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Drive

The Mitsubishi L200

It’s not difficult to see why the pick-up formula works for both rugged hard work and lifestyle
It has car-like day to day driving comfort, making it equally suitable for ‘normal’ use

As we reported in our previous review, comfort, practicality, versatility, and exceptional load-space are the hallmarks of this latest L200.

 


 

The L200 comes in a range of body styles to suit different customer’s needs. Three body options are available, Single Cab, Club Cab (a single cab with a little extra room), and Double Cab Commercial variants are designed with the commercial market in mind. These versions are available in ‘4work’ and ‘4life’ versions, the former with an emphasis on practicality and affordability, and the latter adding comfort features such as manual air conditioning , power windows, keyless entry and central locking. You can up the spec ladder even further if you choose by going on a mission with the Trojan, Warrior and Barbarian versions, whilst the ultimate L200, both in power and spec is the Walkinshaw.

Keeping it simple

The L200 combines work and play in a user friendly package. Inside, the cabin is spacious and versatile; the sweeping facia design houses all the major controls that are within easy reach of the driver. Recent revisions include a more modern centre console and armrest with new handbrake and automatic transmission shift levers. The steering wheel has a multi-function set-up containing audio and cruise control switches and is tilt adjustable. The new instrumentation features black dials with clear white lettering and attractively lights up in red at night.

Near on half of this vehicle is devoted to load carrying space which is humongous! It has a payload of more than one tonne, an exceptional tow load of 3,000 kg, and a vast range of personalised customising options are on offer, from an aluminium tonneau cover to roof mounted DVD system if needed.

All L200 variants are powered by Mitsubishi’s latest 2.5 litre turbo charged diesel engine, available in Medium Power and High Power versions. The medium power engine produces peak power of 134 bhp, 213 lb torque, topping 103 mph and 0-62 mph in 15 seconds. The high power engine ups the power to 175 bhp, generates 258 lb of torque, tops 111 mph and achieves the 0-62 mph benchmark in 12.1 seconds. All are available with a five speed manual gearbox, whilst Warrior, Barbarian and of course the Walkinshaw are available as autos. The auto box is Mitsubishi’s INVECS-II transmission, a clever system that adapts its shift pattern to the driver’s own style, effectively reading when you are relaxed or in a hurry, changing gear accordingly.

Thankfully, the four-wheel drive system is easy to use, taking the undue complexity out of these systems. 2H (two wheel drive, high range) is the normal go-anywhere driver setting, whilst the easily engaged 4H (four wheel drive, high range – upto 62 mph) is for those extreme weather conditions when you need grip from all fours. When conditions get tougher even, you can engage 4L ( four-wheel drive Low range) – this is for when you’re tackling fording streams and climbing steep muddy banks. There’s also a Super Select 4WD System for quieter running and better economy with on-road driving.

On the road

The Mitsubishi L200 was designed to be a workhorse. It’s well up to that, being rugged and strong. Yet it has car-like day to day driving comfort, making it equally suitable for ‘normal’ use. Its spacious interior and added height advantage make it even more user friendly in that regard, although luggage space is strictly for the rear half as it’s limited in the cabin itself. Children and young people love being driven around in it, it being ‘fun’ perched up there in the cabin. The grip of four wheel drive in poor conditions is also reassuring for family use.

The tough springing and balance of the L200 means rear weight loads make little difference to the handling and the performance of this car in normal driving. Load weight is hardly likely to be an issue – it’s not a ‘tipper truck’ so rear load weights are unlikely to be high.

It’s not difficult to see why the pick-up formula works for both rugged hard work and lifestyle. The L200 just extends its appeal even further.

 

- Kevin Haggarthy