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MITSUBISHI L200

Double Cab DI-D 151 4Life 4WD

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Mitsubishi L200 - By Car & Driving

Score

Performance

Handling

Comfort

Space

Styling

Build

Value

Equipment

Economy

Depreciation

Insurance

Mitsubishi's L200 pick-up has evolved in its latest 'Series 5' guise. The experts at Car & Driving check it out....

Ten Second Review

Mitsubishi has sold over 4.1 million L200 pick-up models since production started. In the current fifth generation model, which now has an enhanced 3.5-tonne towing capacity, they claim to have brought us the most advanced version of this model yet.

Background

If you're buying a pick-up in the UK, then it's highly likely that you'll be looking at Mitsubishi's L200. This model has, after all, historically out-sold all its rivals. Its market leadership has much to do with the fact that this Japanese brand got its act together faster than other contenders in this sector, being the first back in the Nineties to recognise that pick-up ownership could be extended beyond farmers and jobbing builders into the SUV lifestyle segment. As a result, the original L200 model was allowed to take almost half the British market in this sector before its rivals caught up. These days, this vehicle is far more sophisticated - as it has to be in order to hold its own against a raft of tough rivals. This 'Series 5' version features a modern chassis and engine package that makes this much more accomplished vehicle. Torsional rigidity is very competitive, as is power and torque and more effort has been put into its on-road manners as well as its off-road ones. In short, the Japanese maker has drawn heavily on over four decades of experience in this segment.

Driving Experience

There's only so much you can do to make a pick-up enjoyable to drive but Mitsubishi has made more effort in this regard this time round, conscious that any L200 is likely to spend the majority of its time on tarmac. This Series 5 version's chassis is complemented by re-developed suspension, plus there are new shock absorbing body mounts, which absorb vibrations better than before and provide a quieter, more comfortable cabin. Thanks to the stiff chassis (shared with Fiat), handling is better than you might expect from a pick-up and body roll, usually something of a problem in vehicles with higher centres of gravity, should be kept to a minimum. The suspension set-up, which includes a large stabiliser bar and stiff front springs, should allow the L200 to handle and ride with reasonable comfort and agility. The engine should impress too. With 178bhp and 430Nm of torque on-tap, the 2.4-litre MIVEC turbodiesel unit provides this L200 with strong performance, the 0-62mph time rated at 10.4s. As before, the L200 can be driven in either 2WD or 4WD on tarmac or off road. In addition, the L200 is the only pickup that can tow 3.5-tonnes on tarmac in four-wheel drive.

Design and Build

The exterior design of this 'Series 5' L200 model hasn't changed hugely. More striking and vibrant exterior lines project a more commanding road presence and typical owners will like the muscular, planted stance. Mitsubishi says that this vehicle's 'athleticism' is expressed through sharp, muscular surfaces and a taut 'belt line'. It's certainly true that some style has been added to areas like the lights and the door handles to accentuate the sleeker body and prevent it from looking too workmanlike. The interior too, looks more classy and car-like - and it's usefully more spacious too. Take a seat at the wheel and around you, you'll find a driver-centric dashboard that centres attention on the road and includes much of the kind of important equipment you'd expect to see in a premium car. Most UK buyers will continue to want the Doublecab bodystyle with its rear seat. Here, as before, it's nothing like as comfortable as it is in the front, but thanks to the chassis and suspension changes too, it'll be far more comfortable to ride in this part of the car over bumpy roads.

Market and Model

L200 pricing sits in the £22,500 to £37,000 bracket, which as expected, makes it competitive in its segment. There are four different specifications; the entry-level 4Life version, the Titan, the Warrior and the top-spec Barbarian model. Transmission-wise, there's a choice of either a six-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic with sport mode. If you go for the entry-level 4Life variant, bear in mind that you'll get an engine with a bit less power and torque, though it does offer an extra few mpg as consolation. Onto equipment. Many models come with features like dual-zone climate control and a satellite navigation system. As for safety, all variants get Mitsubishi's 'RISE' ('Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution') system, plus an on-board Active Stability & Traction Control set-up and seven airbags,

Practicalities and Costs

Mitsubishi have utilised high-tensile steel extensively in the design of this L200's cargo bed and this allows it to have the largest carrying capacity in the segment without an increase in overall size and weight. The new, lighter engine was the first with an all-aluminium design and features lighter weight and a low compression ratio for greater efficiency. As a result, Mitsubishi claims the L200 uses between 11 and 47% less fuel than some of its competitors suggesting that the combined cycle economy figure will be somewhere between 39mpg and 44mpg, depending on the variant you choose. The brand reckons this means that your L200 will be able to travel up to 685 miles on a single tank, which gives it the longest range in its class.

Summary

The 'Series 5' model has moved the L200 game on in all key areas; performance, towing ability, economy, emissions and carrying capacity. Of all the updates though, it's the improvements to driving dynamics that we reckon most potential owners will notice most. This vehicle was always good off road. On-tarmac though, like many pick-ups, it wasn't that easy to live with. This latest generation version is far better in this regard, offering less bodyroll, a more comfortable ride and better refinement. As a result, it's easier to envisage as an only car if you need a tough working vehicle for the week that can also transport the family around at weekends. True, an L200 isn't as affordable as it used to be - but many will feel that the Series 5 improvements make that a price worth paying. It's still the go-to choice if you're looking for a tough, well specified go-anywhere pick-up.

