The Mitsubishi Triton is the quiet achiever in Australia’s 4×4 ute segment, ranking third in Australian sales – commanding almost 14% of the market.

Mitsubishi’s trusty four-cylinder turbo-diesel is a gem of an engine for this application. Although it’s only 2.4 litres in capacity, it goes about its business with a minimum of fuss and its impressive refinement provides smooth and quiet operation that is among the best in class.

Maximum power of 133kW at 3500rpm is matched with an excellent 430Nm serving of torque, which peaks at 2500rpm but starts flowing strongly from 1500rpm. That robust torque figure is identical to Toyota’s 70 Series Land Cruiser with its much larger 4.5 litre V8, so the 2.4 litre four with its MIVEC variable valve timing is high on efficiency.

How practical is the space inside?

With its relatively light 1955kg kerb weight and 2900kg GVM, the Exceed offers a useful 945kg payload rating. Given its smaller key dimensions, it also boasts an impressively high 5885kg GCM and is rated to tow up to 3100kg of braked trailer, meaning the Exceed’s maximum payload only has to be reduced by 115kg to legally tow 3100kg. That’s a good compromise between payload and towing, because most people don’t tow more than 3000kg anyway.

 Cabin storage options include bottle holders and storage pockets in both front doors, a single glovebox, overhead sunglasses holder and a central console with open cubby at the front, two cup holders in the centre and a lidded box at the back which doubles as an elbow rest.

Rear seat passengers only get bottle holders with no storage pockets in each door but there are flexible pockets on the back of each front seat. When carrying two passengers, the fold down centre armrest offers two cup holders. The rear bench seat’s base cushion does not swing up to reveal hidden storage areas beneath like some of its larger rivals, which would be handy here.

What’s it like to drive?

The Exceed is a surprisingly nippy performer around town. You can use the sequential paddle shifters if you wish, but the five-speed automatic provides more than adequate performance when left in auto mode, as the generous 430Nm of torque effectively smooths over the ratio gaps which are larger than those found in rival six-speeders.

It loped along the highway on cruise control with only 1950rpm at 100km/h and 2100rpm at 110km/h and also made light work of our 13 percent gradient 2.0km set climb in automatic mode, self-shifting back to third and maintaining the 60km/h limit at 2500rpm peak torque all the way to the top. Engine braking on the way down wasn’t as strong, but we have come to expect this lack of retardation from sub-3.0 litre turbo diesels with big packs on their backs.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

Five-star ANCAP safety rating with driver and front passenger front and side airbags plus driver’s knee airbag and full-length side curtain airbags. Rear seat has three head restraints and lap-sash belts plus two ISOFIX and two top tether child restraint anchorage points. Dynamic safety menu includes Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC) with Trailer Stability Assist, Emergency Stop Function and reversing camera, but no AEB.

Verdict

Triton’s enviable sales are clearly the result of excellent build quality, engineering refinement and all-round performance at a price that makes its major rivals look, well, overpriced. Exceed is the best example of the Triton’s compelling value-for-money equation.

To find out more about the Mitsubishi Triton, call us on  (02) 8545 8888.

Sourced CarsGuide.