The 2019 Triton GLX Double Cab.
The 2019 Triton GLX Double Cab.

Dual-cab ute perfect for business asset write-off

UTES have become an Australian institution.

Not long ago they were purely work-focused. Nothing flashy and, apart from some thumping V8-powered variants wearing Falcon and Commodore badges, it was all about function.

Nowadays they are pseudo-family wagons, with utes dominating the top-10 selling vehicles in Australia every month.

Those who used to spend their hard-earned on souped-up Aussie sedans are now channelling coin into utes, the meaner-looking the better. That was part of the reason Mitsubishi toughened the external lines of the Triton.

Previously lauded for value but criticised for femininity, a new breed arrived early this year with more muscular edges and a front end inspired by American pick-ups.

Approaching the end of the financial year, there are many buyers looking to take advantage of the Federal Government business asset write-offs of up to $30,000.

For those seeking a dual cab, the base model GLX is among the least expensive around that is on sale for $32,990 drive-away with four-wheel drive and a manual transmission until May 31. There's also a $3000 factory bonus available.

The 2019 Triton GLX Double Cab.
The 2019 Triton GLX Double Cab.

VALUE

Depending on the model, Mitsubishi has a range of deal sweeteners. Some are available with a seven-year warranty - a two-year increase on the standard offer.

The GLX we tested with an automatic transmission (available for $39,490 drive-away) is a true workhorse, with vinyl floors, fabric seat trim and manual aircon operations. Old-school features are combined with a modern 6.1-inch colour touchscreen connected to a CD stereo with full Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and a digital display within the driver's instruments that provides various trip information details.

Absent are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring functions available on higher-spec models but you could easily fit an after-market option.

Three years capped price servicing is among the cheaper options at $897. Roadside assistance coverage is continued as long as dealer servicing is maintained.

White is the basic colour that is standard. Silver or grey options cost an extra $690.

COMFORT

Surviving the work site and challenging off-road conditions is the GLX's remit. That explains the bare-bones cabin and bland 16-inch steel wheels.

There's nothing complex about the design, basic dials and buttons.

The trim feels hard-wearing, with ample bolstering of the seats, which are surprisingly comfortable.

Those in the back also have a reasonable seat angle - a vast improvement on the models from a decade ago when rear-seat passengers sat virtually at right angles. Tall occupants will find the bench seat high and get close to the roof line but it's fine for kids.

Tilt and telescopic adjustment of the steering wheel is available.

Functional appeal is boosted by two cup holders in the front and back, as well as bottle holders in each door.

The 2019 Triton GLX Double Cab.
The 2019 Triton GLX Double Cab.

DRIVING

Nothing changes in terms of grunt, with a 2.4-litre diesel engine providing the motivation mated to a six-speed automatic.

While the gated shift can be notchy to use, the Triton moves with cohesion and ease around town and on the highway.

In wet conditions and an unladen tray the rear end can be happy to step out and the stability control quickly arrests any slides. Engaging power to all four wheels is recommended and stepping on the accelerator will deliver a chirp from the wheels as it quickly gains momentum.

Maximum towing capacity remains behind some of the big guns at 3100kg, the payload is 912kg and its capacity is reduced to 2985kg when you analyse the gross vehicle mass figures. That's actually more than most rivals so it pays to do the numbers and not just look at the glossy brochures when it comes to hauling.

Going off-road is simple, with 220mm of ground clearance. There's no locking of hubs or anything complicated when stepping off the bitumen, you can shift on-the-fly between two and four-wheel drive (high and low range) via a console button.

The 2019 Triton GLX Double Cab.
The 2019 Triton GLX Double Cab.

SAFETY

Equipped with a five-star rating earned in 2015, the absence of autonomous emergency braking means the base Triton wouldn't maintain that rating if tested now. An $800 option brings AEB, lane departure warning, fog lamps and auto sensors and wipers.

Standard fare includes stability and traction control, trailer stability assist, rear parking sensors and rear-view camera, along with two Isofix child seat points.

HEAD SAYS

I could pay another $30k and get the bees-knees but I'll put on my own alloys, tick the extra safety box, throw in a quality stereo and pocket the savings.

HEART SAYS

Value is near unbeatable for a noted brand and I can live without the fancy stuff.

ALTERNATIVES

SSANGYONG MUSSO ELX $35,990 D/A

Making a comeback last year, it's not conventional with a short tray but a longer wheelbase version is coming soon. Powered by a 2.2-litre 133kW/400Nm 4-cyl turbo diesel and a seven-year warranty. Good buying at this end of the market, although not as composed as the Triton.

TOYOTA HILUX 4X4 WORKMATE $50,137 D/A

Similar specification and destined for the job site rather than the catwalk, powered by a 2.4-litre 110kW/400Nm 4-cyl turbo diesel. Australia's No.1 seller, expansive but brilliant resale. Current deal includes $2000 worth of accessories.

VERDICT

Triton has developed a reputation of value and for those who want a tougher appearance this new design will appeal. Families will find it easy to drive, with the GLX up for a battering.

AT A GLANCE

2019 Mitsubishi Triton GLX Double Cab 4x4

PRICE $39,490 drive-away (bargain)

WARRANTY/SERVICING 7 years/ 150,000km (awesome); $897 for 3 yrs (cheap)

ENGINE 2.4-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel, 133kW/430Nm (average)

SAFETY 5 stars, 7 airbags, stability control, rear sensors, reverse camera (OK), option for AEB and lane departure warning

THIRST 8.6L/100km (fair)

SPARE Full-size alloy (excellent)

CARGO 945kg payload, towing 3100kg (average)



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