Mitsubishi L200 - June Neary takes a look at Mitsubishi's seriously butch L200 Series 5 pick-up.

Score

Performance

Handling

Comfort

Space

Styling

Build

Value

Equipment

Economy

Depreciation

Insurance

June Neary takes a look at Mitsubishi's seriously butch L200 Series 5 pick-up.

Will It Suit Me?

As you probably already appreciate, pick-up trucks are not the most feminine of vehicles. Their popularity is based on a rough 'n' ready image, a chunkily imposing road presence and the theoretical ability to tackle some seriously arduous terrain. Everything on a modern pick-up seems to be oversize, chrome-plated or both. Then you have the fact that they're officially classed as commercial vehicles not cars. So why would anyone want by a pick-up truck to serve as family transportation? It's a question that I asked myself more than once before taking delivery of Mitsubishi's L200 Series 5 model. I was expecting something that was seriously rough around the edges, a handful to drive and uncouth in the extreme. I have to tell you, however, that the vehicle which turned up outside my house proved not to be lumbering beast that I had marked it down as. In the past, my less than favourable pick-up preconceptions may not have been confounded quite so thoroughly, but this L200 Series 5 is one of the latest breed of pick-ups. These models retain the snarling outward appearance while incorporating a softer side beneath. You can safely think of the L200 as a family 4x4 featuring an open loadbay on the back without being too far from the truth.

Practicalities

This L200's great strength is its versatility. This is a commercial vehicle but Mitsubishi have carefully devised a range of models that can cater for the full range of requirements from business to domestic. The versions that family buyers will be interested in are the double cabs - models with a full row of seats behind the driver and passenger - and, more specifically, the higher specification double cabs. The version I tested was called the Barbarian, an L200 derivative that fits this bill well. The double cab's five-seater layout provides a decent amount of legroom for the rear passengers and seat backs angled at 25 degrees which make a pleasant change from the staunchly upright seating provision found in older double cab pick-ups. The load area is shorter that in the more utilitarian single cab L200s but at 1,470mm in length, can still be described as massive by family 4x4 standards. The problem with the load bay is that it's exposed to the elements but this drawback is easily remedied by the range of load cover options that Mitsubishi can supply. With a full hard-top load cover on the back, the L200 can offer the kind of cavernous carrying capacity you would get in a large estate car with its rear seats folded down - the advantage being that, in the pick-up, you still have room to seat five people. If you have the kind of family which always seems to have assorted bikes, dogs, sporting equipment and other bulky items in tow, the ability to just chuck it all in the back without worrying about folding seats down, removing them completely or muddying upholstery is not to be underestimated.

Behind the Wheel

If you expect the worst combination of roly-poly body control and agricultural engine, the L200 will be a revelation. Pick-ups of old just weren't up to scratch when it came to serving as comfortable family transport but this model is massively superior to those. If you're comparing the L200 to the best driving experiences in the family 4x4 sector, it's still a bit off the pace but when you look at the other advantages the pick-up delivers, it seems churlish to be overly-critical. The L200 has a 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine which is available in 151bhp or 178bhp forms. The model I tried had 178bhp and this seemed adequate for the kind of relaxed cruising around I was doing. The vehicle corners quite stably considering how far it's jacked up on those oversize wheels but it really comes into its own on pot-holed streets and over speed humps. The heavy-duty suspension on the L200 takes this kind of urban obstacle in its stride having been designed to bounce off boulders and ford rivers out in the wilderness. Undulations in the road can set off a bouncing motion in the springs and you can imagine this provoking travel sickness in children on longer journeys. The cabin is very comfortable with a rugged feel to the dash and controls. Everything seems solidly put together and there's nothing obvious that little fingers could pull off, although more storage space would have been nice. The driving position is just like that of a conventional car, except that you're a good two foot higher up. Wind noise is quite prominent at motorway speeds and the engine isn't the most refined diesel out there but it's no more than you would expect from many family offroaders. It's easy to forget that you're at the wheel of a commercial vehicle.

Value For Money

The 'Series 5' L200 range is primarily based around the Double Cab bodystyle I tried, though you can also talk to your dealer about a Single Cab variant - or even a 'Club Cab' model with occasional rear seating. It's the Double Cab version we're focusing on here though, the only bodyshape really targeted for leisure use as well as industrial purposes. In this form, the L200 is priced in the usual £20,000 to £25,000 bracket, figures that of course exclude VAT. I say 'of course' because the fleets and small business who buy nearly all L200s are VAT-exempt, so there's no point in quoting an inclusive total. All models get a 2.4-litre MIVEC diesel engine, but in the entry-level '4Life' variant, it's supplied in de-tuned 151bhp form. Find the extra £1,000 that Mitsubishi asks to trade up to the 'Titan' model and you get the 'full-fat' 178bhp unit paired with the more sophisticated 'Super Select' 4WD system. If you want the option of mating this powerplant to the five-speed automatic gearbox I tried, then you'll need to choose between the two plushest versions, either the 'Warrior' model or the top leather-lined 'Barbarian' variant. In each case, auto transmission is offered at a £1,400 premium.

