also available on the BT-50) clocked 12.6 seconds to the same increment.

The closely priced D-Max recorded a surprising 11.5 seconds, meanwhile, so if straight line speed for bugger-all cash is the priority, the Isuzu beats the Mitsubishi. Unfortunately the Triton is also thirsty, exceeding its 9.6L/100km combined consumption claim �?" also the highest in class �?" by a fair margin, recording 13.4L/100km on test.

Mitsubishi Triton 10

The Triton is a mid-fielder for servicing costs, however, asking $1950 over four years. The only utes cheaper are the HiLux ($1020), Colorado ($1180), Ranger ($1560), and, contrary to the Volkswagen servicing-cost horror stories, the Amarok, though it beats the Mitsubishi by a scant $17. Not coincidentally all of the above have fixed-price servicing programs.

It�??s a middle-order finish for towing, too, with a 3000kg maximum haulage matched by Amarok, Navara and D-Max. It beats HiLux by 500kg, and loses to the Ranger, Colorado and BT-50 by the same figure.

You might not guess that the Triton is the longest of the utes (at 5389mm) and has the narrowest tray (1470mm), but you could take a stab at the Mitsu being a mid-fielder for all other dimensions.

Mitsubishi Triton 1

Certainly nobody would pick the Triton as having the tightest turning circle in the class �?" at 11.8 metres �?" after experienced what is by far the worst steering in the class.

Many ute buyers may not prioritise steering feel �?" if you did, you�??d only buy the direct, consistent Ranger and BT-50 �?" but everyone will be affected by a slow rack ratio that requires huge amounts of arm twirling to negotiate 90-degree street turns and parking manouevres. In addition to being slow to turn, the steering is also vague.

On rough roads, the suspension feels rudimentary, bouncing occupants over undulations and descending into harshness over successive scars in the road. Yet body control is lacking and handling is of the old-school variety �?" in that, there is none to speak of.

Mitsubishi Triton 5

The single upside is that the Triton is relatively settled on smooth surfaces, and is less receptive to small imperfections on the road. The cabin is also well made, even though the plastics are cheap and the green dot-matrix display will have those born in the 1980s tearing-up with Windows DOS nostalgia.

The seats are comfortable, and the rear decently roomy �?" again, average for the class.

While the on-paper specifications reveal the Mitsubishi Triton as a mid-fielder, and the price and equipment list propels it well ahead, on the road is where the GLX-R 4�?4 double cab automatic really falls behind. Still, it is comfortably ahead of the current crop of Chinese utes, so keep those new manufacturers honest by bargaining hard and picking up an old-school ute cheap�?�

GM developing 300km-plus EV to rival Tesla Model S

General Motors is developing an electric vehicle to challenge the Tesla Model S, with a 300km-plus range and a more affordable price.

US media reports GM�??s EV will have a single-charge range of over 320km and be priced �??around�?� US$30,000 ($32,000).

Tesla�??s luxury Model S starts at US$71,070 ($75,900) before federal tax credits in North America and offers its owners a335km� range from its base 60kWh battery that generates 225kW and 430Nm. The range of the top-spec 310kW/600Nm Model S with its 85kWh battery rises to 426km, however, it commands a US$12,500 ($13,350) price premium.

Tesla Model S - 1

GM vice president of global product programs Doug Parks broke the news of the planned EV but did not reveal when the car was destined to launch.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Parks said while the technology is currently available, the cost of batteries remains too high to be able to execute the model today at the US car maker�??s targeted price.

Even for the highest current global EV seller, Nissan, the issue of expensive and inefficient batteries is a problem, with others such as Tesla, GM and Volkswagen all working on advancing the technology to improve costs and driving range.

Chevrolet Volt

In Australia, the Nissan Leaf costs $39,990 driveaway (until October 30) and has a range of 175km. This leads the local EV range war ahead of the $48,800 Mitsubishi i-MiEV with 150km and the $59,990 Holden Volt�??s 90km EV range, though the range-extender Volt does claim a combined range of around 600km.

In response to recent claims from Volkswagen that it will become the electric vehicle market leader by 2018, Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer told CarAdvice at last week�??s Frankfurt motor show, �??yeah but we say that too, don�??t we? One of us is going to be right�?��?�

Porsche Australia celebrates 50 years of 911

A convoy of more than 100 Porsche 911� models has crossed the Sydney Harbour Bridge in celebration of the iconic rear-engined sports car�??s 50th anniversary.

