We've pitted the outgoing MR and all-new MV Triton head-to-head to see just how big an improvement the new model is.

In the ever-popular world of utes, evolution is typically a slow process. With the typical model cycle being around 8-10 years and some platforms and engines existing largely unchanged for as long as two decades in one form or another, it’s rare that a new model is truly all-new.

For Mitsubishi, the time has finally come for a truly all-new model to arrive, and that’s exactly what the 2024 Triton is. With a radically redesigned body, completely new chassis, an almost entirely new engine, and more of an emphasis on premium aesthetics than a budget-minded price point, it looks like a night and day difference when you see it on paper.

But just how much of an advancement is it over the old model when it comes to how it performs on the road – and, importantly, off it? To find out, Mitsubishi offered the chance to drive both the old MR and new MV Triton back-to-back at the local launch of the sixth-generation model. With Eagle View 4WD Track as our testbed, this presented the opportunity to put both chassis through their paces to really eke out the big differences.

The 2023 Tritons that Mitsubishi had on hand for this test were both limited-run Sport Edition models, although beyond some decals and minor trim differences, the Sport Edition is largely identical to the GLS Deluxe I wrote about last year. As for the 2024 Triton, both the GLS and GSR grades were available for this comparison, but beyond the GSR’s beefier styling upgrades, both are mechanically identical.

If you want to get a good in-depth look at the new Triton, it’s worth reading our launch review here, while our pricing and specs guide offers a look at the technical aspects of this new model, as this article will focus solely on how the new and old utes compare across the board.

On price alone, the 2024 Triton marks a considerable step up, with prices rising by as much a whopping $7600 for the GLS (now $59,090 before on-roads) and $6900 for the GSR (now $63,840) which comes as an initial shock, but the advancements the new Triton promises mean it should be worth every penny.

Interior and exterior design

With the 2024 Triton riding on an entirely redesigned chassis with a 3130mm wheelbase (up 130mm) which offers significantly more torsional rigidity thanks to its extra strengthening measures, its body has now grown in every dimension. Coming in at 5320mm in length (up 15mm) and 1865mm in width (up 50mm, along with a matching a 50mm track width increase), the new design allows not only for a longer 1555mm tray (up 35mm) but also more hip and shoulder room, inside the cabin, with 40mm and 49mm extra respectively.

Visually, the 2023 Triton retained a design that was focused on being sleek and sporty, but the 2024 goes the opposite direction by wearing boxier, more sculpted styling which is intended to be bold and robust. Despite its clearly Japanese lines, there’s more of an American influence to be seen, particularly when it comes to the squared-off bonnet, while its rectangular grille looks tougher and far more conventional than the old model’s ‘Diamond Shield’ signature look.

The standard wheel size on the base GLX variant has increased from 16 to 17 inches while still using a steel wheel. The GLX+ features a 17-inch alloy wheel design while the GLS and GSR here still ride on 18-inch alloys. As before, halogen headlights are standard on the GLX and GLX+, while the GLS and GSR score LED headlights.

Inside is where perhaps the biggest design revolution can be seen, however. Where the old Triton’s cabin was filled with hard plastics, outdated switchgear, and a tacked-in head unit with a clunky interface, the new Triton features an array of higher-quality materials including plenty of soft-touch leather in the GLS and GSR grades, while the switchgear and tech interfaces are right up to date.

Ergonomically, the new cabin has clearly been designed with a broader array of body types in mind. At 6’2″, I found it a challenge to get comfortable in the 2023 Triton’s cabin as the seating position is high and there’s a limited amount of range to the steering wheel’s adjustment. However, behind the wheel of the 2024 model, I still had plenty of adjustment left to put the seat lower and further back than where my optimal driving position was, along with further range to pull the steering wheel out as well.

The extra cabin width will also allow for those of a larger build to get comfortable, as the old Triton feels particularly narrow inside by comparison. Mind you, I wouldn’t have minded a little bit more leg support in the new Triton’s leather seats which are optional in the GLS and standard in the GSR as I slid around a little bit on them when off-roading, but there’s still plenty of side bolstering and shoulder support.

