The Mitsubishi Triton has been among the more popular pick-up trucks in Malaysia ever since it was first introduced over 10 years ago. Its stylish design made it stand out from the more utilitarian looks of other pick-ups and drew many to make it their primary transport vehicle in place of a car. The model went into its second generation two years ago and continued with the same approach of stylishness with the addition of new technology complemented by the toughness that has been proven in off-road events.
The thing about pick-up trucks is that their model cycle is longer than passenger cars – between 7 to 10 years – so distributors like Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) have to find ways to keep the model fresh over many years. These days, just cosmetic changes and ‘limited editions’ alone are not enough so new features have to be added and for the 2017 model year, MMM has decided to enhance the Triton by making it better value for money.
There is a slight revision in prices across the range too, though that’s not really unexpected these days with the weakened ringgit. And as the Triton is imported from Thailand, its cost is also more vulnerable to changes in the exchange rate. Worse, when the cost rises, so does the amount of tax payable since the percentage is based on the value of the vehicle. That adds to the increased cost to MMM and sometimes it just cannot absorb the increase and is forced to revise the pricing.
As before, there are 6 variants with prices starting from RM77,390 and going up to RM130,900 (excluding insurance) for the top variant with all the goodies. There are three turbodiesel engine choices with the top variants having the all-aluminium 2.4-litre MIVEC unit with a turbocharger and intercooler. There are also three transmission choices but if you want a manual transmission, then you have to settle for the lower variants which are aimed at customers who actually use the Triton for business.
For 2017, the occupant protection provided takes a big leap as the number of airbags goes to no less than 7 which are installed on the front and sides. The odd number is because the seventh airbag is under the steering column and to protect the driver’s knees during a frontal collision if the front structure gets pushed too far back. Variants fitted with 7 airbags would be able to score the maximum of 5 stars from ASEAN NCAP.
Active safety is also enhanced with the Active Stability & Traction Control (ASTC) system which is standard for the VGT variants. ASTC will be appreciated when driving on very slippery ground as it will help to maintain grip and stability. Of course, you can’t beat the Laws of Physics and if the tyres themselves cannot grip well, then the vehicle will still slip and slide. But in most conditions, ASTC will help make the vehicle less ‘frisky’ in corners, reducing the risk of sliding off into a tree or ditch.
As manufacturing processes become better, build quality also rises and vehicles last longer. With the Triton, Mitsubishi Motors is confident that it has exceptional durability and reliability that it can offer a warranty of up to 5 years or for the first 200,000 kms, whichever comes first. Not all companies are willing to give a long warranty for such vehicles as they may feel that the nature of usage could be an issue and the 5-year warranty for the Triton is the longest available in Malaysia (for pick-ups up to 2.4 litres).
Also new in the cabin is a 4-spoke steering wheel with audio and cruise control buttons, and a new instrument panel. Triton VGT Adventure variants also get an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat which is something that was unheard of (in pick-ups) not so long ago.
The 2017 model can be identified by a slightly revised front end with a dark chrome grille, while redesigned side steps make entry and exit easier. Side steps are definitely a must for such vehicles as the cabin is much higher, especially with the ground clearance being over 200 mm.
Of note on the Triton VGT variants are the bi-xenon HID headlamps with integrated daytime running lights. These provide bright illumination and can be set to come on automatically whenever ambient lighting drops below a certain level.
We’ll tell you more about driving the new Triton when we go on a drive later this month. Meanwhile, you can check it out yourself at authorised Mitsubishi Motors showrooms or if you are in Kuala Lumpur, there’s a roadshow on at the MidValley Megamall until Sunday.