Get the job done

Get the job done

It’s bold, hardy and honest – and left GAVIN MYERS with an appreciation for the simpler things in life.

I love an honest vehicle. A vehicle that makes no pretences to do anything it’s not designed for – that doesn’t try too hard, because it doesn’t have to, and is simple and down to earth. The Mitsubishi Triton single cab fits that mould. For some reason, the Triton has not enjoyed the same fanfare its Colt predecessor did. The single cab model, though, shows where the Triton’s workhorse heart is. 

Compared to its larger extended- and double-cab siblings, the single cab is slightly more conventional looking thanks to its traditional, squared-off cab. This unfortunately seems to rob the Triton of some of its distinctive character, though it does still retain the traditional Triton roundedness in its facade and load-box shape. Single cab Tritons are fitted with black plastic front bumpers and side mirrors. Ours was also fitted with a rather butch-looking front bull bar.

At 2 220 mm long, the load box itself offers much usable length, however it is rather shallow at only 405 mm deep. Width is
1 470 mm. The Triton offers a full one-tonne payload and 1 500 kg towing capacity.

Get the job doneInterior space is also a little lacking. The cabin seems smaller than some rivals and convenient storage space is limited to a lidded storage box atop the dashboard and an open space below. Both storage areas lack rubber lining, so items noisily bounce around in the upper or out of the lower area. The passenger bench (the Triton can seat three with a lap belt in the middle) is fixed against the rear bulkhead, presenting two problems: firstly it diminishes storage space behind the seats to the small space behind the driver’s seat, and secondly, it means that passengers are left with a very uncomfortable seating position.

The driver’s seating position is more forgiving, thankfully, but the seat is hard and flat. However, the Triton’s interior is very well laid out. All plastic surfaces are hard to the point of solid, including the steering wheel and gear knob. It’s a tactility not felt in many vehicles that, while still all plastic, gives a sense of solidity. The floor is covered in easy to maintain vinyl. Our GLX-spec vehicle featured a modern aftermarket radio with two speakers, central locking, electric windows (driver’s one touch) and air-conditioning.

Motivation for our test vehicle came in the form of Mitsubishi’s 2,5-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. Producing 100 kW at 4 000 r/min and 314 Nm at 2 000 r/min it provides solid shove with an “old-school” clattery diesel soundtrack. It drives the rear wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox and lockable (on GLX models) rear differential. Fuel consumption is quoted at 8,3 l/100 km on the combined cycle.

Care needs to be taken on rough and wet roads as the light back-end and stiff suspension make the Triton single cab rather skittish. It does not come fitted with traction or stability control, but anti-lock braking (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD); dual airbags; and Mitsubishi’s RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) body construction are all standard.

Priced at R239 900, the Triton single cab diesel has a three-year/100 000 km warranty, and a five-year/70 000 km service plan. From launch, the Triton was always more of a “work” proposition, which is probably why it fulfils a more “niche” role in the local bakkie market.

It does have its quirks – the fixed passenger bench and subsequent lack of interior storage space being chief – but it is honest to its application. And that certainly makes it worth a look if that’s what you want from a workhorse.

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