SUMMER SPECIAL: Is this the most beaut ute we've driven this year?
Search Driven for Mitsubishi for sale
Here in New Zealand, we love to make things our own. Whether it’s the outdoor area behind the house, the boat, or the ute that is used to tow the boat, it feels like DIY is really in our DNA.
Unfortunately, some of us aren’t blessed with the tip-top DIY skills that others possess, so getting someone else to do it for you is the way forward. This is where Beaut Utes comes in: the company has been modifying utes and 4x4s in NZ for a very long time now.
To test out what it offers, ARB NZ gave us an fully equipped Mitsubishi Triton, which featured almost every accessory from an extensive catalogue. You don’t really realise just how much kit is fitted to this truck until you park it alongside a regular Triton, as we did for the picture above.
This gear includes a bull bar, side rails and steps, rear step and tow bar, canopy, roof racks, winch, an awning, and a snorkel. Inside the canopy are ARB’s modular drawers, and a fridge/freezer unit which was arguably the most important addition for my time with the ute.
After picking up the Triton from ARB NZ in Highbrook, it soon dawned on me that I was now one of those city slickers with all the gear and no idea. So I set out to break the stereotype. After a dry run in the driveway, I was pretty confident with the awning and swag that was strapped to the roof. While the weather wasn’t going to permit a full-on camping trip, I intended to at least get a picnic out of it.
Alongside the overlanding accessories, this Triton sits on ARB’s Old Man Emu suspension, and a set of all-terrain tyres. After first experiencing a similar system in the Toyota Hilux Mako I had a lot of faith in its ability to handle the rough stuff, so decided to take a trip out to Muriwai Beach to test it properly.
Alongside NZME’s resident Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen owner, Doug, we made the trek out to Muriwai beach and unsurprisingly, the soft sand was easy work for the Triton in 4WD. After a quick play in the sand, we set course for the top of Muriwai Beach - or the bottom of the Kaipara Harbour for that picnic.
Cruising along the beach was where the suspension came into its own, by taking undulations in its stride, while still managing to provide enough steering feedback to let me know when things were getting too soft.
But once we made it to the top of the beach, the wind was howling. So rather than risk losing an awning for the picnic, we found refuge behind the ute, and had a delicious (if somewhat sandy) lunch.
So while I didn’t get to use the overlanding equipment in the field, I can confirm that the ARB fridge/freezer kept our food nice and chilly throughout the journey, and there was minimal splatter left in the fridge from the bumpy ride out there.
The ARB-equipped Triton felt more like an overly capable campervan than a ute. The off-road terrain I covered wasn’t too intense, but thanks to the suspension, tyres, winch and snorkel, I wouldn’t worry about taking it into the depths of the beyond.
If the awning/swag setup isn’t your thing, you can opt for a roof tent to sit on top of the canopy, plus a gas bottle mount for the roof rack. The options are extensive – if you can imagine it, ARB can probably do it.