Beginning in Millers Point and finishing at Taronga Zoo, the celebratory Porsche� 911� trek� organised by Porsche� Cars Australia and the� Porsche Club New South Wales, was intended as a� gift to the Stuttgart-based manufacturer and formed part of the German marque�??s� global �??50 Years of 911�?? celebrations.

Leading the convoy, escorted by NSW Police force�??s fully-marked Panamera, was Porsche�??s World Tour 911 �?"� a pristine 1967 model from the Porsche Museum in Germany.

Porsche 50 years of 911 - 6

Also present were two 1973 Carrera RSs, a 1993 964 Speedster, several 2010 911 997 GT2 RSs and the second-ever 911 delivered to Australia (in 1965). The total convoy was valued at more than $15 million.

One northbound lane of the bridge was reserved for the parade, which took place at 8am on Sunday.

Similar parades have taken place in Paris, Geneva, Stuttgart, Shanghai, London and Sao Paolo, though Porsche Cars Australia says the convoy in Sydney was the most �??audacious�?� yet, measuring around� 1.5km long nose to tail.

Porsche 50 years of 911 - 4

A stray� Nissan Navara� did make its way into the convoy, but apart from that, all reportedly went off without a hitch.

In another nod to the 911�?�s longevity, Porsche officially unveiled its� 50 Years Edition� model at last week�??s Frankfurt motor show.

Click on the Photos tab for more images.

Car magazine drives at 130km/h in campaign to raise speed limits

Wheels magazine has driven from Melbourne to Sydney at speeds up to 130km/h in the latest episode of its campaign to have Australia�??s highway speed limits raised.

The magazine recruited British motoring journalist Ben Oliver for the drive, aiming to demonstrate that travelling at higher speeds on good quality roads can be completed safely and has the potential to lower the road toll.

Wheels claims raising the limit to 130km/h on Australia�??s best highways would help reduce fatigue and mean drivers spent less time on the road, thereby reducing their chances of being involved in a crash.

Oliver�??s story features on the cover of the latest edition of the magazine, boasting: �??We drove Melbourne to Sydney at 130km/h, didn�??t die and didn�??t get booked�?�.


For the purpose of the story, Oliver drove at the signposted speed limit at all times except in 110km/h zones where he travelled at 130km/h, as indicated by the speedometer in his Volvo S60 Polestar test car. He slowed to the speed limit for fixed speed cameras to avoid being automatically snapped.

Oliver completed the circa-776km journey along the Hume Highway in six hours and 23 minutes; an hour and 11 minutes faster than a control car that stuck to the speed limit at all times.

Oliver, who regularly drives legally at higher speeds in Europe, was the first to admit that a blanket 130km/h limit for the Hume Highway was not the answer.

�??There was nothing the Volvo couldn�??t handle with 95 per cent of its ability in reserve, but a newly qualified driver in a worn-out car in the dark and rain might get into trouble sooner at these speeds,�?� Oliver writes. �??A variable limit would seem right�?��?�

But �??the greatest danger�?�, according to Oliver, is the fact that �??on those laser-straight, perfectly surfaced stretches of the Hume, even 130km/h felt safe enough to be dull�?�.

�??I marvelled at the staggering wrong-headedness of the constant roadside signs warning drivers of the dangers of fatigue when an unnecessarily low limit forces them to remain behind the wheel for longer.�?�

Failing to attract the attention of the boys in blue and having saved more than an hour, Oliver concluded, �??Your speed limit is nuts�?�.


While not planning to penalise Oliver despite his admission of guilt, NSW Police has condemned the action as �??reckless�?�.

�??This stunt has potentially endangered other people�??s lives,�?� NSW Police commander of traffic and highway patrol John Hartley told News Limited. �??Speed is still one of the biggest killers on our roads.

�??It�??s a deliberately reckless action. We take a dim view of what is clearly a stunt. It sends a bad message to other drivers and could have had tragic consequences.�?�

Wheels�?? online petition to increase the limit to 130km/h has attracted more than 11,000 signatures on its way to its target of 15,000.