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Road Test


Mitsubishi Triton GLX-R (MK series)

by Stephen Walker

10th October, 2006


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With one week and 1,886 kms in Western Australia behind us, it's time to reflect on yet another good week. And a good way of managing the driving time for such a trip was with a Mitsubishi Triton GLX-R diesel 4x4 dual-cab ute.

Perth was both the starting and finishing point on this run. During the intervening week we visited Denmark, Mount Barker, Albany and we went well beyond the Stirling Ranges.

Over the last year or so, you will have noticed the increased numbers of Triton utes on the road. And so have I! One reason for the improved sales position of Triton is the GLX-R model. It's this model which we sample during this, our umpteenth, visit to Western Australia.

The MK series is fast disappearing from the showrooms as supplies of the new ML models improve. And the 2WD versions of the new ML series are on the way.

The MK was originally released way back in 1996, so it is well known to ute buyers. However, the GLX-R was only released in March 2005. Since that time, the new Triton GLX-R has helped Mitsubishi flex its muscles against the other top-of-the-line utes from Nissan and Holden. The Nissan Navara ST-R, for example, is the nation's most popular top-of-the-line ute. Mitsubishi may have been slow in bringing to GLX-R to the market, but, clearly, the GLX-R has the 'goods' to compete strongly.

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In the all important looks department, the Triton GLX-R 4x4 delivers with an attractive 'tall' appearance, courtesy of the very good ground clearance (which is expected in this segment of the market, even if the vehicle never leaves the tarmac!), a nudge bar upfront, a sports bar (as they call it) in the tray, side steps, nice 16"x7" alloy wheels, bonnet scoop, body coloured bumpers, body coloured wheel arch flares and a sporty grille amongst other features. Little wonder that the test unit looked so good!

There are four colours for the MK GLX-R; white, black, silver and gunmetal.

Inside, the GLX-R features leather wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, sports trim, carpet and two air bags.

The test unit was fitted with the 2.8 litre 4-cylinder turbo charged diesel engine. The transmission was the standard 5-speed manual. An automatic transmission is not available with the diesel.

This combination (the diesel and the manual) proved to be a satisfying combination. Sure, take-off from a standing start was a little slow, just as it is with others in this market segment. But once underway, the diesel performed well and offered satisfying performance on the highways and urban roads. We didn't do a great deal of off-roading, just sufficient to demonstrate that the Triton is fully capable.

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The comfort level was excellent. With just two on-board for the most part and three on-board for 400-odd kms, we could never find fault with the comfort provided by the GLX-R. The ride on the tarmac was good. The gear change mechanism, the brakes and steering all performed as required. Thus it was easy to understand that the overall drive experience was quite enjoyable. Yes, over 1,800 kms in a week and not one complaint. Not all vehicles offer such an experience.

On that basis, the Triton is a good reason to drive away from some of the others that are on offer in the very popular ute market. Sure Navara and Rodeo are worthy competitors, but even in this company the Triton performed well and proved itself to be a complete package with strong credentials.

Pricing for the MK series GLX-R, as tested, was a very competitive $38,990 (RRP). Expect to pay a little more with the new ML series.

The Triton is a very impressive unit, there is no question about that. The diesel offers good performance and the interior provides plenty of room and a good level of comfort. The Triton's on-road ability was appreciated and its off-road ability was unquestioned.

The MK now goes into retirement and we're about to drive the new ML Triton.

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