Flying Mitsubishi: everything you need to know about the new Triton ute
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Mitsubishi New Zealand is bullish about the prospects of its new tougher-looking range of Triton utes. Although the Triton has always been popular with fleet buyers, the company believes the more contemporary look of the new models will appeal to individual buyers at the top end of the booming ute market.
The 2019 Triton has a more contemporary appearance than its predecessor, with an improved automatic gearbox, greater rigidity, and comes equipped with the latest safety and driver assist technology.
It is the same size as the current model, but has greater ground clearance and some models will come with a more sophisticated four-wheel drive system that offers greater off-road capability.
Most of the model range will be about $1000 more expensive than the current models, although the top-end VRX four-wheel drive model will have a recommended selling price of $49,990.
This is around $10,000 cheaper than a similarly-equipped Ford Ranger, although the Ford is a slightly larger vehicle.
The new Triton front end is squared-off with the bonnet raised 40mm and Mitsubishi says reinforcement in the front end has improved steering performance by reducing body twisting under steering.
The new models look more like the type of trucks buyers have been queuing for, especially the market leaders Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux, and New Zealand’s third best-selling ute, the Holden Colorado.
During the first nine months of this year there were 3829 Tritons registered in New Zealand, just 95 fewer than Holden Colorados, and Mitsubishi is confident it can take that third best-selling slot off Holden during the next year.
The chief operating officer of Mitsubishi New Zealand, Daniel Cook, said the outgoing Triton was still selling well despite being in run-out mode. All four-wheel-drive variants had been sold, and only two-wheel drive models were now in run-out. They are being discounted from $29,990.
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The new Triton retained the durability and reliability of the outgoing model, but with an improved appearance.
“This ute is an evolution rather than an all-new model,” Cook said at the global launch of the new model in Bangkok last week.
Mitsubishi New Zealand had won several major fleet deals with the Triton during the past year, illustrating that major local firms, such as Downer and Fletchers, trusted the durability, reliability and value of the outgoing model.
However, a weakness of that model had been its styling, which had not appealed to the fastest-growing sector of the ute market in New Zealand, individual buyers who often bought the top-end models.
With the improved styling and added features, Cook said he was confident Mitsubishi New Zealand could increase Triton sales by a further 25 per cent during the next year or so, toppling the Colorado in the sales charts.
The 2019 Triton retains the three model line-up of the existing range, with GLX, GLX-R and top-of-the-range VRX variants.
Although the width of the ute remains the same as the existing model, it features square guards rather than flared. Overall, the appearance is more robust and staunch, while design changes also mean the vehicle has greater ground clearance.
GLX-R and VRX models will come standard with smart 18-inch two-tone machine-finished alloy wheels, and Mitsubishi says the new 265mm-wide tyres will improve the Triton’s on-road and off-road performance through improved handling, cornering and braking.
All models have a new six-speed automatic transmission, as opposed to the current five-speed transmission.
The diameters of the rear shock absorbers have been increased, reducing vibrations and improving the ride on all models.
Four new drive modes have been introduced to the Super Select 11 system on VRX four-wheel drive models — gravel, sand, snow/ice, and rock. The model also comes with a hill descent system that controls the braking on steep declines, allowing the driver to concentrate on steering the vehicle.
Safety features include forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, and lane warning departure alerts.
The VXR features automatic high beam lights, blind spot warning with change assist, rear cross traffic alert, ultrasonic miss-acceleration, a multi around view monitor and front and rear parking sensors.
The Triton interior has been refreshed with a new central console and the use of improved materials to provide a higher quality feel to the cabin.
The new Tritons will be in Mitsubishi showrooms by the end of December.