Jaco Van Der Merwe
Head of Motoring
5 minute read
4 Aug 2022
8:15 am

Mitsubishi Triton GL offers bang for your hard-earned buck

Jaco Van Der Merwe

Attractive styling and great drive makes this entry level bakkie an affordable option for leisure use.

The Mitsubishi Triton GL looks anything but enrty level.

Bakkies might have been initially designed to get cargo from point A to point B, but they have evolved into technologically advanced machines.

These days all the flagship double cabs of the leading bakkie producers boast top notch safety systems. They are powered by refined powerplants mated to sophisticated automatic gearboxes.

Their cabins feature leather seats, state-of-the-art connectivity systems and creature comforts like heated seats. On the outside, there have nice wheels, LED headlights, loadbin liners, style bars and fancy roller shutters.

But not everyone in the market for a double cab bakkie for leisure or dual purpose can afford these top end offerings. Neither does everyone need or want all the fancy things included in price tags north of R800 000.

The problem is that affordable double cab options with styling that is more leisure than commercially-orientated in the established bakkie brands’ stables are very limited.

More often than not, these models will be fairly base spec compromised with things like steel wheels, non-coloured coded bumpers and door handles.

This has no doubt contributed to many buyers weighing up better specified models offered by lesser established bakkie brands like Mahindra, GWM and JAC.

Mitsubishi’s new direction

Ford took notice of the opportunity by introducing the XL Sport two years ago, a very base specced model which styling is pimped up to make it a very presentable leisure or dual use option.

ALSO READ: Mitsubishi Triton puts work first with new entry-level GL

Mitsubishi has followed suit with the introduction of the Triton 2.4 DI-D 4×2 double cab GL. Priced at R484 990, the GL offers the gateway to the Mitsubishi bakkie brand at R115 000 less than its previous entry level offering.

The Triton line-up before the introduction of the GL comprised exclusively leisure offerings. But the Japanese carmaker’s new approach is to appeal to both business and fleet owners alongside leisure users.

We have our doubts whether or not the GL should be considered as a hard-core commercial option after being very impressed by it during its recent week-long stay.

Sure, it’s tough and strong enough to get the job done, but it’s just too damn pretty to get abused by wayward flying bricks and cubes of gravel in a building yard!

Mitsibishi Triton GL
The Mitsubishi Triton GL rides on 16-inch alloys.

Sexy styling

Mitsubishi got the GL’s styling absolutely spot-on. There is nothing workhorse about this bakkie that should blend in perfectly in between the fancy SUVs in Sandton.

Chrome-coated door handles, side mirrors, tailgate handle and around the side steps complement the chrome accents on Mitsubishi’s familiar Dynamic Shield front design.

The exterior package is completed by simple yet stylish six-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped with chunky 245/70 R16 rubberware.

Inside, the Triton GL is less fancy, but definitely not cheap and nasty. A combination of soft-touch faux leather finishes, a variety of decent black plastics and brushed silver inserts gives the cabin a good quality feel along with dark grey fabric seats.

Interior features include a Sony touchscreen infotainment system with USB socket, auto air-conditioner, day/night rear view mirror and four-spoke urethane grip steering wheel with tilt and telescopic adjustment.

Our biggest gripe with the Mitsubishi Triton GL’s cabin was the lack of steering wheel controls. With the radio also bereft of a good ol’ volume knob, it takes some good hand/eye co-ordination adjusting the volume by virtue of a tiny button below the infotainment screen.

Safety features come in the form of two front airbags, ABS with EBD and BAS, brake override system and ISOFIX child seat anchors.

The absence of rear parking sensors and reverse camera was a bit of a concern. One of the biggest challenges operating a vehicle 5 285 mm long is manoeuvring it in tight spaces and having no help in the form of a parking sensor or rear camera will spook most drivers.

Mitsibishi Triton GL
Comfortable enough for leisure use.

Mitsubishi power

The real star of the show in the GL in our opinion – stealing even the exterior styling’s thunder – is the engine. Like the rest of the Mitsubishi bakkie range, the GL is powered by a 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine, but a detuned version.

With outputs of 100kW/324Nm it might sound underpowered compared to the 133kW/430Nm version serving on its siblings, but judge this mill on face value at your own peril. Mated to six-speed manual transmission, this diesel mill is a gem.

Acceleration through the lower gears is swift and smooth, unlike the almost truck-like feel of the first and second gears on some manual bakkies. It never felt underpowered in city traffic and impressed with its torque at lower revs in higher gears.

Its fuel consumption also impressed. Mitsubishi claims that the GL will sip 8.0-litres per 100 km and we managed to match that over 520 km. One open road stint returned an excellent number of 7.5 L/100 km.

Featuring double wishbones with coil spring and stabiliser in front and above-the-axle leaf spring rear suspension, the Triton’s ride is as smooth as you’d come to expect from a top-end bakkie nowadays.

The Triton GL has a payload of one ton and a braked towing mass of 1 400 kg.

Conclusion

The Mitsubishi Triton GL makes a compelling case, offering great value for money. While compromises have been made to keep the cost down, the areas that matter do not disappoint.

While Mitsubishi intended it to be a working bakkie on weekdays suitable styled for leisure use over weekends, we tend to believe the opposite is true.

It can show off at the malls and schools during the week and carry mountain-bikes and surf boards … and maybe some garden refuse … over a weekend.

The Mitsubishi Triton GL comes standard with a three-year/100 000 km warranty and five-year/90 000 km service plan.

For more information on the Triton GL, click here.