WOW. Six years on and the Mitsubishi Triton still produced the magic for the Lowe family at one of Queensland’s iconic tourist destinations, Fraser Island.
Queensland Country Life recently decided to lease Mitsubishi Triton double cab 4WD’s for their country-based staff, so I took the opportunity to ‘road test’ our new company vehicle as part of my annual family holiday on the world Heritage listed Fraser Island.
My first experience on Fraser Island with the Triton was back in 2011, again with the whole family.
Overall, the Triton’s performance was exceptional. Whether it was doing every day farm duties, playing in the sand or negating the inland routes on Fraser, the experience was well above my expectations.
The new generation Triton has also come of age in terms of a new sleek look through sophisticated styling and 5-star ANCAP safety rating makes the whole package very appealing.
Just as our children have grown up, so has the Triton with more cabin space, increased rear seat leg room and a reclined seatback angle which provides plenty of leg, shoulder and head room in the front and back, to easily accommodate five adults.
There is also more grunt from the new 2.4 litre four cylinder turbo diesel engine which produces 133kW of power and 430Nm of torque and lower fuel consumption – 7.6 litres per 100kms - than the previous 2.5 litre motor.
One of the real improvements was Mitsubishi’s Super Select 4WD system which offers four driving modes and an easy-to-operate four wheel drive selector dial that allows you to switch between 2WD and 4WD on the move at speeds under 100km/h and a rear differential lock on the Exceed.
The Super Select system facilitates a smooth transition from a relative hard tidal surface to the soft, powdery sand on the dunes at Fraser Island.
And more importantly from the children’s view point, the Gen Y friendly Mitsubishi Multi Communication System (MMCS) which features touch screen display that controls the system’s audio information options and navigation system.
The MMCS was given a big tick of approval from the ‘billy lids’ for both functionality and simplicity of use – very important when travelling big distances with the siblings.
Peter Lowe is a member of Queensland Country Life’s livestock sales team.
The Lowe’s Itinerary:
Day one - Thursday, December 29, 2016;
Depart Toowoomba to Brian and Yvonne Heck’s Bryvonlea Droughtmaster stud, Glastonbury via Gympie to inspect the first of their $55,000 Skye Wilfred bull calves bound for this year’s National sale – which were impressive – and some general farm duties before heading to Inskip Point to board the barge to Fraser Island.
Normally, the short but often eventful drive off the bitumen at Rainbow Beach on to the super soft sand on the run to the barge can catch people out, but the Mitsubishi handled it with ease.
Arrived on Fraser late in the afternoon and enjoyed a great run along the eastern beach heading north to our destination, Happy Valley. Just on the approach to the Happy Valley on-ramp we encountered a massive deep washout which the Mitsubishi powered through without a problem.
Flew kites and enjoyed a few refreshments on the beach before retiring.
Day two - Friday, December 30;
Headed south to Eurong via excellent beach conditions and inland to Central Station to check out the museum and visit Wanggoolba Creek and boardwalk.
After lunch we tackled the 2.7km walk to The Basin Lake and returned late in the day via the inland route which was relatively easy going given the track was damp from heavy showers. The Mitsubishi’s superior ground clearance worked a treat on the sometimes heavily corrugated road.
Beach run home was good on the low tide.
Our children introduced us to a word game called Bananagrams which we played late into the night.
Day three - Saturday, December 31;
Left early for Lake McKenzie, but the beach was heavy going due to the high tide and with the Mitsubishi engaged in four wheel drive low range handled the heavy sand very professionally and never missed a beat.
I always felt comfortable with plenty in reserve as the Mitsubishi has plenty of torque down low.
Lake McKenzie is a picturesque fresh water perched lake and a favourite of the whole family with it’s crystal clear blue water providing great opportunities for endless social water sports.
The inland trip home was rough due to heavy traffic over the long weekend, but again the Mitsubishi handled the going with consummate ease.
We celebrated New Year’s eve with a few more refreshments followed by a wonderful family meal and card games.
Day four - Sunday, January 1, 2017;
Late start due to the previous night’s celebrations.
Quick run north to the coloured sands of The Pinnacles and back to the iconic Maheno wreck to spend time exploring what is left of this famous ship.
A short run south to Eli Creek and it’s popular boardwalk to spend the afternoon wading in the fresh water stream and paying beach cricket.
We immediately drew a big crowd of spectators who eventually joined in the fun.
Negating Eli Creek on a rising tide was no problem for the Triton.
Day five - Monday, January 2;
Spent the morning playing Finska (family log-tossing game which originated from Finland) waiting for the tide to drop to allow suitable beach driving to Lake Wabby.
Because of the higher tide we had to use the by-pass around Yidney and Poyungan Rocks which was tricky because of the heavy traffic, but the Mitsubishi managed to climb the rocks with the ‘agility of a mountain goat.’
We accessed Lake Wabby via the 1.6km walk in from the beach to find a beautiful body of emerald green water surrounded by steep sand dunes.
Our children spent the afternoon sand boarding down the steep slopes into the lake.
Back to Happy Valley and down to the beach for drinks at dusk.
Day six - Tuesday, January 3;
We left early to facilitate our 40km beach run north to Indian Head and on to Champagne Pools at Middle Rocks.
The run along the beach was great, but the going got a little tricky as we approached Indian Head and the by-pass behind the head land can be difficult, but the Mitsubishi made light work of the heavy sand.
Once the bypass was successfully negated it was smooth running on the beach between Indian Head and Middle Rocks.
We spent the day wading in the rock pools, enjoyed a picnic lunch on the foreshore and taking in the beauty of Fraser Island from the viewing platforms on the boardwalk into Champagne Pools.
The return trip was much quicker as the beach was like an airstrip.
Day seven - Wednesday, January 4;
Packed-up early and headed south for the barge via the eastern beach and around the notorious Hook Point to meet the barge.
Once on the mainland and back on bitumen the Mitsubishi Triton handled like a car with very little road noise and was a pleasure to drive.