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Mitsubishi Triton GL offers bang for your hard-earned buck



Bakkies may have been originally designed to get cargo from point A to point B, but they have evolved into technological engines.

These days the double cabins of the leading bakkie manufacturers feature world-class safety systems. They are powered by refined powerplants mated to sophisticated automatic gearboxes. Their cabins feature leather seats, excellent connectivity systems and creature comforts like heated seats. On the outside, there are nice wheels, LED headlights, loading bin liners, style bars and fancy roller shutters.

But not everyone in the market for a double cab bakkie for leisure or dual purpose can afford these ultimate offerings. Not everyone wants or needs all the frills included in the price tags north of R800 000.

The problem is that affordable double cab options with more leisurely than commercially oriented styling in the stables of established bakkie brands are very limited. More often than not, these models will be equally compromised of a base spectrum with things like steel wheels, non-color coded bumpers and door handles. This has no doubt contributed to many buyers weighing up better specified models offered by less established bakkie brands such as Mahindra, GWM and JAC.

Mitsubishi new direction

Ford seized this opportunity by introducing the XL Sport two years ago, a very basic specced model whose styling has been pimped up to make it a very expressive leisure or dual-use option.

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Mitsubishi followed suit with the introduction of the double cab Triton 2.4DI-D 4×2 GL. Priced at R484 990, the GL opens the door to the Mitsubishi bakkie brand at R115 000 less than the previous entry-level offering.

The Triton lineup prior to the introduction of the GL consisted of purely leisure offerings. But the Japanese carmaker’s new approach is to appeal to business owners and fleets alongside leisure users.

We’re dubious whether or not the GL should be considered a hard-core commercial option after being impressed with it during its recent weeklong run. Sure, it’s tough and strong enough to get the job done, but it’s too deep to abuse way flying bricks and gravel cubes in a construction yard!

The Mitsubishi Triton GL rides on 16-inch alloys.

Sexy styling

Mitsubishi got the styling of the GL on point. There’s no workhorse about this bakery that should blend in perfectly with the fancy SUVs in Sandton. Chrome-plated door handles, side mirrors, tailgate handle and side step surrounds complete the chrome accents on Mitsubishi’s familiar Dynamic Shield front design. The exterior package is completed by simple yet stylish six-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped in chunky 245/70 R16 rubber.

Inside, the Triton GL is less fancy, but it’s certainly not cheap and bad. A mix of soft-touch faux leather finishes, a variety of decent black plastics and brushed silver inserts give the cabin a premium feel along with dark gray fabric seats.

Interior features include a Sony touchscreen infotainment system with USB socket, automatic air-conditioning, day/night rear view mirror and four-spoke uranium grip steering wheel with tilt and telescopic adjustment.

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Our biggest gripe with the Mitsubishi Triton GL cabin was the lack of steering wheel controls. As the radio also lacks a good volume knob, adjusting the volume via a tiny button below the info screen requires good hand/eye coordination.

Safety features come in the form of two front airbags, ABS with EDB and BAS, brake override system and ISOFIX child seat anchors.

A concern was the lack of rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. One of the biggest challenges of operating a 5 285mm long vehicle is maneuvering it in tight spaces and without any help in the form of a parking sensor or rear camera, it will frustrate most drivers.

Mitsubishi Triton GL
Comfortable enough for leisure use.

Mitsubishi Power

The engine is the real star of the show in the GL in our opinion – even stealing the exterior styling’s thunder. Like the rest of the Mitsubishi bakkie range, the GL is powered by a 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine, but a detuned version.

With outputs of 100kW/324Nm it might sound underpowered compared to the 133kW/430Nm version that serves its brothers, but judge the face of this mill at your own risk. Mated to a six-speed manual transmission, this diesel mill is a gem.

Acceleration through the lower gears is quick and smooth, unlike the first and second gear truck feel of some manual bakkies. It never felt underpowered in city traffic and its torque was affected at lower revs in higher gears.

Its fuel consumption was also affected. Mitsubishi claims the GL will sip 8.0 liters per 100 km and we managed to match that over 520 km. An impressive figure of 7.5 L/100 km was achieved for one open road period.

With double wishbones with coil spring and stabilizer at the front and leaf spring rear suspension over the axle, the Triton’s ride is as smooth as you’d expect from a top-end bakkie today.

The Triton GL has a payload of one tonne and a braked towing mass of 1 400 kg.

Conclusion

The Mitsubishi Triton GL makes a very strong case, offering great value for money. Although compromises have been made to keep the cost down, the areas involved do not disappoint.

Although Mitsubishi intended to be a work bakkie during the week that would be suitable for leisure use over the weekend, we tend to believe that the opposite is true. It can show up at the malls and schools during the week and carry mountain bikes and surfboards…and maybe some garden waste…over the weekend.

The Mitsubishi Triton GL comes standard with a three-year/100 000 km warranty and a five-year/90 000 km service plan.

For more information on the Triton GL, click here.

Mitsubishi Triton GL offers bang for your hard-earned buck Source link Mitsubishi Triton GL offers bang for your hard-earned buck

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