Could I Live With One?

The L200 Series 5 is a vehicle that can fulfil a number of roles and as such, it's an easy vehicle to live with. From the school run and trips to the shops to motorway journeys, towing a trailer and even serious offroad driving, it can do it all. Perhaps it's not as adept across the board in these situations as some other products but few can do all this with the same carrying capacity as the L200 and fewer still can do it at an equivalent price.

Trim - Cloth

  • Two tone cloth - Black/grey (£0.00)

Exterior Body Features

  • Metallic paint (£528.00)
  • Pearlescent paint (£570.00)
  • Solid paint

Paint - Metallic

  • Metallic - Amazon green (£528.00)
  • Metallic - Sterling silver (£528.00)

Paint - Solid

  • Solid - Polar white (£0.00)
  • Solid - Aztec red (£0.00)

Paint - Pearlescent

  • Pearl - Diamond black (£570.00)

General

  • Insurance Group 1: N
  • Insurance Group 2: N
  • Chassis Engine Number: N
  • Vin/Frame No.: N
  • Coin Series: N
  • Coin Description: N
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 120000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 8
  • Exhaust System: CATALYTIC CONVERTER
  • Front Brakes: VENTILATED DISCS
  • Rear Brakes: DRUM
  • Hand Brake: REAR DRUMS
  • Battery Volts: 12
  • Battery AH: 50
  • Alternator Amps: 75
  • Front Suspension: MCPHERSON STRUT
  • Rear Suspension: TORSION BEAM
  • Steering: PAS
  • Clutch: SINGLE DRY PLATE
  • NCAP Pedestrian - Discontinued February 09: 9
  • NCAP Front/Side Impact - Discontinued February 09: 9
  • Any aspect of the vehicles safety cause concern?: False
  • Coin Wheelbase Description Code: N
  • Coin Wheelbase Name Code: N
  • Coin Gross Vehicle Weight Code: N
  • Coin Power Output Code: N
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Running Cost League Headings: N
  • Ghost model for valuation purposes: False
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.3
  • Badge Power: 75
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: N1

Weight and Capacities

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1130
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1650
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 45
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1000
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 400
  • Payload: 520
  • Load Space Volume: 1
  • Boot Capacity Saloons: N
  • Luggage Capacity - 2nd Row Seats Up: N
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): N
  • Luggage Capacity - 3rd Row Seats Up: N
  • Luggage Capacity - 3rd Row Seats Down: N
  • Luggage Capacity - 2nd Row Seats Removed: N
  • Luggage Capacity - 3rd Row Seats Removed: N
  • No. of Seats: 2
  • Max. Roof Load: N
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): N
  • Plated Front Axle: N
  • Plated 2nd Axle: N
  • Gross Train Weight: 2650

Vehicle Dimensions

  • Length: 4030
  • Width (excluding mirrors): 1687
  • Wheelbase: 2510
  • Width (including mirrors): N
  • Height: 1490
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Load Length: 1200
  • Load Width: 1330
  • Load Height: 935
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10
  • Front Overhang: N
  • Rear Overhang: N
  • Side Load Door Width: N
  • Side Load Door Height: N
  • Lower Rear Door Width: N
  • Upper Rear Door Width: N
  • Rear Door Height: N
  • Load Deck Height: 765
  • Load Space Width Between Wheel Arches: 976

Engine and Drive Train

  • Bore: 69.6
  • Stroke: 82
  • CC: 1248
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Valve gear: DOHC
  • Fuel Type: DIESEL
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Compression Ratio: 17.6:1
  • Gears: 5 SPEED
  • Engine Make: N
  • Fuel Delivery: COMMON RAIL
  • Cooling System: WATER
  • Automatic Transmission: False
  • Manual Transmission: True

Performance

  • 0 to 62: 13.6
  • Top Speed: 103
  • BHP: 75
  • PS: False
  • 0 to 60: False
  • Engine Power KW: 55
  • Engine Power RPM: 4000
  • Engine Torque LBS.FT: 140
  • Engine Torque NM: 190
  • Engine Torque RPM: 1500
  • Engine Torque MKG: 19

Tyres

  • Tyre Size Front: 175/65 R15
  • Tyre Size Rear: 175/65 R15
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 15" STEEL
  • Tyre Make: N
  • Plated 3rd Axle: N
  • Plated 4th Axle: N
  • Alloys?: False
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Automatic Clutch: False

Emissions - ICE

  • CO2: 108
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 5
  • Noise Level dB(A): N
  • CO: N
  • NOx: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • HC: N

Fuel Consumption - ICE

  • EC: True
  • EC Urban: 54.3
  • EC Extra Urban: 80.7
  • EC Combined: 68.9

Fuel Economy

  • 44.1 MPG (Combined)
  • 37.2 MPG (Urban)
  • 49.6 MPG (Extra Urban)
Fuel Tank Size: 75 Litres

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