Mitsubishi Triton vs Holden Colorado

How does Mitsubishi's Triton ute stack up against the Holden Colorado?

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Previously, we've put the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger head to head, as well as the HiLux against the Mitsubishi Triton to see which comes out on top. The Triton fared well against the nation's most popular selling ute from Toyota, so let's see which is better – the Triton or Colorado?

Ute history

Holden Colorado background

The Colorado nameplate launched in 2008, replacing the outgoing Holden Rodeo. The Rodeo was a compact pick-up truck, first released in 1980 and built by Isuzu. Before the Rodeo's introduction, Holden imported the Isuzu Faster, rebadging it as the Chevrolet LUV (standing for light utility vehicle). The Chevy LUV was sold as a Japanese truck tough enough to be backed by General Motors-Holden. An advert from the time says it's a one-tonne truck, engineered by Chevrolet in Japan and the US. The LUV had a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty and small 1.6-litre engine producing 65kW of power.

This vintage ad from 1984 shows the Rodeo as part of the Holden Action Squad.

By 2003, the Rodeo was based on the Isuzu D-Max. Buyers could choose between three engines, including a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel, a 3.6-litre Alloytec V6 (also found in the VE and VZ Commodores) and a 2.4-litre four-pot.

In 2008, Holden started using the Colorado name, with the ute still being built upon D-Max underpinnings. In 2016, GM announced it would no longer jointly develop the ute with Isuzu and that the Colorado would become a higher-end vehicle.

Mitsubishi Triton

The Triton (known internationally as the L200) started life in 1978 in Japan. Originally, Mitsubishi called the compact ute the Forte. Export models were given a 69kW 2.0-litre petrol Sigma engine and a 2WD transmission. At the time, Aussie buyers could also purchase a badge-engineered version of the L200, known as the Chrysler D-50. Later, engineers would design larger engines like the 2.6-litre Astron petrol block that had an increased 78kW of power. At the same time, a 4WD L200 was launched; by 1981 the L200 sold with a chain-driven transfer box. Optional accessories included a $900 fibreglass rear canopy and these models could wade through up to 450mm of water. Motoring writers at the time said it drove almost like a sedan.

The second-generation L200 launched in October 1986, now under the Triton name. Mitsubishi made the move to more powerful, turbo-equipped diesel engines.

The third re-design came in 1996, with a less boxy body profile and production moving to Thailand.

2005 saw a whole new Triton design, penned by then Mitsubishi designer, Akinori Nakanishi. This Triton would also go by the names of Strada in the Philippines, the Strakar (Strada-Dakar) in Portugal and the Hunter in Israel.

Finally, Mitsubishi unveiled the fifth-generation Triton in 2014. This model is sold around the world as the Fiat Fullback in Europe and as the Ram 1200 in other markets. Finally, Mitsubishi's design team gave the Triton a facelift for the 2019 model year, which shares only a handful of panels with the pre-facelift version. The re-design saw prices increase by $1,500.

Which is better, the Mitsubishi Triton or Holden Colorado?

Mitsubishi Triton

  • The Triton is cheaper. Going by the Manufacturer's Recommended List Price, a comparable entry-level Triton single cab ute will cost $25,990, whereas the Colorado sells for $26,550.
  • Warranty. Mitsubishi offers a 7-year warranty, with a 150,000km limit. The Holden Colorado has a five year/unlimited KM warranty (unless purchased as an ABN buyer). If you travel fewer miles, the Triton offers a better warranty, but the lack of limits on Holden's warranties will suit drivers who clock up big annual mileages.
  • The Triton has two engine options. Unlike the Colorado, which only comes with a 2.8-litre diesel, the Triton sells with the choice of a 2.4-litre petrol or 2.4-litre turbocharged diesel. However, the petrol engine has a high fuel usage at a combined 11.4L/100km.
  • The Triton is less powerful. Diesel Tritons have 133kW, available around 3,500rpm and a peak torque of 430Nm at a relatively low 2,500rpm. On the other hand, the Colorado produces 147Kw at 3,600rpm. Manual Holden utes generate a higher 440Nm at a lower 2,000rpm, while the automatic has 500Nm. That should mean the Colorado gets off the mark easier and can haul loads or trailers with less exertion.
  • The cheapest Triton has only a five-speed manual. The workhorse-spec GLX petrol Triton only has a five-speed gearbox. On paper at least, the Colorado's six-speed manual transmission should return improved fuel-efficiency at both low and high speeds thanks to a drop in engine revs.
  • Fuel tank. The Triton has a 75-litre fuel tank, one litre less than the Colorado's 76-litre reservoir.
  • Fuel economy. Putting the heavy drinking petrol engine to one side, the Triton uses less fuel than the Colorado. The most fuel-efficient Triton (GLX six-speed, manual, 2WD, single cab) uses 7.8L/100km combined, 9L/100km urban and 7L/100km extra-urban. The best performing Colorado (RG 2.8-litre, manual, dual cab, 4WD) drinks 7.9L/100km combined, 9.4L/100km urban and 7.2L/100km extra urban.
  • Servicing. Over the first three years of ownership, the Colorado costs $319, $499 and $399 to service, making a total of $1,217. The Triton varies from $597 over three years for the petrol and $897 for diesel models on a capped-price service promotion. Triton owners could save between $320 and $620 on dealer maintenance alone.
  • Turning circle. The Triton should be easier to drive around town, thanks to a smaller 11.8 metre turning circle. A Colorado needs 12.7 metres to make the same turn.
  • Easier to drive around town. In addition to a tighter turning circle, the Triton is physically smaller than the Colorado. It has a width of 1,815mm and is only 1,785mm tall. The Colorado is wider, at 1,870mm and up to 1,800mm tall.
  • Off-roading measurements. Tritons can approach climbs of 30 degrees without grounding out, and depart 22-23 degree slopes without problems. Ground clearance varies across the range from 200mm to 220mm. The Colorado can't approach quite as steep hills (28° approach) or break over as aggressive a ramp (22°). Ground clearance on the Colorado is 215mm, range-wide. It's also possible to order a Triton from the dealership with all-terrain tyres.
  • Dealer network. Mitsubishi has over 190 dealers nation-wide and Holden has 208, meaning there should be a Holden dealership more readily accessible to you.
  • The Triton won't tow as much. The Triton has a lower claimed towing capacity of up to 3,100kg. Holden claims the Colorado can handle braked trailers up to 3.5 tonnes.
  • Top-end Tritons have a lower payload capacity. If you purchase a top-spec Triton GLS Premium double cab, you'll be able to carry 858kg. A Colorado Z71 can carry 927kg.
  • The Triton has more safety technology. Mitsubishi's MiTEC safety system, installed on top-spec Tritons, is more expansive with Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Mitigation, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Multi Around Monitor, Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System and Automatic High Beam. Colorados have fewer safety assists.

