Award-winning Triton sales increase in Zimbabwe

Andrew Muzamhindo

The Mitsubishi Triton is one of the most popular trucks in the world. It has won the prestigious Parker award in the UK, the Top truck award in New Zealand and Australia’s best Value truck award among others.

It is hugely important for Triton to be recognised by the renowned Parker awards as it continues to make a mark in the lifestyle trucks segment in the world.
The Triton competes in a market that is getting crowded with well-appointed rivals, including the Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara, Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max, but it offers reasonably generous equipment levels.

Mitsubishi’s response to customer feedback was to make the Triton look more aggressive. Its body angles, lights and narrow, high-mounted headlights give it a very intimidating appearance from the front.

The Triton is still one of the narrowest pickups on the market. It can be driven with confidence off-road and in towns even if you are used to more conventionally-sized cars. The bonnet is 40mm higher, making it easier to place on the road.

In the mushrooming truck market in Zimbabwe, the Triton is quietly getting on with it. According to Zimoco, the Mitsubishi official dealership in Zimbabwe, sales figures are increasing as the market is warming up to the Triton. It is less expensive than competition but offers more truck.

Under the hood is Mitsubishi’s highly capable direct-injection 2,4-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder married to a six-speed automatic transmission. It is less sophisticated than its competition which have more gears, but there is an excellent four-wheel drive system, with power levels sitting at 133kW and torque of 430Nm.

The engine does the job. It has bags of usable torque and power, and does it without fuss, loaded or unloaded.Where the Triton excels though is in its equipment levels, with dual-zone climate control, heated leather front seats with power adjustment on the driver’s seat, and automatic lights and wipers. It beats rivals

There’ is also a seven-inch touch screen multimedia system equipped with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, as well as DAB+ digital radio, a 360-degree camera, LED headlights and taillights, and key-less entry with push button start.

It is also equipped with hill descent control, while four-wheel drive high and low range can be selected with an easy to use twist knob on the centre console. The highly capable Triton is in its element.

With leaf springs at the back and coils at the front, it ambles over rough country with ease and delivers good traction and performance in all sorts of conditions. It has very good ground clearance too, with 220mm available.

The Triton is rated for a 3100kg towing capacity. This is an issue that is discussed by serious truck lovers who swear by their trucks.The Triton is down about 400kg on most of its 3500kg rated opponents, however, it has more payload, so you will still be able to have some passengers and gear inside the truck while hauling the van, a factor some other trucks struggle with.

Its weight of 2045kg and a total potential loaded weight or GVM of 2900g, means the Triton delivers an 855kg load capacity including people and payload, which is the real weight you have to concentrate on.

It has a heavy duty setup and a suspension built to cope with a load off road. You can feel it as it grips over rough ground, and it has a durable quality about the way it handles the rough stuff.

The combination of the suspension and Mitsubishi’s superb 4WD system ensures you never have a problem achieving good traction and road holding in all sorts of conditions.

The electronically controlled system offers multiple off-road modes.Inside the well-appointed cab there is a reasonable amount space, particularly in the back seat, where there is room for three decent size adults.

The dash is well laid out and switch gear and gauges are easy to use and read, while the steering wheel is adjustable for reach and rake, and along with the driver’s seat, it is able to deliver a good range of driving positions for all sizes.

The premium leather seats are well designed and sized, and are comfortable and supportive, even after hours at the wheel. There are big front door pockets, which easily accommodate water bottles, so there is plenty of room for all the odds and sods.

On the road, the 4×4 Triton is no sports car. The nature of the suspension means it skitters about on bumpy roads, but it’s well damped and controlled, and is far from being nervous. Of course if there’s weight on board, it sits down on its suspension and is a whole lot nicer to drive.

Steering control is responsive for a truck. The brakes do respond on time as well. It drives well in wet, muddy or bumpy conditions. That safety extends to full-length curtain bags, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot warning.

It comes with trailer sway control and an unmitigated acceleration prevention system, stopping drivers from accidental acceleration into obstacles in slow-speed situations. As a result, the Triton enjoys a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.

It is easy on the fuel and during our 450km at the wheel, we averaged 9.1-litres/100km, not too far off the claimed average of 8.6-litres/100km. With a 75-litre tank, the Triton can deliver a range of around 875km.

Capacity: 2.4L turbo diesel

Maximum power (kW@rpm):133kW @ 3500rpm

Maximum torque (Nm@rpm): 430Nm @ 2500rpm

Fuel consumption: 8.6L/100kms

Fuel tank capacity: 75 litres

Transmission: Automatic 6 speed

andrew@muzamhindo.comwwww

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