These two stallwarts, the Nissan Navara PRO-4X and the Mitsubishi Triton GSR, certainly up the anté when it comes to ride, handling, comfort and off road-ability.
So which one pips the other at the post? And its not by much, either…!
Let’s see what Car Sales had to say in their review.
Back in Black isn’t just a great name for a rock and roll song, it could just as equally apply to these two, the Nissan Navara PRO-4X and Mitsubishi Triton GSR. Dressed up in black-pack accessories, they sell on a taffy meat as much as their capability. But which is the right one to buy? Let’s find out.
The PRO-4X is the new flagship of the recently updated Navara line-up, while the GSR does the same job for Triton. You can pick the PRO-4X out thanks to this blacked-out grille. It’s inspired by the Titan full-size pick-up sold in the USA. It really does give it a mean edge.
There are plenty more blacked-out bits and pieces, including the sailplane sports bar, side steps, roof rails and wheel-arch flares. This distinctive face has been around on the Triton for a few years now, but the GSR only showed up in 2020.
Blacked-out bits and bobs include 18-inch alloy wheels, the grille, headlight garnishes, door mirrors, door handles, side steps and the skid plate. The similarities between these two extend beyond the black-packs. You go to the engine base and they’re both powered by turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines of quite small capacity.
The Nissan has the claimed edge in power, torque and fuel economy, but there’s not a lot in it. If you’re familiar with the current generation Navara, then you’re gonna be familiar with the interior of the PRO-4X because not that much changes.
The PRO-4X is the only model in the Navara line-up that gets leather trim for its seats, but you still have to pay extra for heating and power. The key new feature of most Navaras, including the PRO-4X, is this very legible digital display in the centre of the instrument cluster. It includes a digital speedo, a very handy feature in these heavily-policed times. It’s also a feature missing from the Triton.
The Navara has pretty decent storage, cup holders, knick-knack holders here, centre lidded bin. But the reach down into the door pockets is pretty tight and squeezy, and there’s no seat pockets in the rear. With its recent update, the Navara has drastically updated its driver assist safety systems to include all important autonomous emergency braking and some other features. But in this way, it’s only playing catch up with the Triton.
The Triton’s interior feels that little bit more up market than the Navara. The leather’s a nicer quality and things like that. But also so importantly, reach adjustment on the steering, so the driver can get that a little bit more comfortable. The front seats also offer more support than the Navara, and paddle shifters on the steering wheel offer more control for the driver.
I like the way the Triton’s touch screen is set at the head of the dashboard, so your eyes don’t move too much from the road when you’re playing around with it. What I don’t like though is the volume controls being via button. I much prefer dials as the Navara has them.
Like the Navara, the Triton comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interface, which is handy because there’s no embedded sat-nav. Being a practical sort of vehicle, the Triton does have plenty of storage. You’ve got your big door bins, you’ve got your centre lidded bin, you’ve got a place here to stick your phone up the front.
But notice that the couple of knick-knack holes that the Navara has is missing from this vehicle. The Navara is not the most spacious of the current crop of dual cabs when it comes to the rear seat. It gets rear air con vents and a fold-down armrest with dual cup holders as well as door pockets. No, this is not an instant replay. We’ve actually shifted from the Navara to the Triton and rear seat space, again, is pretty tight.
In this case, there are recirculating air vents in the roof, while storage includes seat and door pockets and a fold-down armrest with cup holders. And so do the trays, and it’s the Navara which has the slight edge when it comes to carrying stuff. It also comes standard with a drop-in bed liner, although we prefer spray in. It also has movable utility track hooks to help stow gear. So there’s a lot to take in here, but the message is these are 4x4s with real off-road chops. So let’s see how they go.
One obvious thing about the Navara is just how quiet it is. It’s certainly quieter in the cabin on the ride than the Triton, and it’s probably one of the quietest dual cabs of all. Engine performance is in the same elite category. It feels lacking when pressed and sometimes, the order needs to be manipulated manually to get the response you need.
The PRO-4X is standard Navara when it comes to suspension, including that controversial five-link coil rear end. Which provides decent ride comfort over the big soft edge hits but contributes to a jittery ride over sharp edged inputs. A very important part of the PRO-4X’s standard equipment list are Yokohama Geolandar all terrain tyres. Now, we’ve found them to be excellent off-road, but also very good on-road in terms of the ride and handling as well and the quietness.
The PRO-4X is a competent off-roader, boasting high-low gearing and a locking rear diff. Our only real concern was ground clearance. You will run out of steam if the ruts get too big. One of the Triton’s strongest points is its engine. It really does have crisp response and strong delivery. It certainly outpoints the Navara. The Triton is a bit of a rough rider, to be honest.
The leaf spring rear end is pretty firm, and you get a lot of jolts and bumps transferred through to the cabin. The Navara definitely rides better. On paper, the Triton looks like it’s got the advantage in terms of off-road. It’s got a very sophisticated four wheel drive system. But the Navara, in our experience, was better because it had more articulation. Both of them will get you a fair way off-road, but just be aware of ground clearance issues if you start really pushing it.
On fuel economy, these two came out line ball after a hard test on and off road. So while both vehicles had their positives and minuses, there is no doubt the Navara was simply the better drive overall. And so to the verdict of our black-pack, dual-cab comparer… And it’s not black and white.
There are shades of grey here.
Both vehicles have their advantages and disadvantages. But despite its price disadvantage, we’re going to give it to the Nissan Navara PRO-4X. We’re very impressed by its on-road refinement, it’s off-road ability and of course, it has a theoretical towing advantage over the Triton as well. Hey, the PRO-4X might not be a classic, but it plays a pretty good tune.
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