Many firsts mark Mitsubishi’s first 100 years as a world-class vehicle manufacturer – not the least the claim to the world’s first SUV. In South Africa Mitsubishi Motors renewed assault on the South African car market. Along with the much awaited Triton launch, Mitsubishi also refreshed their other models, a program that will culminate in the highlight of the soon to arrive brand-new Pajero Sport. While we wait for the launch, Ultimate Drive Journalist Charlen Raymond spent some time in the current Mitsubishi line-up.
Article: Charlen Raymond.
Mitsubishi ASX 2.0 GLS
The Mitsubishi ASX has undergone a nip and tuck earlier in 2017, all aimed at making the activity vehicle more appealing for the last stretch of its lifecycle. There isn’t a single factor in this model that will blow your socks off, purely because it’s the unit as a whole that is so impressive in its own right. It’s an activity vehicle that offer exactly what it says on the box. On a recent trip up the West Coast, the ASX proved to be a very comfy long roader. Making use of a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine (110kW/197Nm), the ASX soaked up the kilometers. Mated to a five-speed manual gearbox which proves to be a good application in this model, the journey was an absolute pleasure. With cruise control set at 120km/h, the ASX returned an average of 8.1 L/100km over a total of more than 600km. What made the trip particularly enjoyable was the huge panoramic sunroof that added ambiance with the night skies, as well as the heated seats that provided some much-needed warmth in cold evening temperatures. The ASX is Mitsubishi South Africa’s best-selling vehicle and the package it offers is sincere and honest. And that, you can’t fault.
Price: R414 900
Earlier this year Mitsubishi gave its Outlander SUV a bit of a facelift. But the facelift was more than just a nip and tuck. It also brought the vehicle in line and up to date with the Japanese company’s new design language. A new face is only part of the story as the Outlander now is also more practical and perfectly suited to a larger family. Boasting seven seats, the Outlander would be the logical step-up if your family does not fit in an ASX. Though the two seats in the third row are better suited to smaller kids, it is very easy to fit a family, their dog, cat and even the budgie cage! And, as we’ve come to experience, both the second and third rows of seats can fold completely flat to unlock a huge amount of loading space. The sound system boasts nine speakers and even a 710W subwoofer. Under the Outlander’s bonnet sits a 2.4-litre petrol engine and the power figures of 123kW/222Nm ensure adequate performance. Power is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed CVT transmission. Only one model is available, but it is comprehensive enough to warrant its place under the Mitsubishi sun.
Price: R549 900
Mitsubishi Triton 4×4
It can’t be stressed enough: South Africa’s bakkie market is one of the world’s healthiest. Among the many, many models competing in this segment is the Mitsubishi Triton, a bakkie that tells two tales. On the one hand it inexplicably does not nearly reach the sales figures the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux are mustering every month. On the other hand it offers a drive that the two market leaders can’t touch. Aimed at the leisure market, the Triton’s 2.4-litre diesel engine churns out 133kW/430Nm and propels the bakkie forward with tremendous ease. And the suspension! Boy, does this bakkie love to go over bumps! It uses the similar leaf spring suspension as the other bakkies in this segment (bar the Nissan Navara’s five-link coil suspension), but it offers a lot less jolting about. And I mean, a lot! The Triton is one of the most underrated bakkies in SA, which in itself is a real shame. Tar, gravel or off-road: the quality of the ride and product in the Mitsubishi Triton will show any bakkie a clean pair of heels. Just a pity the sales doesn’t reflect that.
Price: R539 900