New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Beating the bush in new Tritons

2013-09-25 07:33

Les Stephenson

MITSUBISHI TRITON UPDATED: The unusual lines of the bakkies make them instantly recognisable - there's little change there but a smaller, more powerful, engine has been inserted into the range. Image: LES STEPHENSON

Lots of stuff has happened to Mitsubishi’s Triton Double and Club Cab bakkies for their South African re-launch but the best is really, really simple: a power window to replace the rear-facing cabin glass.

This might not be the greatest invention since the wheel (and maybe other brands have done it before?) but I’ve never seen a powered rear cab-window. (If you have, let's hear about it in the Readers’ Comments down below, please.)

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There’s lots of other PR stuff about a smaller but more powerful engine and interior improvements that include Bluetooth and voice control with a sexy female voice agreeing (or not) with your commands but I’ll get to that later – meanwhile, the Wonder Window.


Unless you have a bunch of family in the load bed (very not-advisable) and want to talk to them, or you’re camping with airbeds in the back and want ventilation, I can’t see the point of it, but in terms of something REALLY DIFFERENT I thought it was super cool.

A bakkie with (in the double-cab) FIVE electric windows! I didn’t use it at all (except to be amused playing with it) during the launch event in Limpopo (it was hot, we needed the aircon) but who cares? I knew it was there should I need it.

Right, that was fun, so what else does the latest revision of the Mitsubishi Triton have to offer? Well, funny looks for a start, just like the previous one. Not from the passing population but because of the curves on the door shapes... Mitsu says the curves make rear-seat entry easier; I agree, and the curvy door edges make the bakkies as instantly identifiable as, well, Table Mountain.

The Triton Double Cab and Club Cab ranges have moved forward with engine upgrades, Mitsubishi says, along with new styling inside and out and specification upgrades.


The significant upgrades in standard equipment in certain models - particularly the Club Cab derivatives - are all, Mitsubishi says, “in line with the value-for-money strategy of Mitsubishi Motors SA”.  

CEO Jaco Oosthuizen told Wheels24: “The Club Cab segment, similar to the double cab segment, is skewed for the lifestyle owner, and we needed to offer more for the same price.

“This complements the recently launched Pajero Sport which offers substantially more value. Mitsubishi is striving to make its products even more attractive to people looking for a vehicle from a long-established brand, with a proven record of quality, reliability and durability.”

Those three facets were well-tried on the weekend launch in Limpopo, which included a 250km drive each way from Jozi to the Legends Golf and Safari Lodge near what used to be called Naboomspruit and a gruelling cross-country drive that lasted nearly five hours at Serendipity Eco Trails in the same area.

The planned ‘Eco’ route was a tough enough test of the bakkies’ capabilities over which much use was made of their change-on-the-fly high- and low-range all-wheel drive and multiple differential locks. Even the less experienced among the two-dozen guests – including my 21-year-old novice 4x4-er daughter Danielle – managed the level three and four obstacles, though some needed several attempts.


Five of the bakkies became separated from the convoy because one driver forgot the golden rule of off-road convoy driving – wait for the next guy to appear before disappearing along one of several available routes.

Contentedly lost, we ploughed on in the general direction of the overnight camp and soon found ourselves lost – the alternative route we had to follow included two river crossings, one with an extreme climb out of the water, and a rocky ladder that, later, we were told should have been attempted by experienced drivers capable of rock-packing the route.

Nobody did any packing but all five vehicles made the level 5+ climb.

We didn’t know, either, that the wrong route was intended only for quad bikes... nobody cared anyway, it was a seriously fun diversion that further proved the Tritons’ off-road ability.

As the media release later told me: “Combined with the extra-sturdy chassis, the Triton is a bakkie for all conditions.” Sure was...

The latest Tritons have a five-speed manual gearbox driven by either a 2.4 petrol engine (97kW/202Nm) or a new 2.5 turbodiesel that replaces the previous 3.2 but has nine percent more power (from 120 to 131kW) and 17% more torque (from 343 to 400Nm).


There are three single-cab variants: GL and GLX petrol and GLX diesel – described by Mitsubish as “the workhorses of the family, trimmed in vinyl but standard with air bags and particularly well-priced”. The higher-spec models have aircon, power windows and central locking.

The Single Cabs have a carrying capacity of 1000kg and a load bay measuring 2220 x 1750 x 405mm.

All Tritons have a safety-cell cab, driver and passenger air bags and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-pressure distribution. This is over and above the RISE body protection system which offers exceptional protection to occupants.

But the Double Cab 4x4’s were the focus of the Limpopo launch. They ride on 245/65 radials on 17” alloy rims; other models have 16” wheels. Towing capability on the Double Cabs is now 1500kg with a braked trailer.

Their new specifications include single-zone auto aircon, indicator repeaters in the external mirrors and a new front bumper and grille with colour-coded wheel arches.

Their cabins are almost limo-luxury: leather upholstery, climate control, sound insulation, cruise control, a three-spoked leather trimmed steering-wheel with multi-function switches for the audio system and cruise, and Bluetooth for a cellphone or remote audio input. The Mitsubishi Link system supplies voice control for the system, right down to cellphone-pairing.

The associated multi-information display shows altitude, air temperature, fuel consumption and fuel range (Danielle and I averaged around 10 litres/100km for the roughly 800km travelled, on and off-road, the latter mostly in first or second low-range) and a compass (didn’t help when we got lost because we didn’t know in which direction the camp lay).

The loadbed on the DC models is shorter than the SC’s but is still rated for 1000kg in a box measuring 1352 x 1470mm x 860mm.


Spec upgrades to the Club Cab include Bluetooth, audio and phone controls on the steering wheel, voice-activated phone control and the new nose.

“The Club Cab is available only in diesel, matching market demand where more than 85% of purchases are diesels,” Mitsubishi says, and the CC also comes in a variant with rear seats.

The Club Cab seats are cloth.

Read more about the Triton and its prices.

All Mitsubishi Tritons are covered by a three-year or 100 000km warranty. Service plans are included:

SC 5yrs ot 75 000km – Petrol
SC 5yrs or 70 000km – Diesel
CC 5yrs or 100 000km
DC 5yr sor 100 000km – Diesel
DC 5yrs or 90 000km – Diesel 4x4

Read more on:    mitsubishi  |  limpopo

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