On the tech front, all 2024 Triton variants feature a 9.0-inch infotainment display with sat nav, wireless Apple CarPlay, and wired Android Auto, up from the 7.0-inch screen of the old model which lacked sat nav and still required a cord for iPhone mirroring. Mind you, it still features a 360-degree camera with a shortcut button to bring it up which is a big benefit when off-roading, although it’s now below the screen and no longer on the steering wheel. That said, many will be glad to see that the touch capacitive volume buttons have been replaced by a physical volume knob. There’s also a larger 7.0-inch display in the instrument cluster, up from 4.2-inches before; crucially, it includes a digital speedometer which the old model still lacked.

The design and feel of the new Triton’s switchgear marks a big improvement as well, no longer looking and feeling dated, but instead using chunky rubberised buttons which look fitting for a ute and which are easy to operate with gloves on. Even the interior door handle has been redesigned so it can be opened from all angles, while it’s double-hinged to feel stronger as well.

The new cabin also offers more storage with larger bottle holders, bigger storage cubbies, and thoughtful inclusions such as pop-out cupholders on the dashboard in front of the air vents which can accomodate square cartons. It also now has a second glovebox added ahead of the front passenger. Factor in all these changes and the difference is night and day – the new Triton feels more premium, spacious, well-made, and cleverly-designed in every regard.

READ MORE: Find out everything you need to know about the new MV Triton in our launch drive review

Powertrain and suspension

While both the old and new Triton use four-cylinder diesel engines from the ‘4N1’ family with a shared 2.4-litre displacement (2442cc to be precise), the new model’s donk shares little in common with its predecessor beyond the bore centres of its aluminium block. The rest of the engine has been completely redesigned with new connecting rods, relocated crank balancers, and a higher-pressure 250MPa fuel injection system, compared with 200MPa before. It also now features two-stage twin-turbocharging, rather than the single turbo of before.

While the 2023 Triton only served up 133kW at 3500rpm and 430Nm at 2500rpm, the 2024 Triton’s twin-turbo unit delivers 150kW at the same 3500rpm but a more accessible 470Nm of torque from 1500-2750rpm. Both still use a six-speed automatic transmission, although the new model lacks paddle shifters which is a shame.

It’s also worth noting that both the 2023 Triton Sport Edition and 2024 Triton GLS and GSR pictured here feature the company’s Super Select 4WD-II four-wheel drive system which offers 2H, 4H (high-range on-road), 4HLc (high-range off-road), and 4LLc (low-range off-road) settings, allowing for some extra traction on tarmac. However, the new model also boasts the Active Yaw Control system made famous by the Lancer Evolution which improves cornering by braking the inside front wheel through corners to mitigate understeer.

The steering and suspension setups have also been tweaked for the new model, although it still uses independent double wishbone front suspension and a solid rear axle with leaf springs. However, the upper front struts are mounted higher, allowing for 22.3mm extra shock absorber rebound stroke, with larger 36mm diameter shocks used all round, up from 32mm front and 30mm rear before.

Its rear leaf spring setup now uses three thicker leaves rather than five in the standard suspension tune of the GLS and GSR, while the GLX and GLX+ use a heavy duty tune with four leaves rather than six. It’s worth highlighting that the suspension in Australian-delivered models features a unique locally-developed tune for our road conditions.

The 2024 Triton also ditches the 2023’s hydraulic power steering for a quicker variable ratio electric power steering system which goes from 3.7 to now 3.3 turns lock-to-lock. The steering does utilise a global tune, but it was developed with input from Australian testing.

Driving experience

After two days of driving the 2024 ute, hopping back into the 2023 Triton felt like quite the throwback. With slow and heavy steering, a more cramped seating position, and firmer suspension, it was far from the worst of the last-generation utes in the market, but some changes were clearly in order.

To me, the old 2.4-litre always felt as if it was straining a bit, principally due to how high the bulk of its torque is in the rev range. As a result, it leads to the transmission being more noticeable than you’d like as it constantly needs to shuffle ratios to find one that can access some of what torque is on offer.

Thanks to the 2024 Triton’s redesigned underpinnings, these issues have clearly been addressed. Its electric power steering feels responsive and perfectly-weighted, the driving position is spot on, and the spring rate is right on the money.

