Bangkok - The latest-gen Mitsubishi Triton is a good and solid, if somewhat underrated entrant in the bakkie market, and we suspect that it’s anonymous styling - particularly at the front end - has held it back to some degree.

That all changes with the mid-life facelift that’s just been announced abroad, the one-tonner getting a daring new face inspired by some of the Japanese firm’s most recent concept vehicles, embodying the design language that Mitsubishi refers to as ‘Dynamic Shield’.

The basic body shape remains as before, but the side and rear views have been beefed up with larger, more pronounced wheel arches and new 3D taillights. Cabin changes are subtle, but include more soft-touch surfaces and decorative stitching on various touch points.

Mechanically, the acclaimed 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine remains as before, still producing 133kW and 430Nm, but the previous five-speed automatic gearbox makes way for a new six-speed unit.

Mitsubishi has made minor changes to the suspension, braking and 4WD systems.

Regarding the latter, Mitsubishi’s Super Select and Easy Select four-wheel-drive systems have been enhanced with a new Off-road mode which has specific settings for gravel, mud/snow, sand and rock.

The facelifted Triton also plays catch-up in the safety gadget game, gaining items like Forward Collision Mitigation with vehicle and pedestrian detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and the Multi Around Monitor that provides a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the vehicle’s surroundings.

Mitsubishi South Africa is aiming to launch the new Triton around March or April 2019.

IOL Motoring