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IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE MITSUBISHI TRITON WORTH THE EXTRA CASH?

VEHICLES 2019 MR Triton GLS Premium

More features than ever, but is the MR Triton really better than the MQ Triton it replaces?

We all know why people buy the Mitsubishi Triton – it’s the bang-for-buck dual-cab 4X4 ute on the market. And it’s selling like hotcakes because of this. However the latest MR Triton isn’t as affordable as the previous MQ model, especially considering you can pick up a run-out base model MQ from $32,990 if you shop around. The top-of-the-line 2019 MR Triton is loaded with additional features over the MQ, revolving mainly around safety and technology. Off-road ability has also been increased, with the addition of what I’d call ‘terrain response modes’ (Mitsubishi call it Off Road Mode), allowing you to dial in the traction control system to best suit the conditions you are driving. And it works well. But considering you could fit diff locks to an MQ Triton, the question I’m looking down the barrel of is are these additions worth the outlay, over what is at the core, a clever redesign of the outgoing model?

ABOVE While only 2.4L in displacement, the motor is tractor-like in power delivery. The DPF is mounted nice and high, sadly the alternator is not

BELOW Plenty of tray space, sadly most of the tray hangs past the rear wheels – not ideal for carting weight

LEFT My kingdom for a suspension lift and some bigger tyres

Got one like it? Insure it here

WORDS & IMAGES BY EVAN SPENCE

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ON-ROAD PERFORMANCE
Firm, jiggly, sporty, busy… all the buzzwords. That’s the best way to describe the MR Triton on-road, and I can’t make up my mind if I like it or not. Even considering it is a top-spec dual-cab ute, and we were mostly without load for this test, the ride was something that I noticed instantly. The OEM suspension on any Mitsubishi Triton has never been a strong selling point, with reports of small bike pump like shock absorbers, strange front-end suspension geometry and leaf springs that squeak like an English Staffy before dinnertime.

I’d factor in the cost of replacement aftermarket suspension if considering any Triton, even though the stock rear shock absorbers have been beefed up in the MR range according to Mitsubishi. Otherwise, the Triton is a rather inoffensive proposition for daily duties and long trips; it’s a nice vehicle to steer around. The engine is well suited to the gearbox and chassis, the six-speed auto, while outclassed by most eight-speeds such as the one found in the Pajero Sport, is a good thing as well.  

RIGHT Simple yet effective dash layout works well, but isn’t as luxurious as other top-spec dual cabs

BELOW Roof-mounted air con is a bit of a unique set-up but works well

Got one like it? Insure it here

Being such a short dual cab wheelbase wise, the MR Triton has a really useful turning circle of 11.8 metres. This is especially helpful during daily duties; tight parking spaces and shopping centres are a walk in the park for the Triton. However, this is a double-edged sword, as there is more overhang on the ute tray as a result, which potentially puts weight exactly where you don’t want it when loaded up.

One negative worth mentioning, which could be a deal breaker (but most likely won’t be) is rear seating. It’s adequate for two adults, but would be torture on anything longer than the drive home from the pub with three adults in the back. The middle seat does flip down to provide a nice arm rest though, which also allows easy access to the child seat mounting points. The rest of the interior is simplistic in a way, but still really comfortable. You get what you need and nothing you don’t.

Accessing your vehicle is as easy as one step up

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IS IT CAPABLE OFF-ROAD?
I’m going to sound like a broken record, but clearance is the biggest negative when it comes to the 2019 Mitsubishi Triton off-road, like the majority of new 4WDs. A decent 50mm lift kit (which is available) and a larger set of tyres will improve the off-road ability of the Triton dramatically. Wheel travel, while not crazy impressive, is better than expected, especially in the rear end. Traction proved no issue thanks to the clever 4WD system; we didn’t need to use the rear diff lock and tend to not if they disable the traction control to the front wheels.

