• The latest Mitsubishi Triton is a great bakkie, but it does not seem to find favour with locals.
• Wheels24 readers share their thoughts on why the bakkie doesn't sell in SA.
• Majority of our readers feel that the brand's after-sales and customer care are their biggest downfalls.
• For motoring news, go to News24/wheels
The Mitsubishi Triton recently came through the Wheels24 test garage. It's a good-looking vehicle, and of all the bakkies we've driven recently, it certainly proved to have the best fuel consumption with a claimed 8.3-litre/100km reading from the automaker. However, I managed to average an even lower reading of 7.9-litres/100km.
It's incredibly spacious inside; the suspension is set up to tackle the off-road, but yet drives as comfortable as an SUV instead of a bakkie. While the range-topping model might be over R650 000, the base model 2.4-litre 4x2 model is priced at R574 995. Still, the 133kW of power and 450Nm of torque are more than sufficient for any task.
This bakkie has a lot going for it, but it just can't seem to get off the mark in a country that is known for its love for bakkies.
Recently Wheel24's Charlen Raymond put the Triton up against our Ford Ranger FX4 test bakkie and said he found it sad that the Mitsubishi offering is not a contender for the 'best selling bakkie in South Africa'.
Raymond wrote: "In 2020, Mitsubishi launched a new top model Triton in South Africa. Called the Triton Xtreme, it carries a R45 000 premium over the Triton in this company. It features various cosmetic enhancements to differentiate it from the range - and the other bakkies in the local car park. Our Triton, though, retails for R654 995 and is R57 305 more affordable than the Ranger FX4 4x4 (R712 300)."
Raymond posed the question to our readers, "why does the Triton not sell in SA?"
This is what our readers have to say:
Themba says: "I think the problem is with customer care, and also a limited footprint in terms of dealerships.
Customer care: About two weeks ago, I was on the verge of purchasing a 2014 Pajero Sport, so I went into the Mitsubishi dealership seeking advice because I had read about some issues on forums. It was clear I was more of an irritant than a customer when I got there, so I walked away from that purchase. The unfortunate part is that the service person did not realise my servicing and parts purchases would have been with them for the duration of ownership. After that experience, I vowed not to purchase a Mitsubishi product.
Footprint in Cape Town: I think there are two dealerships, so imagine purchasing it, and you reside in the Karoo. If things go wrong, where do you tow it to? Cape Town or East London/PE? The inconvenience that can arise is not worth taking the risk.
I think they have mechanically sound cars, but given the two reasons above, I would rather stick to a Toyota or Ford.
[Please note: There are in fact eight dealerships in the Western Cape, including Paarl and Worcester (servicing only). - Wheels24 editor.]
Eugene says: "Firstly, the initial design of the rounded rear doors were very polarising and was definitely a huge influence on sales. Hence the return to a more traditional square rear door.
"Secondly, the total spares price basket: If one compares items likely to be replaced like oil and air filters, oil, main headlight clusters, windscreens and then also service costs, the Ford is generally much cheaper. These are cost factors when considering secondhand options."
Rich says: "I am a Mitsubishi fan; I had the Colt for many years and was massively disappointed when it was discontinued. Since then, the bakkies they have produced have been sound mechanically but lacked the ruggedness of the Colt. The styling of the Triton, although better now, has historically been terrible. If I am going to spend that amount on a bakkie, it needs to look the part.
"Until they get their styling right, or better yet, bring back the Colt, they are going to struggle. It's sad, but it's the truth.
Tiaan says: "I previously owned a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and loved the vehicle. I would have stayed with the brand, but their after-sale service was shocking and very expensive. I actually considered driving from Cape Town to George to have my vehicle serviced after the service I got from the Cape Town branches, and yes, I tried all of them. If they improved on this, their reputation would improve."
Daniel says: "The main reason for the Triton not selling is after-sales. Spares prices for Mitsubishi are incredibly high if compared to competitors.