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Mitsubishi Triton 2023 review: GLS Sport - off-road test

News of a carmaker releasing a ‘special’ or ‘limited’ edition of one of their vehicles should always be received with a certain degree of cynicism.

The limited edition can be a sign that the manufacturer in question is attempting to jazz up the few remaining examples of a soon-to-be-outdated generation of its vehicle with a few accoutrements – afterthoughts as accessorising.

Sometimes this can merely be a sticker pack, sometimes it’s a bit more, or a lot more substantial than that.

But when the special version of the vehicle has decent gear onboard beyond standard then it’s worth considering.

So, is Mitsubishi’s new limited edition Mitsubishi Triton Sport a dud or a delight?

Read on.

Price and Features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

The Mitsubishi Triton Sport Edition is based on the mid-spec GLS and is available only with a 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine (133kW/430Nm) and a six-speed automatic transmission.

Only 400 units of the limited edition Sport were initially announced as available in Australia, but that has been extended to 900 units due to demand, according to Mitsubishi.

The manufacturer suggested retail price is listed as $56,440 (excluding on-road costs).

There are only 900 units of the limited edition Sport available in Australia. (Image: Marcus Craft) There are only 900 units of the limited edition Sport available in Australia. (Image: Marcus Craft)

Standard features on the GLS include a 7.0-inch touchscreen multimedia unit (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), paddle shifters on the steering wheel, LED daytime running lights, dual zone climate control, 18-inch black alloy wheels and more.

The Sport also incorporates GLS Deluxe package features, such as a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, and a 360-degree surround view camera.

Sport-specific changes include decals on the bonnet and tailgate, a red accent on the front edge of the fore bash plate, and leather-appointed seats with red stitching.

Upfront of the GLS is a 7.0-inch touchscreen multimedia unit. (Image: Marcus Craft) Upfront of the GLS is a 7.0-inch touchscreen multimedia unit. (Image: Marcus Craft)

Our test vehicle was also equipped with a hard one-piece tonneau cover ($3116), towbar kit ($1393), electric brake kit ($788), under-rail tubliner ($665), premium paint ('White Diamond'*, $200), rubber mats ($118), and 50mm towball ($41) – which pushes its price to $62,761 (excluding on-road costs).

(* The Triton Sport is available in two colours: 'Pitch Black' and White Diamond'. Pitch Black is included in the Sport package, but costs $740 if you’re buying a standard GLS and want that colour.)

Design – is there anything interesting about its design?

There are no major changes to the Sport over regular Triton variants – beyond the aforementioned stripes, etc – and so it has the same look and feel as its stablemates.

That’s okay, because the Triton’s distinctive – some might say polarising – ‘dynamic shield’ front end sharpens up what would otherwise be a typically generic looking contemporary ute

The GLS Sport variant gets stripes on the bonnet. (Image: Marcus Craft) The GLS Sport variant gets stripes on the bonnet. (Image: Marcus Craft)

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside?

Sure, it’s feeling a bit old but the Triton’s cabin has that comfortably familiar feeling about it you only ever get in tried-and-tested vehicles.

It’s a bit cocoon-like inside – but it’s cosy not confining – and materials are a reasonable mix of leather on the seats and tough plastic surfaces everywhere else.

The leather accents and red stitching add a subtle layer of panache to a pleasant interior that is well laid out with all controls easy to locate and operate. Familiar.

Inside of the GLS Sport is a reasonable mix of leather and tough plastic. (Image: Marcus Craft) Inside of the GLS Sport is a reasonable mix of leather and tough plastic. (Image: Marcus Craft)

The 7.0-inch touchscreen multimedia unit is too small, but we didn’t have any operational troubles.

For those of us who have device-charging anxiety, there are two USB ports up front and two 12V plugs, and two USB ports for back-seat passengers. 

The leather-appointed seats are almost too firm and the rear-seat is best suited as a pew for two adults or three children.

Back-seat passengers get a fold-down centre arm-rest with two cupholders. (Image: Marcus Craft) Back-seat passengers get a fold-down centre arm-rest with two cupholders. (Image: Marcus Craft)

There are, however, plenty of storage spaces for everyone – a glove box, two cupholders up front, centre console with storage box and lid, moulded door pockets with bottle holders – and for back-seat passengers, there are seat-back pockets, bottle holders in the doors and a fold-down centre arm-rest with two cupholders. 