RIGHT That’s the limit of stock suspension travel in the rear

Got one like it? Insure it here

A frustrating hangover from the MQ Triton, is the rear differential damper, on automatic models, that sits in a really vulnerable spot in front of and below the diff pumpkin. Why Mitsubishi have included this again is beyond me. My 2005 HiLux doesn’t have one and 280,000km later it’s proved no issue. My GQ Patrol doesn’t have one, and 517,000km later it’s proved no issue … you see where I’m going here. I’m sure it serves a purpose, but considering there are millions of 4WDs on the road without this engineering fail, and all doing just fine, I’m not sure why it’s been retained on the MR.

Visibility over the bonnet is rubbish too; it’s really hard to know where you are on a track, and I found myself steering off-road with my head out of the window. Not what you want! Now I’m not sure if this is a requirement because of collision mitigation, or just a design issue, but the lack of over-bonnet visibility is most likely the thing I dislike most about the Triton.

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HEY GOOD LOOKING – SAID NOBODY
Dynamic Shield – two words that have polarised the 4WD community. This is what Mitsubishi have dubbed the front-end styling of the MY19 Triton, which must be said some people hate, and others are okay with it. When I first drove the MR Triton, there were bugger-all bull bar options available. Whoever was tasked with designing one had their work cut out for them due to the curvaceous design employed. This was made even more complicated thanks to the inclusion of Collision Mitigation technology, requiring the top loop of the bull bar to sit lower than the bonnet to avoid interference with this witchcraft. Thankfully, there are now reputable options available for proper frontal protection. So if you have discredited the MR Triton purely based on its broken jaw appearance, it’s time to put that behind you as with a decent bull bar, they look the part. 

“Firm, jiggly, sporty, busy… all the buzzwords. That’s the best way to describe the MR Triton on-road, and I can’t make up my mind if I like it or not.” 

Got one like it? Insure it here

ABOVE Why Mitsubishi … why?! // BELOW While it’s good to see a tray liner, the fitment looks like an afterthought that will be sure to trap mud/sand/rust in years to come

ABOVE Everything is nicely protected underneath, with no real nasty surprises // BELOW Factor in a suspension upgrade, as the factory items are for decoration only (well, nearly)

SPECS

  • Seven year/150,000km warranty – three years capped price servicing
  • Four years roadside assistance
  • Front fog lamps
  • Weird nudge bar thing…
  • 2.4-litre MIVEC turbo-diesel four-cylinder 133kW @ 3500rpm, 430Nm @ 2500rpm
  • Six-speed auto (as tested)
  • Super Select II 4WD System
  • Off-Road Mode
  • Rear differential lock (GLS Premium only)
  • Leather seats (heated)
  • 5-Star ANCAP rating
  • Tray specs – 1520mm long, 1470mm wide, 475mm deep
  • Priced from $48,490 driveaway

NUTS AND BOLTS

  • Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System
  • Blind Spot Warning and Lane Change Assist
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Hill Descent Control
  • Multi Around Monitor
  • Forward Collision Mitigation
  • Auto High Beam
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Auto Rain Sensing Wipers
  • Auto Dusk Sensing Headlamps
  • Reverse Parking Camera and Parking Sensors
  • Trailer Stability Assist
  • Anti-Lock Braking and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution

CONCLUSION
The 2019 MR Triton is the best Triton ever made, there is no denying that. Well, except for those with the old 3.2-litre motor, who seem unable to kill them nor want to change from them. The GLS Premium is comfortable, more capable and better spec’d than any Triton before it, but that comes at a price. Considering the Triton doesn’t have the highest tow capacity in class, with 3100kg to play with compared to others’ 3500kg, this could be another factor for you to consider if towing is a priority for you.

The decision you need to make now, is it worth the money? For me personally, I don’t see myself ever buying a top-spec model of any 4WD. I’d prefer to put the extra money into modifications and diesel. But would I take the GLS Premium over, say, a lower spec HiLux for the similar money? I’d certainly have to think about it. And I think with some refinements on what are essentially fairly minor points in the scheme of things … I’d have to say yes.

Got one like it? Insure it here

IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE MITSUBISHI TRITON WORTH THE EXTRA CASH?

