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

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The growth in popularity of the long cab pick-up in the UK can largely be attributed to the L200. It is still among the best-selling in the UK, and proves that big commercial vehicles can tick the box as a work hauler and a passenger car.

Tough-sounding models like the Animal, Warrior and Barbarian took the L200 off of the building site, and into the supermarket car park with relatively luxurious trim and car-like equipment.

The L200 created the craze for high-spec pick-up

Two-door, two seat Single Cab and two-door, four-seat Club Cab configurations are available, but it's the more comfortable, four-door Double Cab variant that's of most interest.

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

With an auto ‘box, 0-62mph is covered in 13sec while the manual reaches the benchmark in a surprisingly-brisk 12.2sec. CO2 emissions are rated at 233 and 208g/km respectively. 4Work, 4Life, Warrior and Trojan models pack a rather more pedestrian 134bhp from the in-line four-cylinder, which makes the models good for a 0-62mph in around 15sec. Emissions range from 199 to 223g/km, depending on body configuration.

Despite the trappings of an SUV, the L200 is still fairly utilitarian - it is, at its heart, a rugged workhorse and appears on Mitsubishi's commercial vehicle price list. That means you get leaf spring suspension, a ladder frame chassis and a one-tonne payload. It'll tow 2700kg too.

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A 2.5-litre diesel is the only engine option, which is grumbly, but offers plenty of torque if not tremendous performance - Mitsubishi claims a 0-62mph of 12secs, or 13secs for the auto.

Like many of these specced-up pick-ups, the L200 has decent safety credentials, with a four star rating from Euro NCAP, although that's still a star behind the Ford Ranger. All models, from the comparatively industrial 4Work Single Cab upwards feature ABS with EBD, driver and passenger airbags and a collapsible steering column.

The L200 has a rugged feel dynamically too. Its capability to haul big loads means the rear springs are stiff, causing a crashy ride when unladen, particularly at low speeds. At high speeds, its bluff styling causes a fair degree of wind noise.

As long as you enter L200 ownership with the knowledge that you're buying a rough, tough commercial vehicle, and not a luxurious SUV, it will be a suprisingly enjoyable purchase.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior
Title: Editor-at-large

Matt is Autocar’s lead features writer and presenter, is the main face of Autocar’s YouTube channel, presents the My Week In Cars podcast and has written his weekly column, Tester’s Notes, since 2013.

Matt is an automotive engineer who has been writing and talking about cars since 1997. He joined Autocar in 2005 as deputy road test editor, prior to which he was road test editor and world rally editor for Channel 4’s automotive website, 4Car. 

Into all things engineering and automotive from any era, Matt is as comfortable regularly contributing to sibling titles Move Electric and Classic & Sports Car as he is writing for Autocar. He has a racing licence, and some malfunctioning classic cars and motorbikes. 

Mitsubishi L200 2006-2015 First drives