Holden Colorado

  • Warranty. The unlimited-kilometre warranty on the Colorado may appeal to some buyers who cover longer annual distances but plan on keeping their vehicle for a shorter period of time (the Holden warranty is two years shorter than Mitsubishi's seven-year warranty).
  • Holden is an Aussie brand. Even though vehicles are now imported, Holden still operates a locally based engineering team that works on tuning vehicles to suit Australian conditions and buyers.
  • More power, torque and displacement. There's an old motoring cliche, there's no replacement for displacement. That certainly seems to be true as the 2.8-litre diesel donk in the Colorado ute makes more power and torque than the Triton's smaller 2.4-litre oiler.
  • Larger dealer network. There are 20 more Holden dealerships nationwide than there are Mitsubishi franchises.
  • The Colorado isn't as good looking (just). If car styling is important to you, the Triton looks more modern with a crisper front-end that appears far more modern than the Colorado. But the Colorado isn't a bad looking ute either; when the front-end is painted black, it looks nearly as good as the Triton.
  • Stick in the mud, safety wise. The Triton has more active safety assists available to buyers than the Colorado.
  • Colorado costs more money. The cheapest Colorado is still $560 more than an equivalent Triton.
  • Colorados use more fuel. The Colorado can't touch the Triton's smaller diesel engine for economy, with the larger ute paying the price for having a more gutsy power plant.
  • Holden doesn't include a tray. If you want a tray on your Colorado chassis-cab ute, you'll have to spend an extra $2,520 for an official aluminium, non-heavy-duty example. The cheaper Tritons appear to already have a tray fitted, though you should double check with your dealer.
  • Colorados have fewer safety assists. You can't even buy a 2020 model with Autonomous Emergency Braking.
  • Reviewers say on-road, it's better. Thanks to the local engineering and development work, journalists said the Colorado edges the Triton out in the nailing department.
  • Lower buyer ratings. On a popular site that lets owners rate their vehicle, the Colorado has an average three-star rating from 171 reviewers, versus the Triton's 3.5-star rating from 174 reviewers.

Mitsubishi TritonFinder Score: 80.5%
Value for moneyNot as big as rivals
Handy around townTowing performance
TechnologyBland interior
Full-time 4WD systemReviewers felt it could do with more gears
Safety assists
Holden ColoradoFinder Score: 80%
Aussie-tuned steering and handlingLacks safety assists
Solid engineEngine has to be worked sometimes
Large dealer networkAverage off-road performance
Ergonomic cabin

Verdict: Holden Colorado vs Mitsubishi Triton

There's just 0.5% separating these two popular utes according to their Finder Scores. It's a close call, but the Triton manages to just beat the Colorado in a photo finish. It does everything the Colorado can do, for less money and with more safety assists. It looks great, it's easier to drive around tight city streets and though Mitsubishi may have a slightly smaller dealer network, the actual difference is only 20 dealerships.

If you get a good deal on a Colorado though, you should certainly consider it. Driving both back to back, you may actually prefer the Holden.

Check our other ute comparisons:

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NRMA Used Car Loan
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