The addition of the second turbocharger has also helped this redesigned engine feel more effortless on the road. It might not have the highest torque output in the class, but the torque on offer is situated across a far more usable range than in the old Triton. The updated transmission also needs to work less hard as a result, and during the two-day launch drive it always seemed to find the right gear at the right time.

Perhaps the most notable change in the Triton’s character, however, is just how much better the 2024 model’s body control is on the road. The additional length in its wheelbase obviously provides the biggest increase in composure, helping it absorb bumps with less of a shunt, but the wider wheel track also helps it feel more planted through corners and at higher speeds.

Considering the two-tonne weight of the 2024 Triton, you can clearly feel what a difference the Active Yaw Control system makes as well, with it helping keep it tidy through the bends with understeer clearly being mitigated by the braking of that inside front wheel while also helping it dip into the apex of the corner, mitigating body roll.

Of course, there are some big changes to the Triton’s off-road performance as well, with the new platform improving ride quality on rough tracks significantly. Again, it’s the new platform which brings the biggest changes in this regard, with much improved spring rates and shock absorber rebound helping the 2024 model tackle even the rockiest terrain eagerly. It also offers some extra ground clearance, jumping from 220mm to 228mm in the new model.

With both featuring Mitsubishi’s advanced Super Select four-wheel drive system, switching between two- and four-wheel drive modes is easy, and there’s good traction offered by both thanks to the inclusion of an on-road four-wheel drive setting. However, the inclusion of various drive modes geared toward different road surfaces does offer the 2024 Triton yet another leg-up. The low-range Rock mode was my particular favourite, as it holds the car in first gear for longer, mitigating the need to manually shift it yourself.

But what shows the biggest advancement in technology between the two is the calibration of the traction control system. Through moguls which took the wheels to full articulation with one or two in the air, the difference becomes clear. While the 2023 Triton still manages to claw its way out of such tricky situations, it takes far longer to respond, keeping the wheels spinning more as it desperately searches for some traction. As for the new ute, it took half the time – if not less – to respond accurately, and it felt far more assured about it as well.

Capability

Utes aren’t just off-road toys or family vehicles, but tradie workhorses as well, so it’s worth discussing the increased capabilities of the Triton as well. With the larger 2024 model naturally being heavier – for instance, the old GLS auto weighed 1991kg while the new one is a whopping 2125kg, up 134kg – Mitsubishi has boosted the Double Cab 4×4’s GVM to 3200kg (up from 2900kg) and its GCM to 6250kg (up from 5885kg).

As a result, payload has increased to give even the heaviest 2024 Triton GSR a payload of 1030kg, up from 900kg in the 2023 Triton GSR, with equivalent increases seen elsewhere across the range. Braked towing capacity has also increased from 3000-3100kg to 3500kg range-wide.

The tray dimensions have also increased thanks to the longer and wider wheelbase. In these Double Cab models, the 2023 Triton’s tray measures in at 1520mm long, 1470mm wide, 1085mm between the wheel arches, and 475mm tall.

Compare that to the 2024 model which now has a tray that’s 1555mm long, 1545mm wide, 1135mm between the wheel arches, and 528mm tall, and it means the new Triton can now accommodate a Euro pallet behind the wheel arches. The tub is also now 45mm lower down, allowing for much easier access.

In conclusion…

Really, it’s no surprise that the new MV Triton marks a big improvement over the outgoing MR model, but what’s impressive is just how big an improvement it is. The 2023 Triton’s 20-year-old platform was clearly feeling its age, while the 2024’s all-new underpinnings make it not only a better vehicle to drive both on- and off-road, but also a far more capable ute which feels just as comfortable on a tough off-road course as it does on the school run.

Sure, the new model is a lot more expensive, but it’s worth every penny. Every point that needed to be improved upon has been addressed by Mitsubishi’s engineers, and it’s all come together as a thoughtfully-designed ute that drives like it was built by people who really care about driving.



Full Disclosure: The vehicles tested here were provided by Mitsubishi Motors Australia at a two-day launch event with accommodation and catering provided.

Patrick Jackson
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