FIRST DRIVE: 2019 MITSUBISHI TRITON

Mitsubishi has taken bold steps with the redesign of the Triton, just two years after South Africa received the fifth-generation model, and, if everyone is honest, it’s a great improvement. That wide and angular new face with its high-set headlights, daytime running lights, and flashes of brightwork, is taking no prisoners. Visually, it is complemented by heavily flared wheel arches, a crisp shoulder line and redesigned tail lights. The previous undercut join between cab and load body is gone. The result? A beefy-looking bakkie that looks like it can duke it out with anything out there.

An interior makeover is well judged, with soft-touch materials on the centre console, armrests and handbrake, a neat textured aluminium gear surround and new frame on the HVAC controls and air outlets. At last, too, there’s a much improved touchscreen infotainment system with radio/CD and Bluetooth, though the navigation and Apple Car Play/Android auto set-up is optional. Get it. With all the added comforts like keyless entry, a rear-view camera, leather seats and easy-to-use steering controls, it all feels very modern, unfussy and superbly functional. Apart from nifty new features like a soft-sprung tailgate (it uses a damper), there is a full suite of safety features (seven airbags, RISE – Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution body construction, side impact bars), along with driver aids including Active Stability and Traction Control, ABS brakes and hill start assist.

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