For the comfort of rear seat passengers – who really cares about them? – a roof-mounted air vent recirculates air to the back seat from the front.

The multimedia unit features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (Image: Marcus Craft) The multimedia unit features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (Image: Marcus Craft)

Under the bonnet – what are the key stats for its engine and transmission?

The Triton has a 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine – producing 133kW at 3500rpm and 430Nm at 2500rpm – and it has a six-speed automatic transmission. 

This is a sluggish but respectable and well-proven pairing in the Triton and it certainly does the job. 

The Sport has Mitsubishi’s 'Super Select II' 4WD system and a rear diff lock.

The Triton has a 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. (Image: Marcus Craft) The Triton has a 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. (Image: Marcus Craft)

There’s a Super Select II 4WD dial to the rear of the shifter, which enables the driver to switch from 2H (two-wheel drive), 4H (4WD high-range), 4HLC (4WD high-range with locked centre diff), and 4LLC (4WD low-range with locked centre diff).

The driver is able to safely switch between 2WD (2H) and 4WD (4H, 4HLC) at speeds up to 100km/h.

As it’s based on the GLS, the Sport has that variant’s button-operated off-road mode system – with 'Gravel', 'Mud/Snow', 'Sand' or 'Rock' settings, each of which adjust engine output, transmission settings and traction control for optimal terrain-tackling. It also has other off-road-focussed driver-assist tech, such as hill descent control.

Driving - What’s it like to drive?

There are no mechanical, engineering or suspension differences in the Sport edition over the standard GLS so there’s no reason to expect it to drive, ride or handle any better – or indeed worse – than its non-Sport stablemate.

Which is to say, the Triton is respectable on-road and quite impressive off-road.

In terms of dimensions, this ute is 5305mm long (with a 3000mm wheelbase), 1815mm wide, 1795mm high, and has a listed kerb mass of 1991kg. It has an 11.8m turning circle.

Due to its light weight the Triton is nimble in the city, around the suburbs and even in the bush.

Steering has a well-balanced feel about it and it’s tilt-and-telescopic-adjustable so if you can’t precisely dial-in your sweet steering spot, or you can at least get very close to approximating it.

The irregular surfaces of chopped-up country roads and bush tracks do force a few jitters through the steering wheel.

The Triton rides on 18-inch Bridgestone Dueler 684 II H/T tyres (265/60R18). (Image: Marcus Craft) The Triton rides on 18-inch Bridgestone Dueler 684 II H/T tyres (265/60R18). (Image: Marcus Craft)

Ride is at the harsher end of the comfort spectrum, but it’s fine if you’re used to driving utes. 

The Triton’s suspension – double wishbones, coil springs and stabiliser bar at the front, and leaf springs at the rear – is not as easily unsettled when unladen, as some other utes are, but it’s still a ute so it’s not as composed as a wagon

The auto is smooth (with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters if you want to get lively) and there’s decent acceleration from a standing start, but there is noticeable diesel clatter when you’re on the move and this ute can be sluggish during overtaking moves.

The Triton rides on 18-inch Bridgestone Dueler 684 II H/T tyres (265/60R18), which are satisfactory on the blacktop, but they lack extra bite off-road. More about that soon.

Speaking of off-road, the Triton is a very decent 4WD ute: nimble and torquey, and Super Select II 4WD system is a real handy addition to the toolbox.

Super Select II offers four modes: 2H (two-wheel drive, rear), 4H (4X4 but in an all-wheel drive mode, safe to use at high speed on bitumen), 4HLC (4X4/all-wheel drive with locked centre diff; off-road driving at 30km/h, or so) and 4LLC (4X4/all-wheel drive with locked centre diff and crawler gears engaged; only for low-speed 4WDing (below 30km/h).

The Triton is respectable on-road and quite impressive off-road. (Image: Marcus Craft) The Triton is respectable on-road and quite impressive off-road. (Image: Marcus Craft)

The system worked well in 4H during dirt-track and soft-sand driving on this test, with tyre pressures dropped to 20psi.

