In these crazy days of a brand new ute often costing less than a used one, thanks to COVID-19 and its impact on manufacturing, shipping and distribution — it made sense for me to go for a new one.
It also makes sense to go for one of the up-spec models, because come resale time, it will invariably fetch more than a more basic one.
I did my homework, compared what you got for your dollar and opted for a top-spec Mitsubishi Triton GSR.
Why? Well, it does everything its dual cab rivals do, costs $15-20K less, comes with all the the modern-day fruit, looks better than any of them — and has a 10-year warranty that sets it apart.
I drive some 770km to work fortnightly and the Triton was my pick after doing the trip in seven other similar vehicles.
What’s it cost?
My review vehicle was a GLS 4×4 auto, the second from the top in the extensive Triton range — priced from $49,990 driveaway.
The GSR I bought has similar mechanical specifications plus a few added luxuries — for about $7000 more.
Those extra items include lots of shiny black paint — on the roof, the alloy wheels and the outside mirrors — and it has a powered and heated leather driver’s seat.
There are many others in the range, which starts with manual ute version at $23,490, then progressively adds different cabs and options and after about 20 models comes the GSR, in the mid-50s.
The ventilation is very good front and rear, interior noise is at a minimum for the road surface covered and everything is easy to operate, from the cruise control to the infotainment system or phone connection.
Safety features include front, front-side and curtain airbags, plus one for the driver’s knees, and multiple active systems, like auto emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist and blind-spot warning.
Much of the interior ergonomics have carried over with minimal interference.
This makes it a nice place to be for long periods of time.
What’s it go like?
On the road the lofty Triton feels solid.
It has good directional changing capability and road holding.
Unloaded it can feel taught in the rear giving confidence as it is progressively loaded.
The tight turning circle makes life bearable for conducting parking manoeuvres.
The 2.4-litre diesel seems happy around 2000 rpm and mates to a six-speed automatic gearbox.
On country runs it is easy to obtain very good economy as the national speed limit arrives at around 1850 rpm in top gear.
This returns around 8.5L/100km.
There is plenty of go in store underfoot if needed to pass some of the caravans of courage lumbering around the countryside at the moment.
The 133kW/430Nm turbo-diesel sends the Triton into warp well enough and is not be shamed by any class competition.
Mitsubishi’s Super Select all-wheel-drive system lets you choose between rear- or all-wheel drive, and it also has a lockable centre and rear differential.
Plus there are steering wheel paddles if you want to switch to manual gear shifts.
Other drive choices can be chosen via a switch for rock, gravel, mud/snow and sand.
The standard tyres on the up-spec Tritons are road-biased, which are fine for most needs.
Boasting good towing capacity (3100kg) and a 900kg payload, at the expense of fuel consumption, Triton is a great base for whatever you have your mind set on.
The 10-year warranty is the most you will get from any manufacturer.
However, I don’t fully agree with some of the newer servicing schedules of 15,000 and 20,000km.
I’m a bit old school in believing in more frequent oil and filter changes — around 10,000km would be my preference.