Just before lockdown I tested the latest Mitsubishi L200 pickup truck which, after yesterday’s news that the brand may no longer be available in the UK, is likely to be the last Mitsubishi I ever write about.
The L200 is one of few pickup trucks that have been available on the UK market for decades. Best suited as a lifestyle vehicle, rather than work-horse, build quality and driving mannerisms have always been average, at best.
With more-than-capable working pickups such as the Toyota Hilux or the D-Max from Isuzu now offering more for those who want style, as well as capability, the Ranger from Ford and the Mitsubishi L200 have had to step up their game in order to stay on the radar with in this segment.
It’s safe to say the Ford is doing this better than Mitsubishi, as the latter still doesn’t have great payload weight compared to rivals and to achieve the all-important 3.5t towing capacity, you need to do it with a tri-axle trailer, otherwise you’re limited to just 3.1t and a gross train-weight much less than rivals.
Despite offering a reasonable amount of standard equipment, the Mitsubishi L200 is still incredibly dated inside, with a build quality that probably won’t withstand the abuse of those using it as a regular utility vehicle, never mind coping with the demands of somebody who may use this as a full-time working vehicle.
Good news comes with the fact that this latest Mitsubishi L200 is more grounded to drive and much more agile than its predecessor. Its 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel engine, although producing less power than the previous model, with just 150ps, gets the job done suitably thanks to its 400Nm of torque, achieving a combined return in the late 20’s mpg.
This latest pickup from Japan also looks fantastic. Sleek headlights blend into the front grille, whilst the front bumper features some very bold chrome styling and its box-like shape sits in harmony with the squared-off wheel arches.
The L200 range starts from £21,740 with the top of the range ‘Barbarian X’ as tested, starting from £32,530. Sunflower Orange pearlescent paint and retractable tonneau cover with stainless steel sports styling bar, means this model tested comes in at just shy of £35,000.
In return for your hard-earned, you get a super select four-wheel-drive system with hill descent control and off-road mode, forward collision mitigation system, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, LED headlights with auto levelling, LED daytime running lights, LED puddle lamps and LED automatic high beam.
This trim also comes equipped with front and rear parking sensors, 18-inch alloy wheels, soft opening spring assisted tailgate, 360 degree camera, heated leather seats and steering wheel, and front and rear interior mood lighting with illuminated door entry guards.
An adequately sized touchscreen built into the dash features smartphone link display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with a plethora of USB ports inside to keep your devices at optimum charge, as well as an HDMI port and Bluetooth telephony.
Inside is, as you would expect from a vehicle designed around lifestyle, rather comfortable. Offering enough room for four adults to travel with ease, the L200 also coped incredibly well with a pair of swivel ISOFIX child seats, whilst the pick-up area swallowed a double buggy without any issues.
Reports suggest that the current Mitsubishi range will be available for as long as they comply with EU regulations. However, with uncertainty as to how long that will be, the dealer network made dwindle sooner, rather than later, so if you feel that the L200 is the vehicle for you, now would be a good time to get into your local dealership and get a deal done.
Mitsubishi’s L200 comes with a 5-year, 62,500 mile warranty with servicing advised annually, or every 12,500 miles. All prices stated are plus VAT.
Fact File for model tested
Make : Mitsubishi
Model : L200
Trim : Barbarian X
Engine : 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel
Gearbox : 6-speed automatic
Cost circa : £35,000
Words & Photos: GRAHAM BAALHAM-CURRY
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