A down to earth truck for a down to earth job. Well, down to earth was what we thought the job was going to be when we contacted Mitsubishi, to see if they had a ute available in Christchurch for us to use to get a motocross bike to the Veterans Champs just outside Timaru, but it turned out to be anything but.
As most of the country now knows, extreme motocross royalty, Carey Hart, was due in the South Island, accompanying his wife — extreme music royalty Pink, as she opened her NZ tour with a concert in Dunedin.
Through the magic of social media, Hart heard the Veterans meeting was happening and accepted an invitation to compete. In his words, he was coming up for a chance to have a few skids, and chill with some cool people.
Callum Farmer from The Fast Times just happened to be Hart’s man on the ground here in New Zealand and it fell on him to source a suitable steed for him to use. In what has to be one of the best sales jobs ever, young Tracktion Motorcycles mechanic Matt Brooks was convinced to hand over his 2016 Husquvana for this American guy, who he had never met, to thrash around a track in Timaru for the weekend.
And Matt even seemed excited about it. Well, his bike had just joined motorcycle royalty.
By Thursday the bike was sourced, and getting a quick race tune. All that was needed was a way to get it to the track, and that’s where 4×4 action Adventure and the Triton, came in; Mitsubishi had the GLX available in Christchurch, and we were able to collect it, load the bike, and get it back to our Geraldine base on Friday, ready for scrutineering at the track, Saturday morning.
By then the news Hart had come to town was spreading rapidly, and by the time the bike was unloaded, had a few of Hart’s own race bits fitted, and passed scrutineering, it was the centre of attention in the pits.
Turns out though, Hart is a pretty down to earth guy too. He still managed to have a few skids, and chill with the locals, while doing media interviews, signing autographs, posing for (a lot of) selfies, and keeping in touch with how his wife was doing prior to her big night in Dunedin.
And at the end of it all, we loaded the bike on to the back of the Triton and headed back home.
Taking the Mitsubishi Triton GLX to Reality
Next day though, seeing we had the Mitsubishi Triton GLX ute, we took the opportunity to take it out into the countryside, with its celebrity payload, and see how it went in its proper environment.
Cruising the highway, we were immediately impressed with how quiet the truck was. After all, it has vinyl mats instead of carpeting, and as a down to earth work truck a pretty basic cabin package, but at 100km per hour, the most obvious noise was the wind around the door pillars. Not that that was particularly noisy, just that the truck was so quiet.
As the newest member of the 4×4 Action Adventure family, it was deemed appropriate the Dena should be the driver for the day, and she put on about 100km on the back country roads right on the South Canterbury border, and up towards the Mount Nimrod scenic reserve.
In her words, “despite its tough work truck role, compared to the other utes I’ve has driven, it has a gentleness in the way it handles the rough stuff and is very easy to get around in.” I’m not entirely sure a farm ute would want to be seen as gentle, but I guess most of us blokes have our softer side! Dena then went on to elaborate that “it made her feel very safe behind the wheel”.
“I didn’t have to work at it, there was a feeling of easy competence in the way it went about what I asked.”
The great New Zealand love affair with the 4×4 Ute was obvious when the Mitsubishi Triton GLX came in for its fair share of attention in the Hart pit area on Saturday, but many of those checking it out didn’t rate it as an offroader, so we didn’t have too many expectations to start with.
I’m not sure what the people who had made those comments had been trying to do with it, or if they had even driven it because we were pretty impressed with the way it handled the rocky riverbeds and access tracks we tried it out on. In the end, the limiting factor to where we took the Triton, was the towbar, which collected a few rocks when we were climbing up and down some decent banks and holes.
Rear suspension flexibility and the on-demand diff lock kept us going forward, even with the highway biased tyres, it went well beyond what we had expected.
With the Mitsubishi Triton GLX already well priced, and Mitsubishi’s run out pricing, it provides a lot of bang for your buck right now. This truck certainly delivers.
Check out the gallery above for more pics from Hart and the Mitsubishi Triton GLX.