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Mitsubishi L200 real pick-me-up living life to full

17:01 01 November 2015

Mitsubishi L200 has cornered the pick-up market and broken into the lifestyle sector.

Mitsubishi L200 has cornered the pick-up market and broken into the lifestyle sector.

Mitsubishi

Workhorse, lifestyle accessory, family transport… with pick-ups proving increasingly popular, motoring editor Andy Russell finds out how Mitsubishi has loaded up the appeal of its latest best-selling L200.

Loads of appeal

Mitsubishi isn’t a big brand in the UK but its L200 pick-up leads its sector sales a loyal following over its 33 years and four generations.

Now Mitsubishi has taken the L200 to a new level, making the Series 5 as capable on road as it is on a building site or tackling the really rough, tough stuff.

The L200 is as much about lifestyle as being a workhorse, an alternative to a 4x4 sport utility vehicle, borne out by it accounting for nearly one in every two private pick-ups sold in the UK last month with retail sales up 62%.

Mitsubishi L200

Price (including VAT): Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian £28,558 (automatic £30,238). Other models: 4Life £23,698; Titan £24,898; Warrior £27,658

Engine: 2,442cc, 178bhp, four-cylinder turbo diesel

Performance: 0-62mph 10.4 seconds; top speed (automatic 11.8 seconds, 109mph)

MPG: Barbarian, 34.9; extra urban 49.6; combined 42.8 (automatic 33.6, 43.5, 39.2)

CO2 emissions: 173g/km (189g/km)

Insurance group: 12E/13E (out of 50)

Warranty: Five years or 62,500 miles

Will it fit in the garage? L 5,285mm ; W (excluding door mirrors) 1,815mm; H 1,780mm

(ends)

Looks the part

The new L200 my be all and significantly improved in 330 areas, but from any angle, it is unmistakably a Mitsubishi with that big, bold front and distinctive ‘J’ curve body design between the double cab and cargo area, designed to not only add visual presence but helping to improve comfort, cabin space and even they way the L200 drives.

Some bold claims

Mitsubishi says the new L200 raises the bar for pick-ups, claiming best-in-class fuel efficiency, performance, emissions, manoeuvrability, carrying capacity, four-wheel drive ability and aerodynamics.

At its heart is a new 2.4-litre turbo diesel, putting out 178bhp in all but the entry model, mated to six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.

The engine is fit for purpose with lots of low-down pull and peppy enough to get past slower traffic easily. Wind it up and it becomes gruff you rarely need to and, driven gently, the automatic returned 34-35mpg, nudging 40mpg on a run.

How it drives

The new L200 was engineered for sport utility vehicle levels of refinement with fully revised suspension and measures to absorb road noise and vibration. For a vehicle so capable off-road, it is surprisingly accomplished on-road but the heavy-duty suspension jars at low speeds over pockmarked surfaces and potholes. That said, as pick-ups go, the L200 is as good as it gets.

The L200 is huge but, with its compact wheelbase, makes good progress on twisty country roads and doesn’t feel too roly-poly and the steering is reassuringly positive.

A rotary controller between the front seats switches the drive system from two-wheel to four-wheel drive – it can also be locked into permanent 4WD - and there’s also low ratios for serious off-road use.

Space and comfort

It’s not difficult to see the attractions of double-cab pick-ups to families and people with active lifestyles. Once you’ve climbed in – side-steps are useful if you have short legs – there’s plenty of space for five adults when it comes to head and legroom.

Higher-spec models add a host of car-like creature comforts while trim materials look and feel up to the job but, most importantly, will also stand up to hard use and be easy to clean.

The cargo bed is deeper, for more volume, and the L200 also boasts best-in-class combined load bed capacity and full towing capability of 4.1 tonnes. Add the security of a lockable cover or a removable protective cab and you have a versatile load-carrier that can be adapted to meet a variety of needs and tasks.

A load bay lining will protect the paintwork and you can just hose it out if it gets mucky.

At the wheel

A fully-adjustable driving position, high, commanding driving position and large windows make for good all-round visibility – just as well because you need it manoeuvring the large L200 in tight spaces. Big door mirrors and the reversing camera on my test car were a huge help but it’s tricky to judge where the front corners are.

Final say

It’s not difficult to see why pick-ups are proving popular as one-size-fits-all lifestyle vehicles - go for the range-topping L200 Barbarian and it’s very civilised too.

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Meet the Editor

Andy Russell

Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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