hen buying a second hand car, the Mitsubishi Triton is a popular choice for the four wheel drive enthusiast and we’re going to take a quick look at this very impressive Ute. That’s what we call them in Australia, so if you’re from elsewhere, you might know this off-road warrior as a utility or pickup truck. Today we are looking at a pre-loved 2011, GLX 2.5 Diesel MN model.
With its curved lines and wide wheel arches, it doesn’t appeal to all tastes, but because of the very competitive price point set by Mitsubishi for the base models, it’s become a common choice for tradespeople and also the four wheel drive community.
And if you are a tradesman and are looking for tray space, then the Triton has plenty of that. It’s got a very long tub on it that measures in at 1.6 metres and is just on half a metre deep, making it a seriously big tub, capable of taking 1100 kilos of load. The towing capacity is also very impressive, allowing you to tow a massive 3000 kilograms, one of the best towing vehicles in the 4WD market.
It has a 4 door, dual cab arrangement with plenty of space in the rear seats for children or adults alike. The interior is fairly plain in the base GLX model, with vinyl flooring and basic styling, but for the average 4 wheel driver, vinyl floors might just be the right option. The GLR and GLX-R both have carpet and an upgraded interior. All 2011 Tritons have dual front airbags and ABS brakes and plenty of other goodies like traction and stability control in the models above this one.
The engine in the GLX and all of the four wheel drive variations of the Triton is a 2.5 litre, four cylinder turbo diesel and is ideal around town, but we want to see how it performs off-road, so we’ll need to get out it of the city and onto some dirt to give it a real test of its 4WD capabilities.
The 2.5 litre engine is a common rail diesel with inter-cooler and is coupled to a five speed manual gearbox with a transfer case in the centre. This means that for on-road use, it has to be left in two wheel drive to avoid wind up. In the more expensive GLX-R, the auto gearbox and centre diff are coupled to Mitsubishi’s trade mark Super Select four wheel drive system. This allows you to choose between four driving modes and allows 4WD to be selected whilst on the bitumen.
The 2.5 litre diesel is an upgrade on the previous 3.2 litre engines and outputs a fairly hefty 400 Nm of torque once it exceeds 2000 rpm. It has a power output of 131 kw at 4000 rpm and fuel economy is also an improvement over the previous model at 8.3 litres per 100 km in the HP engine. The HP stands for High Powered (or High Performance) and Mitsubishi claim that they achieved the power and efficiency improvements by changing the shape of the combustion chamber and also using new and improved injectors plus a variable-geometry turbo.
With all of this improvement, one thing that seems to be very ordinary is throttle response and this makes the Triton feel under-powered. The Triton has a fly by wire throttle system, so the poor throttle response can be easily fixed by adding an after-market add on that plugs into the ECU and allows you to change the throttle response to your own settings.
Engine noise is a bit of an issue in this model. They are quite loud if you are used to a modern quiet diesel, but most people won’t care too much when they are out in the bush.
Overall the Mitsubishi Triton MN model is a good second hand 4 wheel drive to buy, especially if you are looking for a Ute. Expect to pay anywhere from $15,000 upwards for the GLX model in 2015 dollars, depending on kilometres, and even more for the GLR and GLX-R models.
As a second hand 4WD, they hold their value reasonably well and make an excellent choice for a tradie looking to do some casual off-roading, a young family on an outback adventure or the serious 4 wheel driver looking to take on the toughest tracks on offer.
As far as off road capability, the Triton is excellent. It goes most places easily in standard form and the GLX-R has an option of a factory locker to make it even more capable. Getting up rock ledges and difficult terrain is easily completed by picking good lines and making the most of the Tritons reasonably good approach angle of 33 degrees. So if you’re looking for a good work horse and something with decent amount of off road cred, this 4×4 would be a good choice.
There are also a large number of after-market accessories available for the Triton from different companies like ARB, TJM and the like. These include bull bars, snorkels, performance chips, diffs and plenty more.
The Triton that we are featuring here has larger wheels and the standard rear 3.9 diff has been replaced with a 4.1 factory locked diff from a GLX-R while the front diff has been replaced with a 4.1 ratio centre out of a Pajero and an ARB Air Locker. The larger wheels and lower diff ratio are a perfect combination and with both front and rear diffs locked, this beast will go pretty much anywhere. The only thing that lets it down off road is the very poor rear departure angle at 21 degrees with the standard tub on board. You can pretty much guarantee that you’ll rip off those rear mudflaps on the tub when you take on the real rough stuff.
Both on the bitumen and off the beaten track the car is very easy to drive with a seating position that feels comfortable even after a few hours behind the wheel. Air conditioning adds to the comfort level and even in this base model, the sound system provides quality audio as well as hands free blue tooth mobile phone operation.