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Mitsubishi is launching the new Triton in SA around mid-year.


Will it be a dark horse and cause an upset in our bakkie market?

It is doing very well in Australia where it has been launched already, and to the man journalist rate it above the Hilux which the Kangaroo Jacks are just as fond of as us. Like in SA, the Colt was extremely popular Down Under but with the Triton Mitsubishi lost a lot of market share in record time.

This was due mainly because of the vehicle's 'soft' look. Mitsubishi designers took big risks with a sloping bin and hart-shaped taillights, and missed the mark in a time where Toyotas, Fords and Nissans were keeping things squarish. Underneath those outlandish curves the Triton was still all business but that did not convince buyers.

Now, looking at the new Hilux and also the Isuzu KB, one gets the impression that the Triton was ahead of is time because most of today's bakkies have car-like curves and wraparound taillights. So, when the next generation Triton arrives the reception might be better and Mitsubishi can work on regaining some of that market share it lost.

High hopes
Pictured above is the top of the range Triton double cab which is now available in Australia. It sports the optional 'Action Pack' which includes 17-inch 'Diamond' alloys, two-piece tonneau cover and stainless steel nudge bar.

It a good looking bakkie!

Under the bonnet is a 2.4-litre common-rail, direct injection turbo-diesel, which is rated at 133kW and 430Nm. Fuel consumption is a claimed 7.6-litres to 100km.

Those outputs are not 3.2-litre Ranger stuff but then again, it is well below the 8.9-litres Ford claims for its five-cylinder in the 4x4 Wildtrack. The Triton's 133kW/430Nm is above the 2.8 Hilux's 130kW/420Nm and also more than the Isuzu KB's 130kW/380Nm.

As for cabin comfort, I doubt that the Triton will out-gadget the Ranger and expect it to be more inline with the Hilux. Will it manage to find footing in SA's highly competitive bakkie market?

Hopefully it will but it is going to take a lot of PR work from the Mits Marketing Department.

Article written by Val van der Walt
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