Toyota Hilux vs Mitsubishi Triton vs Ford Ranger: Which should be your next pick-up truck?

Eric · Apr 2, 2020 02:37 PM

Toyota Hilux vs Mitsubishi Triton vs Ford Ranger: Which should be your next pick-up truck? 01

When it comes to pick-up trucks, practically everyone’s answer is the Toyota Hilux, thanks to a solid reputation for reliability and durability it built over the years.

But what about other options like the Mitsubishi Triton and Ford Ranger? Are the other trucks worth your hard-earned money?

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Toyota Hilux – the de-facto option for many, for a good reason

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For all intends and purposes, the Toyota Hilux fulfills its duty as a workhorse really well. In the event that the Hilux needs to be serviced or repaired, Toyota’s wide network of service centres can attend to owners quickly.

Even in remote, rural parts of East Malaysia, Hilux parts can even be found in a village grocery store.

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Ease of servicing aside, the Toyota Hilux’s interior is also reasonably practical – it offers a chilled compartment above the glovebox and a number of cubby holes for storing various small items.

The Triton also comes equipped with Active Traction Control (A-TRC), which makes novice drivers look like seasoned off-roaders.

Despite its 2.8-litre turbodiesel pushing out 177 PS and 450 Nm, in real-world driving conditions, the engine isn’t as powerful as the numbers suggest.

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The Hilux’s lack of performance can be attributed to its kerb weight, as it tips the scales at 2,100 kg, making it one of the heaviest pick-up trucks on the market, hurting its power-to-weight ratio.

Its 84.3 PS per tonne power-to-weight ratio falls behind the Ford Ranger (98.8 PS per tonne) and Mitsubishi Triton (93.8 PS per tonne).

That said, cabin refinement of the Toyota Hilux could have been better, as engine noise is rather noticeable at speeds. But for rough use, hard and tough wearing plastics is what you want in a truck.

The Hilux's safety equipment is also comparatively lacking when compared to the Triton or the Ranger, as Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are the only two features the Hilux can be optioned with. No ADAS features like AEB or FCW here.

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Mitsubishi Triton – the most comfortable pick-up, suitable for daily driving

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Priced from RM 135,200, the Mitsubishi Triton is the cheapest pick-up truck with in this comparison. In fact, the Triton Adventure X is the cheapest pick-up truck to feature Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB).

Cheap as it may be, it still comes with a rather comprehensive 5-year/200,00 km warranty, putting it ahead of the Toyota Hilux (5-year/150,000 km) and the Ford Ranger (3-year/100,000 km).

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Further adding to the Triton’s credibility is its ride comfort – the Triton is the most comfortable in its segment, thanks to its angled rear seats and well-tuned suspension set-up.

The Triton's Super Select 4WD II feature is also far more sophisticated than rivals, as explained here.

Despite the Triton’s comfortable ride, its tiny 6.5-inch touchscreen head unit is a let-down, especially when compared to the Ranger’s SYNC 3 system.

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The saving grace is the inclusion of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, keeping the Triton up with times.

Interestingly, the Triton's 5.9-meter turning radius is on par with the facelifted Honda Civic, making parking maneuvers a breeze.

Behind the wheel, we noticed that the Triton, despite getting a new 6-speed automatic, does not feel as eager to accelerate as the predecessor model.

Whilst climbing up steep hills, we noticed that the gear ratios are rather poorly-matched, as the transmission was hunting between second and third gear too frequently as neither ratios were suitable.

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Ford Ranger – redefining the segment

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The Ford Ranger is another popular pick-up truck in Malaysia, as the Ranger practically redefined how people perceived pick-up trucks.

Gone were the days when pick-up trucks are seen as workhorses, carrying construction tools and workers.

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That changed when the T6-generation Ford Ranger was introduced here, as Ford managed to change the public’s perception that a pick-up truck can also double as a lifestyle vehicle, owing to its excellent ride and handling capabilities.

Not only does the Ranger Wildtrak has the smallest engine here (2.0-litre turbodiesel), it is also the most powerful of the bunch, as the engine does 213 PS and 500 Nm. Power is deployed to all 4 wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission.

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Inside, the Ford Ranger Wildtrak’s cabin is a nice place to be in – there are orange stitches that lifts the ambience, while the SYNC 3 infotainment system is pleasant to operate.

Despite all that, the Ranger’s warranty is the shortest among the trio as Ford Malaysia only offers a 3-year/100,000 km warranty.

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The Ranger’s manual shifting buttons are also placed awkwardly – they are placed on the gear lever, much like the (now discontinued) Fiesta and Focus, making it far less intuitive to change gears manually than paddle shifters.

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