Remember: you can even drive the Triton in 4H on high-traction surfaces for added traction security.

Low-range gearing is good, the off-road driver-assist tech, such as hill descent control, is sound, and the rear diff lock is very handy.

Because it is so light to steer, the Triton is easy to navigate along narrow bush tracks, tight turns and squeezed-in approaches to climbs, descents, and creek crossings that would force bigger utes to inch back and forth until they could eventually accomplish the manoeuvre.

Wading depth is a listed 500mm, but we were never close to challenging that mark through the shin-deep mudholes we drove through.

It has 220mm ground clearance (unladen), and approach, departure and ramp-over angles of 31 degrees, 23 degrees and 26 degrees, respectively.

Payload capacity of the GLS Sport is listed as 909kg. (Image: Marcus Craft) Payload capacity of the GLS Sport is listed as 909kg. (Image: Marcus Craft)

The undercarriage feels prone to rubbing the dirt while traversing more difficult terrain, so the Triton must be driven with focus.

The tub is 1520mm long, 1470mm wide (1085mm between the wheel arches), and 475mm deep, with 865mm from floor height to ground.

The shallow and narrow load space is on the wrong side of small in the grand scheme of things and it’s higher off the ground, so loading gear can be a little bit more difficult for us short people.

The lockable hard tonneau cover sits on gas struts atop the cargo area and has to be lifted open and lowered to close. The tub itself has four tie-down points.

Payload capacity is a listed 909kg. Maximum towing capacity 750kg (unbraked trailer) and 3100kg (braked). Maximum towball load is 310kg. The GLS has a GVM of 2900kg and a GCM of 5885kg.

As always, a set of decent all-terrain tyres and a mild aftermarket suspension lift would help make this an even more capable 4WD.

Efficiency – what is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range?

Official fuel consumption is 8.6L/100km on a combined cycle.

On this test I recorded actual fuel consumption, from pump to pump, of 9.8L/100km.

The Triton has a 75-litre fuel tank, so going by those fuel-use figures I’d expect to get a touring range of about 765km.

Official fuel consumption for the GLS Sport is 8.6L/100km on a combined cycle. (Image: Marcus Craft) Official fuel consumption for the GLS Sport is 8.6L/100km on a combined cycle. (Image: Marcus Craft)

Note: your fuel consumption will likely be higher than that – and consequently your driving range will be lower – because all I had onboard was a set of four Maxtrax in a carry bag, a vehicle-recovery kit, a tyre-puncture repair kit, a first-aid kit, an air compressor, and a few tools.

You’ll be carrying a lot more than that on a weekend out bush with your mates or your family – think food and water, camping equipment, as well as everything else that gets taken on a trip away.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating?

The Triton range has the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating, from testing in April 2015.

Safety gear includes seven airbags (driver knee airbag, driver and front passenger, driver and front passenger side, curtain SRS), AEB (with pedestrian and cyclist detection), blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and more.

The rear seat has two ISOFIX child-seat anchor points and two child-restraint top-tether points.

The Triton range has the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating. (Image: Marcus Craft) The Triton range has the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating. (Image: Marcus Craft)

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs?

The Triton is a reasonably quiet and comfortable daily driver and more than capable of tackling hard off-road challenges.

It's a low-key, no-nonsense ute offering real value-for-money appeal, and it's often underestimated and overlooked because it lacks the pizzaz of some of its rivals.

The Sport treatment adds nothing of substance to what is already a decent ute and, while the Triton overall is feeling a bit dated, there's still plenty of life left yet in the standard versions – well, at least until the new generation arrives here in 2024.

$56,440

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Daily driver score

3.5/5

Adventure score

3.5/5

adventureguide rank

  • Light

    Dry weather gravel roads and formed trails with no obstacles, very shallow water crossings.

  • Medium

    Hard-packed sand, slight to medium hills with minor obstacles in all weather.

  • Heavy

    Larger obstacles, steeper climbs and deeper water crossings; plus tracks marked as '4WD only'

Price Guide

$56,440

Based on new car retail price

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.