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Road Test: Triton Supremacy

POSTED BY Oon Ee Seng ON 10 September 2015

It portrays the robustness of a pick-up and comfort of a sedan

By OON EE SENG

THE quiet orang asli village of Ulu Slim suddenly bustled with activities when a convoy comprising Mitsubishi’s all-new Triton answered the clarion call to demonstrate the pick-up’s offroad capability in the hills nearby.

Guided by veteran offroader Paul Si, 24 media representatives in 12 Tritons tackled a well-trodden path well eroded by Mother Nature’s elements.

The offroad event was part of a media test drive organised by Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) which started from its office in Peremba Square in Subang to the Lone Pine Hotel in Penang, covering a distance of 437km with a mixture of highway, offroad and winding country roads.

The new Triton, imported as a completely built-up unit from MMM’s global production hub in Thailand, comes in five variants.

 The variants include the Triton VGT Adventure Automatic priced at RM108,273.68 (on-the-road without insurance inclusive of GST), Triton VGT Automatic (RM98,549.28), Triton VGT Manual (RM92,114.64), Triton Manual (RM83,162.68) and Triton Quest Manual 4×2 (RM67,603.64).

The new Triton comes with an improved 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine with an intercooled Variable Geometry Turbo (VGT) which offers high performance with high fuel economy.

The technologically-advanced Double Overhead Cam (DOHC) 16-valve turbodiesel engine with a common-rail system is able to deliver a maximum of 176hp at 4,000rpm and 400Nm of torque at 2,00rpm, 50Nm more than its predecessor.

An efficient 5-speed automatic transmission with Sport mode is available, as well as a 5-speed manual transmission, coupled to Mitsubishi’s Easy Select 4WD system which distributes power to the front and rear axles.

For the more business-oriented customers, the Triton Quest 4×2 is now equipped with a 2.5-litre turbodiesel with a high pressure commonrail system with an output of 108hp and 200Nm of torque.

The new Triton has a more muscular and sleek look with the front characterised by a distinctive grille design. Together with the stylish headlamps, it gives a strong 3-dimensional look to the bonnet. Viewed in profile, the Triton has a forward flowing design and a J-line between the cabin and rear deck to maximise interior space while providing plenty of cargo space.

As in its predecessor, first in class features such as push-start, keyless operation, Xenon HID headlamps with integrated daytime running lights, tilt & telecospic steering and paddle shifters have been made available in the new Triton.

Engaging 4-Low all the way, our Triton VGT Adventure Automatic tackled the offroad path in Ulu Slim easily.

In place of the electronic stability program, the Hybrid Limited Slip Differential (LSD) combined torque-sensing helical gears with speed-sensing viscous coupling to maintain good traction on the slippery and rough surfaces.

At the same time, the internal clutch-escape mechanism prevented loss of torque from wheel spin, with the Hybrid LSD working hand-in-hand with ABS to enhance driving safety, allowing us to take sharp gradients before traversing a stream with ease.

New in the Triton VGT Adventure Automatic is the 4WD Selector which allowed us to shift-on-the-fly between drive modes without breaking stride.

The Triton’s robust suspension system features double wishbones with coil springs and a stabiliser bar at the front, with above-the-axle leaf springs in the rear, to provide unmatched stability.

The advanced suspension coupled with the rack-and-pinion steering resulted in us having a more fulfilling experience with the new Triton.

It also has the best turning radius in its class at 5.9m for the 4WD and 5.7m for the 2WD models, making it easy for us to navigate and manoeuvre in tight spaces and park.

The new Triton has Mitsubishi’s RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) body construction which uses high tensile steel that effectively absorbs and disperses crash energy from all directions while also significantly reducing overall weight.

The strong frame and aerodynamic design provided solid handling, excellent stability and better traction, all of which lead to better on-road and off-road performance.

The host of safety features also includes dual SRS airbags, a collapsible steering column and anti-intrusion brake pedal as well as anti-lock braking (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD).

Other new features in the Triton include touch screen audio with reverse camera, dual zone climate control and automatic headlamps and wipers.

The Easy Select 4WD allowed us to shift effortlessly from rugged 4WD High Range off-road traction to smooth 2WD highway performance at speeds above 100km/h without breaking stride.

On the return trip from Penang back to Kuala Lumpur, we tried the Triton VGT Manual. We can understand why MMM has described the all-new Triton as the “Ultimate Sport Utility Truck” as it combined the comfortable interior of a passenger car with the functionality and reliability of a pick-up.

We also got good fuel economy, closing close to the 14.5km per litre milieage as claimed by MMM.

Interior space is generous with ample payload capacity and class-leading handling. Offering more comfort and convenience, the 4×4 model now measures 2,280 long (down 15mm), 1,815mm wide (up 15mm) and 1,780mm tall. Ground clerance is rated at 205mm across all 4×4 variants. Interior dimension has seen an improvement with an increase of 20mm in legroom and 10mm more shoulder room.

With a starting price of RM67,603.64, the new Triton is a good proposition for those looking for a robust pick-up with the comfort of a sedan. It also comes with two-year free maintenance and factory warranty of three years or the first 100,000km.

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