Mitsubishi L200 Pick Up Truck Road Test

Produced By Peter Grunert

Pluses: The latest Mitsubishi L200 pickup truck cuts its own self-confident style. Great interior space. Awesome residual values.

Minuses: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Loadspace isn't the biggest. So many versions, which to go for?

Pick Up Trucks Direct Rating: No other pick up truck looks quite like this one. The Mitsubishi L200 offers a fine combination of all-round abilities and can be specced up like the plushest of SUVs.

Pulling Power

The Mitsubishi L200 pickup truck is the UK's best selling pick up, a vehicle with a fan base that stretches into tens of thousands. When the time came for such a firm favourite to go through a radical revamp, the temptation could have been there to send it on the equivalent of an Elvis-style fried peanut butter sandwich diet, increasing in size and weight and basking in the glory, only to ultimately lose its edge.

Not so. The latest Mitsubishi L200 pickup truck is actually lighter, smaller and nimbler than the model it replaces. In some respects, it's almost a masterpiece of restraint.

At its heart beats a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel with sophisticated common-rail direct injection. In standard form, this develops an adequate but far from class-leading 134bhp and 231lb ft of torque. Mitsubishi's optional power upgrade is the answer (standard on Animal versions), upping the output to 160bhp and a mighty 302lb ft.

Toughing It Out

More improvements lurk in the new Mitsubishi L200's mechanical spec. Like Isuzu with the Rodeo, Mitsubishi has binned the old model's vague recirculating ball steering in place of a sharper rack and pinion set up. The Mitsubishi L200 pickup also has the tightest turning circle of any pick up out there right now, at 5.9 metres.

Underneath remains a relatively simple and sturdy ladder-frame chassis, now 50 per cent more rigid than before. On the road, high-speed stability is improved and the Mitsubishi L200 tackles corners like a car with its centre of gravity far closer to the Tarmac.

The back-up of four-wheel drive hardware is still there though. 4Work and 4Life models have the choice of a rear-wheel drive mode with four-wheel drive reserved for slow off-road duties only. Mitsubishi L200 Warrior and Animal models add Super Select 4WD, for ultimate traction at higher on-road speeds. These also get M-ASTC (Mitsubishi Active Stability and Traction Control), the first time such an electronic skid-prevention system has been offered for a pick up truck.

The Wide Open Spaces

Careful - it's about to get complex. On the one hand, double-cab versions of the new Mitsubishi L200 offer best in class rear legroom. Warrior and Animal versions even come with an electrically retracting cab window, offering extra ventilation and easy access to the loadbay. The downside is less loadbay length than in many other double-cab pick ups, at 1,325mm.

There are other versions to ponder. At the other extreme is the workhorse Mitsubishi L200 single-cab. The back seats are missing but in their place is now a vast loadbay, measuring 2,220mm front to back and able to swallow up a 1,120kg payload (next to the double-cab's 1,050kg max). Total braked towing capacity for all models is 2,700kg.

The most recently launched version of the Mitsubishi L200 pickup truck has a body style that aims for an effective compromise. That's the 'club cab', with a cargo area that sits neatly between the two in size and yet that also offers two small jump seats suitable for short journeys (or longer journeys, if you really aren't keen on your passengers).

In For The Long Run

Plenty of reassurance here. Let's keep this short - services are only needed every 12,500 miles, the warranty stands for three years and an epic 100,000 miles, and over three years and 60,000 miles of use, the Mitsubishi L200 Warrior pickup truck is predicted to retain an unmatched 48 per cent of its value.

Expect less clarity when your glance turns to the levels of equipment on offer, though. The truth is that the only real limit on the specification you can now choose for an Mitsubishi L200 pickup is the size of your wallet.

Even the seemingly basic 4Life comes with a CD player and air conditioning. Highlights of the Mitsubishi L200 Warrior pickup truck are climate control, 17-inch alloys, an alarm and dark-tinted 'privacy glass', while the Mitsubishi L200 Animal adds leather trim, a Smartnav system and chromed styling accents.