Lightly revised version of the Mitsubishi L200 pick-up hits the mark

Our Verdict

Mitsubishi L200 2006-2015
The L200 was the model that brought comfort to the pick-up class

The Mitsubishi L200 pick-up offers plenty of creature comforts in high-spec models. But at its heart, it’s still a workhorse

What is it?

It's a lightly revised version of the Mitsubishi L200 pick-up, a vehicle largely responsible for the growth in popularity of long-cab pick-ups that can double as work vehicles and passengers cars.

Overall the L200 is still the biggest-selling pick-up in the UK but it's the more comfortable double-cab lifestyle variant (rather than the utilitarian 4Work version) that's of interest to us.

Notably, the range-topping Animal version of the double-cab is no more, replaced by the range-topping Barbarian, which now comes with a 175bhp derivative of the 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine and the option of a five-speed rather than four-speed automatic gearbox as tested (a manual is standard).

There are also detail design changes to the grille, minor alterations to some trim, a bigger box-section on the ladder chassis to increase its rigidity, and a new stability control system.

What's it like?

Still fairly utilitarian. Don't come at an L200 expecting conventional-SUV levels of refinement; remember that this is at its heart a rugged workhorse and on Mitsubishi’s Commercial Vehicle price list.

So what you get is a leaf-sprung, separate chassis 4x4 with a one-tonne payload and the space to fit a pallet on its rear deck. Mitsubishi insiders refer to it as a truck rather than a car, and that's how best to think of it.

The diesel motor is a bit of a grumbly thing but has no shortage of torque. The 0-62mph claim is 13.0sec in auto form (a second shy of the manual), and while there's the option to makes shifts on the auto yourself, you might as well let the 'box get on with it. Shifts don't come silky smooth and the motor is vocal at higher revs, so it's best not to work it hard and just make relaxed progress.

Dynamically, too, the L200 feels like a rugged old thing. Because it can take such a heavy payload the rear springs are stiff, so the ride can crash when it’s unladen, but once up to speed it settles down – though there's quite a bit of wind noise.

At only 1.8 metres wide the L200 is susprisingly threadable, and its turning circle is good too, although it takes more than four and a half turns to reach from one lock to another, so there’s plenty of wheel-twirling to be done at any speed.

In top-spec Barbarian form, the L200 gets creature comforts including satellite navigation, a reversing camera and an electric rear window that allows access to the load bay. There's also leather trim, which lifts what is otherwise a fairly basic-trimmed cabin. The driving position itself could use going lower, with a steering wheel that adjusts higher, but the seats themselves are fine.

Should I buy one?

Maybe: if your weekday activities demand you carry loads outside the vehicle, and you need the ruggedness. It’s competitive with its peers. But as with all cars of its type, remember that at its heart it's a working rather than leisure vehicle.

 

Join the debate

Comments
26

23 March 2010

I think also that 'Barbarian' pretty much sums up the kind of person who'd buy one of these stupid things, and about the country that is its target market...

23 March 2010

these things days are numbered! why dont GM bring over the Maloo like the one that was on top gear! at least it had huge performance to go with its load lugging capabilities

23 March 2010

[quote VX220EDDIE]these things days are numbered! [/quote]

So are Mitsubishi's by the look of things.

Where has all Japanese design went to?

23 March 2010

We had "Warrior"

"Animal"

Now we have"Barbarian"

What's next ?

"Moron" ?

"Axe wielding Ape" ?

"Caveman" ?

F.F.S - target market ?????

23 March 2010

[quote 38carssofar]

We had "Warrior"

"Animal"

Now we have"Barbarian"

What's next ?

"Moron" ?

"Axe wielding Ape" ?

"Caveman" ?

F.F.S - target market ?????

[/quote]

Target market = America.

Incidentally, what will happen with your name when you buy your 39th car?

23 March 2010

[quote Zeddy]

[quote VX220EDDIE]these things days are numbered! [/quote]

So are Mitsubishi's by the look of things.

[/quote]

First they kill the Carisma (good), the Galant (boo hiss - also meaning they have no D-sector competitor), then they give us the new Lancer, which is dull and ugly, then they fail to give us the hatchback version in Evo trim, then they announce that the next Evo will be a hybrid (boo hiss), then they close the Ralliart division (boo hiss!), now they announce this. Seriously, something has gone catastrophically wrong at Mitsubishi. They need an Akio Toyoda type to rescue them from oblivion. In other words, an enthusiast.

Incidentally, why bother making so much different sheet metal for the Lancer when the Evo is prettier?

23 March 2010

[quote Autocar]

it takes more than four and a half turns to reach from one lock to another

[/quote]

I'm sorry - HOW MANY? Jeez...

Also, anyone else hate the way the cab/engine bay looks like it's been designed as part of a different vehicle to the rear bit, by a different designer? The old L200 was much better-looking. And I'd still have a Hilux. And I still would buy a Land Rover Discovery (or either old-type or P38 Rangey) and make a custom pickup body for it with the biggest Rover V8 I could get and an LPG tank slung underneath. Yes, even if it meant a chassis stretch, I'd do it. Frankly, this thing is hopeless. With Toyota snapping at their heels, this thing is hopeless. The Toyota 3.0 D-4D is much better (and there's talk of the Land Cruiser's diesel V8 making the jump to the Hilux too). A four or five-speed slushmatic is no good either, they need a good six or seven-speed torque converter (heck, use ZF's new 8-speed) or DSG thing - or a proper six-speed manual.

23 March 2010

Coming to a Gypsy camp near you...no tax disc as standard! Is the tow bar pack now a NC option?

23 March 2010

Why is everyone taking the p*** out of the L200.? Yes, it has leaf springs, yes it is rugged, but if you live in the country, need a 4x4 that has sufficient off-road abilities to cope with the average farm track and have a large muddy dog or three (optional "truck top" required), there is really nothing that can touch it! Discos are more expensive and are now too car-like (you cannot hose down the back of a Range-Rover) Horses for courses!

23 March 2010

[quote Rover P6 3500S]Target market = America.[/quote] Errrr, no. It's not even offered in the North American market. To start with it's really not cheap enough for a "small pick-up" (Ranger size, starts at just under £10k in Canada) and it's not big enough or powerful enough for midsize (Ford F-150 - smallest engine is a 4.3V8 and is a huge vehicle. Smallest diesel is on the F-250 and is a 6.4V8 (soon to be 6.7V8)). Target market as mentioned is generally farmers + families, rural folk etc who need something you can throw a sheep in the pick-up or some 6x4 ply, but also drive the kids to the nearest Tesco (needs 4-5 seats). Also need genuine 4x4 ability and decent reliability. Most pick-ups have leaf springs to save space (loadbay space), reliability, cost and high payload. Most transits etc have rear leaf springs.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka