Mitsubishi knows that Britain is Europe’s biggest market when it comes to pick-ups. The new L200 Series 6 model is a big deal for the Japanese automaker.
In its 40th year, the L200 is almost as old as me, but like Doctor Who, it regenerates every few years – usually with a bolder look. The Series 6 doesn’t disappoint and delivers with aplomb, but it’s not an entirely fresh truck.
The load bed is still 1,470mm wide and 1,520mm long, and the pick-up contains parts of the Series 5’s cabin and chassis. However, it houses a new engine, better suspension and a bunch of tech and safety features.
A Club Cab model, seating four-up and boasting a longer 1,850mm bed kicks off the L200’s line-up. But for this review, I drove the flagship Double Cab Barbarian X – a five-up pick-up, stuffed full of gadgetry and kitted-out with a five-speed automatic transmission.
New technology includes a lane-departure warning system, rear cross-traffic alert, a blind-spot warning system with lane-change assist, as well as trailer stability assist. The new features make the L200 far more like an SUV to drive.
The Barbarian X houses luxurious touches including heated leather and Alcantara electrically-operated seats, as well as a heated steering wheel. The essentials of the cabin haven’t changed much, though. The switchgear is, as always, a cinch to use, and everything feels well screwed together. There’s a lot of space, too.
The new L200’s steering is heavy, but the vehicle is generally impressive on the move. The chassis, combined with a more intricate rear leaf spring arrangement, eases the bounciness you get with pick-ups. And while Mitsubishi’s new 2.3-litre diesel powerplant makes itself known, it’s not as agricultural-sounding as before. With only 150ps on tap to shove the two-tonner onwards, you’d think pace might be an issue. Not so; with 400Nm of torque, gaining momentum is easy. What’s more, you can expect around 29mpg for the top-of-the-range model tested here.
With factory-fitted high and low-range gearing, selectable four-wheel-drive, and a variety of off-road settings, 2019’s L200 is an accomplished pick-up away from the blacktop, too, even on bog-standard road tyres.
Don’t worry; I haven’t forgotten the all-important load-lugging part of this review. In a nutshell, the enhanced suspension and bigger front brakes bring the payload capacity to 1,080kg. As for towing, you’ll be able to pull 3,500kg. Mind you, that’s for a three-axle trailer. If you only have a two-axle unit, the limit is 3,100kg. Whichever way you slice it, that’s enough for a standard caravan or horsebox.
To sum up, the new 2019 Mitsubishi L200 blends the rigours of workhorse duties with decent road behaviour and excellent levels of kit. It’s also priced competitively. So, if you’ve never dared go for a pick-up because you’re used to your comfy, resilient SUV, maybe now is the time to rethink? And don’t forget double-cab pick-ups qualify for VAT reclaims. That’s if your business is VAT registered, of course!
Car reviewed: Mitsubishi L200 Double-Cab Barbarian X Auto 4wd, on the road price £34785 0-62mph 11.2secs Top speed 110mph Engine 2442cc 4-cylinder turbo diesel Euro 6 Fuel Economy Combined 37.7mpg CO2 emissions 196g/km Max Power 178PS@3500rpm Torque 430Nm@2500rpm Transmission 6-speed automatic with manual mode
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Tim Barnes-Clay qualified as a journalist in 1994 and is a member of the Midland Group of Motoring Writers. He initially trained in broadcast journalism and has worked as a reporter and news reader at various radio stations in East Anglia and the Midlands. He has also been a motoring journalist for the Mirror Group’s L!ve TV cable network and a presenter, reporter and producer at ITV Central in Birmingham. Tim is now an automotive writer, focusing on car reviews. He has media accreditation with all motor manufacturers’ press offices, and this enables him to test drive the latest cars. He also attends new vehicle press launches at home and abroad.
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