We all know why people buy the Mitsubishi Triton – it’s the bang-for-buck dual-cab 4X4 ute on the market. And it’s selling like hotcakes because of this. However the latest MR Triton isn’t as affordable as the previous MQ model, especially considering you can pick up a run-out base model MQ from $32,990 if you shop around. The top-of-the-line 2019 MR Triton is loaded with additional features over the MQ, revolving mainly around safety and technology. Off-road ability has also been increased, with the addition of what I’d call ‘terrain response modes’ (Mitsubishi call it Off Road Mode), allowing you to dial in the traction control system to best suit the conditions you are driving. And it works well. But considering you could fit diff locks to an MQ Triton, the question I’m looking down the barrel of is are these additions worth the outlay, over what is at the core, a clever redesign of the outgoing model?

More features than ever, but is the MR Triton really better than the MQ Triton it replaces?

ABOVE While only 2.4L in displacement, the motor is tractor-like in power delivery. The DPF is mounted nice and high, sadly the alternator is not

WORDS & IMAGES BY EVAN SPENCE

VEHICLES 2019 MR Triton GLS Premium

BELOW Plenty of tray space, sadly most of the tray hangs past the rear wheels – not ideal for carting weight

LEFT My kingdom for a suspension lift and some bigger tyres

Got one like it? Insure it here

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

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RIGHT Simple yet effective dash layout works well, but isn’t as luxurious as other top-spec dual cabs

BELOW Roof-mounted air con is a bit of a unique set-up but works well

ON-ROAD PERFORMANCE
Firm, jiggly, sporty, busy… all the buzzwords. That’s the best way to describe the MR Triton on-road, and I can’t make up my mind if I like it or not. Even considering it is a top-spec dual-cab ute, and we were mostly without load for this test, the ride was something that I noticed instantly. The OEM suspension on any Mitsubishi Triton has never been a strong selling point, with reports of small bike pump like shock absorbers, strange front-end suspension geometry and leaf springs that squeak like an English Staffy before dinnertime.

I’d factor in the cost of replacement aftermarket suspension if considering any Triton, even though the stock rear shock absorbers have been beefed up in the MR range according to Mitsubishi. Otherwise, the Triton is a rather inoffensive proposition for daily duties and long trips; it’s a nice vehicle to steer around. The engine is well suited to the gearbox and chassis, the six-speed auto, while outclassed by most eight-speeds such as the one found in the Pajero Sport, is a good thing as well.  

Being such a short dual cab wheelbase wise, the MR Triton has a really useful turning circle of 11.8 metres. This is especially helpful during daily duties; tight parking spaces and shopping centres are a walk in the park for the Triton. However, this is a double-edged sword, as there is more overhang on the ute tray as a result, which potentially puts weight exactly where you don’t want it when loaded up.

One negative worth mentioning, which could be a deal breaker (but most likely won’t be) is rear seating. It’s adequate for two adults, but would be torture on anything longer than the drive home from the pub with three adults in the back. The middle seat does flip down to provide a nice arm rest though, which also allows easy access to the child seat mounting points. The rest of the interior is simplistic in a way, but still really comfortable. You get what you need and nothing you don’t.

Got one like it? Insure it here

Accessing your vehicle is as easy as one step up

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

RIGHT That’s the limit of stock suspension travel in the rear

IS IT CAPABLE OFF-ROAD?
I’m going to sound like a broken record, but clearance is the biggest negative when it comes to the 2019 Mitsubishi Triton off-road, like the majority of new 4WDs. A decent 50mm lift kit (which is available) and a larger set of tyres will improve the off-road ability of the Triton dramatically. Wheel travel, while not crazy impressive, is better than expected, especially in the rear end. Traction proved no issue thanks to the clever 4WD system; we didn’t need to use the rear diff lock and tend to not if they disable the traction control to the front wheels.

