Driven: Mitsubishi 2.4 Di-DC 4X4 5-speed A/T by Vishnu Singh and Mieke Oelofsen
Vish: A midlife shift in any environment either brings great progress of crises induced changes or a frumpy halfhearted attempt to improve. The Triton has managed to avoid Michael Bay’s box office failures and actually created a modern, intimidatingly friendly bakkie that has hints of Transformer personality. They have ‘adulted’ the bakkie nicely and with a new box and same old reliable engine, it would seem, the ingredients for success have been cast into the cauldron.
Mieke: A good looking bakkie that fits somewhere between the Isuzu and Toyota, I personally wonder about the marketing strategy of the Brand, they sell incredibly well elsewhere in the World, Whats the hold up in SA ?
Vish: It struts confidently with its capacious grill, aerodynamic headlights and dollops of aluminium while reminding us that the 4th industrial revolution is very much a part of our daily lives and not some vision of Nostradamus. It’s Neoteric without being presumptuous. The bolder lights, enhanced side view and brazen tailgate all add to its extrovert nature.
Mieke: The new load area and cabin merge seamlessly, unlike the previous version which looked like Quasimodo asking for sanctuary. It draws as much attention as I do when I wear my khaki shorts. That’s a good thing right?
Vish: There has been an addition of an infotainment system and the basics of current technology is functionally adequate, the interior is cute but still hard, it will last longer than your lease term, but it would be nice to have a softer feel to everything. There are additional bits of plastic and buffering around the cabin to create a more solid and structured feel, dials are louder, the wheel is adjustable and there are charging ports.
Mieke: Cabin lighting got a happy thumbs up from me, especially when I misplaced my lip gloss on the dirt road. The Gear lever with its jigsaw puzzle-like engagement was a tad frustrating but was a safer option when putting the Triton off-road. Good idea or bad?
Vish: The new six speed auto transmission feels plusher and smoother than the old 5 Speed auto, it does not lack in any area and you will not lose a roll-on-race with others in this category. It has larger stoppers and maintains its previous road clearances. It can pull a decent horse box and cargo up to 3.1 tons. The Hill Descent Control keeps things on the level, with a light touch on the pedals either speeding up the decline or slowing it down. The on-road feel is a bit loose when pushed but this not a performance bakkie and still manages to hold its own; better than most of its rivals. Engaging the 4 X 4 mode makes the Triton grippier and reduces movement on the tar, so for spirited driving dial 4H. The off-road tone of the Triton is sufficiently belligerent to allow predictable steering and precise rock-climbing control. You can ramp without bottoming out and this, added to its tenacity in light gravel, works.
Mieke: Surprisingly good consumption for this class and well balanced power, it did not enjoy our stint in town, but breathes deeply and keeps going for longer than one would expect on the country roads. Nice.
Vish: The Triton presents a mob-mentality dilemma in SA where the other two brands continue to dominate. The additional safety features and tweaks add to its appeal and although these features are the benchmark it is good to see. By its very nature and the global sales of the company, it’s a South African thing not to allow other manufacturers a chance just by sheer force of will. Perhaps Mitsubishi could observe the global trends, hold its products and then improve on what works. Maybe our impact on world sales does not warrant a more active investment in our culture like other brands do and this could be the reason for low numbers? I wonder.
Mieke: With the Triton, it reminds me of the first time I took Vish home to meet the folks, they were slightly wary of him, but found that he was up to any task that they wanted, be it getting the fire going or juggling Jack Russel terriers at the dinner table. The Triton needs to be introduced to the “bakkie” community in a similar fashion with a more aggressive marketing strategy to build the brand.
Mitsubishi 2.4 Di-DC 4X4 A/T
Price R569 995.00
Engine 2.4 liter MIVEC DOHC Intercooled Turbo Diesel
0-100 > 10s*
Top Speed <190km/h