First drives: Mitsubishi Triton

​Mitsubishi has been selling plenty of the old-model Triton in recent times, but it was starting to show its age a bit in terms of styling, and lacked the latest safety features that have started to make their way into the popular dual cab ute segment. So it's no surprise that the latest Triton gets a whole new look, and has leapt past all other competitors in terms of safety features.

Sporting a completely new grille and front-end treatment, the new Triton shows off the latest iteration of Mitsubishi's dynamic shield signature. The bonnet line has also been raised, although this doesn't inhibit forward vision. Both front and rear guards are now pumped out, so physically the new Triton looks significantly larger than its predecessor. Mitsubishi, as well as other manufacturers, are now using the US term 'pick-up truck' rather than ute, as they have progressively increased in size.

There's a smattering of the latest advanced safety features among Triton's competitors, but into its Triton variants Mitsubishi has managed to bundle a full package, including forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot warning with lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert and ultrasonic mis-acceleration mitigation, which reduces crashes resulting from accidental use of the accelerator when moving off or reversing.

While the 2.4L turbo diesel in the new Triton is a carryover from the previous model, there's a new six speed auto with sport mode that performed seamlessly on the launch drive. Triton also gets the latest version of their 'Super Select II' AWD system in higher trim variants that has off-road mode, which includes settings for gravel, mud/snow, rocks and sand. The new Triton launch drive was run out of Queenstown, where we traversed rugged Hydro tracks that were forged into the wilderness in years gone by. Triton took it easily into its stride, using both high and low range 4WD along the way. We had the GLS Premium specification vehicle that also included a rear diff-lock.

After lunch we headed across to Strahan and out to Ocean Beach. Our convoy worked its way towards the dunes and one by one crossed to get to the beach, but it wasn't without a hiccup. The Triton in front of us had a couple of goes getting across one section in low range 4WD, but it wasn't until the driver selected the 'sand' setting in off-road mode that he passed over the dunes, proving how effectively the electronics work.

For the drive between Queenstown and Strahan it was evident Mitsubishi has put a good deal of effort into noise reduction in the cabin, particularly from the engine. Ride comfort has also come in for some improvement, but on rougher surfaces it's still very much a 4WD. Interior quality has also been improved with new softer touch materials on some surfaces, a 7.0" (6.1" in the below-Premium spec) touchscreen offering simple navigation of functions, around view monitor, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with a couple of USB ports in the front and one for rear-seat passengers.

With a 40-year legacy of tough and reliable Tritons, the latest model takes it to the next level and beyond, setting new benchmarks for safety in this popular vehicle category. Pricing for the GLX dual-cab diesel manual is $36,990 drive away before the end of the financial year, and adding the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) increases this by $1000. The top-end GLS Premium will set you​ back $50,990 drive away and this one has everything standard.

While the dual-cab models are the most popular, Triton is available in club-cab and single-cab variants, with the latter available in manual petrol form as the entry-level model.

- Darren Moody

​This article originally appeared in Journeys member magazine. For more great reads visit