A frustrating hangover from the MQ Triton, is the rear differential damper, on automatic models, that sits in a really vulnerable spot in front of and below the diff pumpkin. Why Mitsubishi have included this again is beyond me. My 2005 HiLux doesn’t have one and 280,000km later it’s proved no issue. My GQ Patrol doesn’t have one, and 517,000km later it’s proved no issue … you see where I’m going here. I’m sure it serves a purpose, but considering there are millions of 4WDs on the road without this engineering fail, and all doing just fine, I’m not sure why it’s been retained on the MR.

Visibility over the bonnet is rubbish too; it’s really hard to know where you are on a track, and I found myself steering off-road with my head out of the window. Not what you want! Now I’m not sure if this is a requirement because of collision mitigation, or just a design issue, but the lack of over-bonnet visibility is most likely the thing I dislike most about the Triton.

Got one like it? Insure it here
Follow us

ADVERTISEMENT

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

Want to buy the
new Gen 2 awning?
XL100 Stretcher
180° Rear Awning
450 BBQ
Watch the new
lifestyle collection

ABOVE Everything is nicely protected underneath, with no real nasty surprises // BELOW Factor in a suspension upgrade, as the factory items are for decoration only (well, nearly)

HEY GOOD LOOKING – SAID NOBODY
Dynamic Shield – two words that have polarised the 4WD community. This is what Mitsubishi have dubbed the front-end styling of the MY19 Triton, which must be said some people hate, and others are okay with it. When I first drove the MR Triton, there were bugger-all bull bar options available. Whoever was tasked with designing one had their work cut out for them due to the curvaceous design employed. This was made even more complicated thanks to the inclusion of Collision Mitigation technology, requiring the top loop of the bull bar to sit lower than the bonnet to avoid interference with this witchcraft. Thankfully, there are now reputable options available for proper frontal protection. So if you have discredited the MR Triton purely based on its broken jaw appearance, it’s time to put that behind you as with a decent bull bar, they look the part. 

“Firm, jiggly, sporty, busy… all the buzzwords. That’s the best way to describe the MR Triton on-road, and I can’t make up my mind if I like it or not.” 

NUTS AND BOLTS

  • Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System
  • Blind Spot Warning and Lane Change Assist
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Hill Descent Control
  • Multi Around Monitor
  • Forward Collision Mitigation
  • Auto High Beam
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Auto Rain Sensing Wipers
  • Auto Dusk Sensing Headlamps
  • Reverse Parking Camera and Parking Sensors
  • Trailer Stability Assist
  • Anti-Lock Braking and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution

SPECS

  • Seven year/150,000km warranty – three years capped price servicing
  • Four years roadside assistance
  • Front fog lamps
  • Weird nudge bar thing…
  • 2.4-litre MIVEC turbo-diesel four-cylinder 133kW @ 3500rpm, 430Nm @ 2500rpm
  • Six-speed auto (as tested)
  • Super Select II 4WD System
  • Off-Road Mode
  • Rear differential lock (GLS Premium only)
  • Leather seats (heated)
  • 5-Star ANCAP rating
  • Tray specs – 1520mm long, 1470mm wide, 475mm deep
  • Priced from $48,490 driveaway

ABOVE Why Mitsubishi … why?! // BELOW While it’s good to see a tray liner, the fitment looks like an afterthought that will be sure to trap mud/sand/rust in years to come

Got one like it? Insure it here

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

CONCLUSION
The 2019 MR Triton is the best Triton ever made, there is no denying that. Well, except for those with the old 3.2-litre motor, who seem unable to kill them nor want to change from them. The GLS Premium is comfortable, more capable and better spec’d than any Triton before it, but that comes at a price. Considering the Triton doesn’t have the highest tow capacity in class, with 3100kg to play with compared to others’ 3500kg, this could be another factor for you to consider if towing is a priority for you.

The decision you need to make now, is it worth the money? For me personally, I don’t see myself ever buying a top-spec model of any 4WD. I’d prefer to put the extra money into modifications and diesel. But would I take the GLS Premium over, say, a lower spec HiLux for the similar money? I’d certainly have to think about it. And I think with some refinements on what are essentially fairly minor points in the scheme of things … I’d have to say yes.

Got one like it? Insure it here