2003 Mitsubishi Triton GLX 2.8 turbo diesel


A relatively compact but indestructible and loyal performer of great value


Literally not even the most minor mechanical fault has occurred with this ute that is used for real work, not play or suburban posing. The worst thing that has happened is the battery connection corroding and ceasing to make contact.

The only adjustments that have been necessary is to the steering once, when toe-in was out and tyre wear obviously uneven. This was at 90,000 km. The turning circle is woeful and the worst feature of the vehicle. You need a five acre paddock to turn it in!

Body work is tough and remarkably rattle free despite continual work on rough dirt roads, farms etc.

I have had seat covers fitted all the time and the originals underneath are still like new. Interior comfort I find good with a clear and firm driving position. Not being a sucker for gimmicks, the cabin appointments are practical and adequate right down to lack of carpets on the floor. Who wants carpet in a work ute or idiotic electric windows? The radio is particularly clear. Dash appearance is dull, dull, dull funeral director grey. Who picks these god-forsaken colours? Nearly every car is the same now; depressing grey or worse still, black interiors- Yuk!

Being a twin cab, rear seat comfort is inevitably a compromise, but better than any others I have been in particularly Hi-Lux which seem to me to be built front and rear for contortionists. Cabin access is excellent, especially the front.

Fuel economy is good (11-12L/100km) by comparison to others and the turbo version in this goes like a rocket, especially compared to my previous tray model with the same non-turbo 2.8 motor. (but this was much better on fuel at 9-10L/100km). The turbo motor tends to shudder at low revs, but rapidly ceases as speed increases a bit.

Despite transmission problems in early models, due to oil loss, this one has been faultless and is pleasant to use.

Dealer service has been good and they know the model well. Attention to detail can be lacking, but overall their backup has been most satisfactory.

Underneath there is not a sign of oil leaks anywhere and the engine compartment is the same. Amazing.

Load height at the back is tall and often awkward, but it can easily carry a tonne without looking like a duck coming in to land. Brilliant.

General Comments:

These Tritons are tough and outperform competitors well for getting on with no nonsense work.

They deserve a large slice of their market segment.

Fully loaded or not this ute handles very well and is smooth and quiet to drive long distance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th March, 2006

30th Jun 2008, 07:51

This was a very clear and honest review and has helped me learn more about what appears to be a great car. This review further helped me decide which vehicle to buy and for what reasons.

Thanks for the information,


19th May 2009, 23:35

I have owned 2003 Triton, 2.8 diesel Nat/As from new, and similarly have had no problems in 110,000kms. Fuel economy is great - I consistently get better than 750 kms from a 55 litre fill, which is under 8L/100kms. Perhaps having a tonneau cover significantly improves the 'aerodynamics' ;-)?

1998 Mitsubishi Triton GX 3.0litre V6 24valve


Really honest and useful utility vehicle, but it needs some updating to stay ahead of the pack


Air conditioning compressor blew at 102,000 but was still fixed under warranty when 32 months old.

Grinding sound traced to front left hand axle at around 175,000. I think the free wheeling hub was trying to engage all by itself. The solution, since I knew the car was being replaced soon, was to drive around with the 4WD lever engaged, but the front hubs NOT engaged. I did never figure why, but this caused the noise to stop. The car could be put back into 2WD, but the noise would re-occur after about 25 kms.

Flimsy drink holder broke, but was replaced under warranty.

General Comments:

The car always got 22-23 mpg (8 kms per litre) as a life-time average, much the same with careful town driving as with country trips at 110-120 kph due to it's relatively short gearing. It does 3,000 revs at 100 kph.

With a 0-100 time of around 10.5 seconds it simply eats most other 4WD's.

Top speed, inappropriate for this type of vehicle I know, could be nudged to 180+.

Great radio reception wherever I went, which is appreciated on long country trips.

The cabin is very isolated from noise on dirt roads... totally shames my wife's 2001 Civic in this regard. Monocoque designs can't compete with this old style seperate chassis rail/cab design for noise isolation.

Body strength is undeniable and off road capability is terrific even though it isn't high-tech in this area.

Rear leg room is O.K. but rear flat squab is not so good. Front seats lack side support and are too short in the squab. This is typical fault in Japanese utilities and not limited to Mitsubishi offerings.

It tends to wander a bit with a one tonne load so care has to be taken. Not as good as my new Falcon RTV in this regard.

Silly drink holder positioning means your drink prevents insertion of your cassettes.

With better seats and an "on dash" 4 WD engagement instead of manual hubs

I would have bought another. Unfortunately the 2003 model was in no way updated from my 1998 introductory model and other dual cab offerings have surpassed it in that time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd May, 2004

26th Aug 2005, 03:05

Two thumbs up for the Triton. It is strong, reliable, impressive off-road and very kind on the wallet.