Hilux VS Triton: Can an old dog teach the kid some new tricks?POSTED BY admin ON 04 August 2015
THERE are a few good reasons why the Toyota Hilux is Malaysia’s best selling pick-up truck.
It’s affordable, robust, reliable and has an engine that has a reputation of being indestructible.
With these credentials, the route to the top of the utility (ute) vehicle chain was easy for the four-wheeler, but the real challenge for it was staying at the top, especially with the crop of younger and modern pick-up trucks snapping at its heel.
One truck in particular that is trying to hound its way to become the new darling of Malaysia’s trucks world is the new Triton. It is one of the first updated trucks to arrive in Malaysia. With its pretty looks and class leading power, the Mitsubishi pick-up has some come along way since its inception, but the question is, can the tried and tested Hilux still compete with the likes of the new Triton?
The Hilux has never really won any beauty contest. It was always designed to look like it was meant to be, a workhorse.
But that has changed, and thanks to some cosmetic tweaks as well as some add-on body panels, decals and LEDs from Toyota’s Racing Development (TRD) department, the Hilux has never looked so mean and good.
The Triton was always known as the pretty one. The fifth generation Triton builds on this laurel and through a newly designed front face with 3D chrome grille as well as swooping headlights, the truck has never looked sleeker.
A new set of curvy taillights compliments the front, and Mitsubishi has continued the Triton’s distinctive J-Line body design, which not only maximise on interior space but gives it its recognisable look too.
The Triton has really evolved in this department and is now more car-like than ever. Everything has been well put together and a combination of glossy panels as well as leather trim at the right places has given it a more premium feel.
The Hilux comes with a newly included TRD touch of style: a carbon fibre style panel with red accents at the middle of the dashboard as well as leather seats with red stitching.
But the interior layout, an improved version of old design, reminded us that it is a truck.
The base standard manual VGT variant Triton that we had comes kitted out with some impressive features. It has tilt and telescopic steering, push start button with keyless operation, and touchscreen infotainment system.
These are usually unheard of in manual variants of pick-up trucks.
The Hilux 3.0G TRD Sportivo has all the bell and whistles that you can expect from a top of the range vehicle. These include a double Din infotainment system, leather seats, retractable wing mirrors and 17-inch alloy rims.
Engine and Transmission
Despite all of the new body style and interior design, the Hilux at heart is still the same. It comes with a 3.0-litre, 1KD-FTV diesel engine that churns out 163hp and 343Nm of torque through a four-speed automatic gearbox.
But then again, Toyota must be finding it hard to replace the tried and tested indestructible 1KD-FTV engines.
Since the Triton is newer, it comes with many new goodies. Although the engine is still similar to its predecessor, Mitsubishi has tweaked the 16v DI-D common rail VGT engine and upped its power to 177hp and 400Nm of torque.
It also now has the best in class turning radius at 5.9 metres that is helped by a body that is 15mm shorter for easier manoeuvrability in tight spaces.
The Triton also has a hybrid LSD which combines torque sensing helical gears with speed sensing viscous coupling. Usually, most truck will only have a speed sensing LSD, but a combination of both will be better in either slippery or rough surfaces.
The Triton is one of the best pickup trucks to be driven around the city. It feels light, planted, agile and has a decent ride. Not everything is perfect though.
Although the engine has a variable geometry turbo (VGT) system, the Triton in manual feels like it comes from one of those old school turbo system era, where the boost comes in big at the end. This was a surprise, especially with a VGT system behind it.
The Hilux, on the other hand, has great linier power from its power plant but feels unstable as well as providing bouncy ride.
We only managed to take both cars off-road for a little while, but from that short stint off track, we managed to come to the conclusion that the Hilux felt more planted and stable whilst tackling rough terrain.
Nevertheless, both four-wheel drive systems were easy to operate and did their job when it was needed.
It’s pretty obvious why the Hilux is Malaysia’s best selling pick-up truck. The simple matter of fact is, whenever it is called upon it will simply do its job without many problems.
Parts are easy to get hold of and it has its good reputation which holds it at the top of the chain. Saying that, the vehicle is felling a bit dated and newer trucks like the Triton could trump the Hilux on features and technology.
The Mitsubishi pick-up is definitely one of a kind with class leading features and style. The higher spec Triton has more features than the one we tested and will surely attract a horde of buyers.
Nevertheless, the new Hilux has all it takes to stay at the top, and just in time as the current model is starting to get left behind.