By Mark Daniel
Always very capable, the Mitsubishi Triton has had a loyal following in New Zealand; even with its slightly off target looks.
The latest 2019 model takes things to a higher level, confirmed the buyers opening their wallets, resulting in the Mitsubishi rocketing up the ute league tables.
We take a closer look of the range topping VRX model.
First, notice the frontal aspect, much squared up compared to the old model and now looking more macho. And under the skin there's an even wider range of changes and upgrades.
Up front, the tried and tested 4-cylinder 2.4L motor churns out an adequate 135kW and 437Nm. But moving rearwards we see a few changes.
The transmission is now a 6-speed auto, replacing the previous 5-speeder, and it has sports Mode selection. The drivetrain sees Mitsi's Super Select 4WD system that allows the stand-out 4WD high selection on road at up to 1ookm/h, ideal for HD high speed towing.
Transmission choices are 2H, 4H, 4HLC and 41-1.E. The LC designation gives a locked centre differential that splits the drive 50:50 to the front and rear axles.
The ute features a new 4WD off road mode that uses a rotary dial to choose gravel, sand, mud/snow or rock, with the system configuring power, transmission and braking to best suit each scenario. And there's hill descent control, forward collision mitigation and lane departure warning for all models.
It comes standard with 18-inch alloys, side steps, a chrome sports bar, daytime running lights and an electrical mirror package. As well as, auto headlights, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirrors and a clever ultrasonic mis-acceleration function that stops inadvertent fender-benders.
The safety gear includes as standard blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, multi around vehicle monitor and front and rear parking sensors.
From a practical stand-point, keyless entry and push-button start makes life easy.
The cabin, with leather-faced seats, exudes a level of class. The cabin also enables lots of information from the clear dash-board and the full clout 7-inch touch screen in the centre console.
As you would expect, the console has a decent audio system, USB and HDMI ports, an excellent vehicle camera system, plus Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity.
When on the road, engine noise is subdued, building up revs smoothly and working well with the six ratios of the auto box, whose changes are barely perceptible. Steering offers good feedback and the driver isn't bombarded with too many warnings.
The Triton VRX for 2019 is bang up to date and represents a contending option on the current market.