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More beast for your buck

PROVEN is the word that covers Mitsubishi’s Triton, a real ute that somehow manages to be both rugged and refined at the same time.

A test drive in Mitsi’s GLX-R four- door auto is enough to get the picture quickly that the 2017 Triton means business and is a step up from the 2WD model.

Like all Tritons, the GLX-R is powered by a 2.4 litre MIVEC intercooled turbo diesel, a seriously grunty power unit with 135kW of power and 437Nm of torque. This one had a five-speed auto transmission. A manual is also available.

Helped by advanced aerodynamic design, this engine has 20 percent more fuel economy than the one before, running on just 7.5 litres/100 kms.

A handy dial will let you move easily through the three modes — 2WD, 4H and the ultimate 4L. Triton is one of the few utes that can be driven in 4WD on tarseal.

This sturdy road warrior has a payload of 995kg and a braked towing capacity of 3000kg. Mitsubishi claims this is the only ute with a 10 year warranty.

The Triton is extremely manoeuvrable in an urban setting and has a very welcome tight turning circle of 11.8 metres, making it ideal for a work site or around town.

The GLX-R sits on impressive 17-inch alloys and is well specified in the comfort department with carpet, hands-free Bluetooth and cruise control, a six-inch touch screen audio with USB port, keyless entry, air conditioning and daytime running lights.

A comprehensive safety package based around the MATT all-terrain technology includes seven airbags, ABS and EBD brakes, active stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes and electronic brakeforce distribution and a reversing camera. Add to that trailer stability assist and you have a five-star ANCAP package.

Mitsubishi also puts a lot of emphasis on its Diamond 10-year warranty as an attraction for buyers.

The Triton is marketed as more beast for your buck, which really is selling it a bit short. It is a rugged performer for farmers, “tradies” and forestry workers that will morph into a comfortable passenger vehicle with five belted seats when the working day is done. And it really does handle like a car.

With as many as one in five new vehicle sales being utes, you have to have something worthwhile if you are going to be in the game. The Triton will do that for Mitsubishi.