As a result I was able to spend a week with the new diesel double-cab variant. I looked forward to the opportunity as Mitsubishi’s entire bakkie range has always impressed me, and an upgraded version could only be a treat.
Unfortunately this proved to be only partially true. In line with global environmental trends, the capacity of the intercooled turbodiesel engine has been reduced from 3,2 litre to 2,5 litre and Mitsubishi claim that power goes up nine percent from 120kW to 131kW and maximum torque increases by 17 percent from 343N.m to 400Nm.
I have no doubt that this is true, but I do question the nature of this power delivery. I recall the 3.2 as being one of the finest 4×4 double cabs I had experienced, mainly because it had torque like a tractor – it could almost idle itself out of a challenging off-road situation.
On the open road driving was effortless and fuel consumption very good. The new Triton 2,5, while being just as good in every other respect, comes up a little short against its former self.
Under load I found the engine working harder than I remember the 3,2 doing and, consequently, it used more fuel. This is not a problem unique to the Triton.
Increasingly motor manufacturers are coming under pressure to reduce polluting emissions. Cynically, the standards set by politicians for these emissions to be measured under are completely unrealistic, based on theoretical driving conditions.
The targets are achieved, but are largely irrelevant. Ironically, they could even be making matters worse in practice, as a smaller engine working hard all the time might burn more fuel than an efficient large displacement engine might to achieve the same results.
The small engine might experience more wear, resulting in a shorter lifespan which means more engines and parts need to be built – at great cost to the environment. In reality this simply creates the kind of lose-lose situation politicians excel at.
It is unlikely that the situation will be that dire in the case of the Triton as it is quite adequately powered. In fact, if its predecessor was not so good one might not even notice.
The coolest feature inside the Triton double cab is the heated rear window which can be opened and closed electrically from the driver’s seat.
When fitted with a canopy this takes on a significant role. You shouldn’t really travel with occupants under the canopy but the advantages of a remotely operated rear window are are self-evident.
Occupant safety has always been a major focus area for the Mitsubishi engineers, and the Triton has a safety cell cab, driver and passenger air bags, and anti-skid ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD). This is over and above the RISE body protection system, which offers exceptional protection to occupants.
The 4×4 system has also been upgraded. Typically driven through the rear wheels, the Triton Double Cab 4×4 now has a lockable centre differential combined with the shift-on-the-fly system.
The driver can change from standard 4×2 mode (for fuel economy) to 4H without a locked differential at speeds up to 100km/h. The shift is ultra smooth and the system is complemented by a locking rear differential and low range.
The Triton Double Cab 4×4 model is further distinguished by 245/65R17 tyres on 17-inch alloy wheels whereas the other models have 16-inch wheels.
As far as the cabin is concerned, the Triton now joins the ranks of luxury double-cab bakkies. Leather seats, climate control and excellent sound insulation make it a pleasure on longer drives. Cruise control, a three-spoke leather trimmed steering wheel with multi-function switches for the audio system, cruise control and Bluetooth add to the luxury. The Mitsubishi Link system, which allows voice control of the system, is also standard.