What is it? The new Mitsubishi L200 is now in its 5th generation and is at the forefront of the pick-up market, the improvements made include a new engine, sleeker styling and better drive quality. Every year the pick-up market becomes more competitive and the new Mitsubishi L200 aims to keep one step ahead of the competition.
Who is it aimed at? Pick-ups are mainly used by builders, farmers and trades people, but with the added refinement of newer pick-ups they can also prove to be very useful and spacious family vehicles.
Styling? Mitsubishi styling has always been a little bit different, the series 4 L200 had a lot of curvy panels which didn’t always appeal to the masculine side of what a pick-up is expected to look like. The new L200 Barbarian looks more the part with an aerodynamic shape and swooping lines that buck the trend of the square muscular shape typically used by other manufacturers. The J Line adopted by Mitsubishi which refers to the shape around the cab and allows the rear cab more space and greater rear seating position. The Barbarian spec includes an abundance of chrome finishing and the LED daytime running lights come as standard.
Under the bonnet? An all new all aluminium engine has been developed by Mitsubishi. The 2.4 litre turbo diesel power train gives out 178 bhp and has a 0-62mph of 10.4 seconds. The variable valve timing and new technology surrounding this engine enable it to be more efficient than competitors and the lightness of the aluminium contributes to this. A 6 speed manual or 5 speed automatic are available with the L200. I would have preferred to see a 6 speed auto to further improve drivability and emissions.
The engine pulls very well and for a pick up the noise emitted is fairly low, of course there is some low end grunt which is what you like to hear from a tough looking machine.
What about inside? Lets not forget this is a workhorse, the majority of L200’s sold in the past have been used by trades people, they need to be able to withstand dust and harsh treatment. The cab and interior is well put together, the seats are comfortable and the dash layout is simple but effective. The Barbarian range gets mood lighting and blue lit side guards which is a nice addition. A suitable driving position is easily achieved and entry in and out of the cab is effortless unlike the Ford Ranger that requires a step ladder.
There is plenty of plastic in the cabin which does let the quality down a bit, but the cabin is a huge improvement on the previous model.
On the road? Its easy to forget that you are driving a 2.9 tonne pick-up at times, on regular occasions I drive a series 2 L200 and the ride quality and handling are prehistoric. The series 5 L200 is a great car on the road, refinement has been improved and road noise lessened, although not totally irradicated. The body roll has been substantially reduced but don’t forget this is a long and very heavy truck. Off-road the 4 wheel drive system is good and allows different settings depending on the terrain. The 5 speed automatic shifts smoothly and overall the new L200 drives very well.
What about Safety? There is an array of safety features incorporated into the Mitsubishi L200. These include 7 airbags, Hill Start Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Trailer Stability Assist. On paper the L200 has many more safety features than its rivals and only the Ford Ranger and VW Amarok are anywhere near the standard of the L200.
And Options? With any pick up there are a huge amount of options available depending on what the intended use of the vehicle is, a tow bar (£306 +VAT) and load liner (£177 +VAT) are essentials for the working L200. The test vehicle came with a Fullbox cover which is an extra £1932 + VAT. The Barbarian model is top of the range and does include Bi Xenon headlamps and sidesteps as standard.
Will it break the bank? Mitsubishi have tried extremely hard to make the new series 5 L200 more economical than its rivals, the 6 speed manual is more economical at a claimed 42.8 mpg compared to the 5 speed auto at 39.3 mpg, the next nearest is 38.7 mpg from the Isuzu D Max. The emissions are also reduced at 169 g/CO2 per km which absolutely trumps the competition. Warranty is a strong 5 years or 62,500 miles and service intervals are set at 12,500 miles.
Verdict? Mitsubishi have had plenty of practice at making a good pick-up and they have used all there experience in putting together the series 5. From previous experience the series 4 didn’t have the greatest of engines and I hope that that hasn’t put off potential buyers of the new L200. The new L200 Barbarian has made improvements in every single area, the styling is a breath of fresh air, the engine is lighter more economical and on paper beats all the competition. The figures speak for themselves and the ride quality and comfort is a welcomed improvement. With the imminent arrival of a new Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi have pulled out all the stops on this series 5 L200.
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian
Max speed: 111 mph
0-62 mph: 10.4 seconds
Emissions: 169 g/km
Model price range: from £23,799 manual/ £25,199 automatic
No of Doors: 4
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 42.8 mpg
Length: 5285 mm
Width: 1815 mm
Height: 1780 mm
Wheelbase: 3000 mm
Towing capacity (un-braked) 3100kg
9th September, 2015