I’m writing this first report exactly three months to the day since I was scheduled to take delivery of the Mitsubishi L200. It was delivered to Simon Thompson in the West Midlands, so the plan was to meet in Bristol and swap cars. I’d drive home in the L200 and he’d take custody of the Peugeot 508 SW. You don’t need me to tell you why this didn’t happen, but I’m pleased to say that the swap has now occurred and the L200 is in Devon. It was good to meet Simon, albeit at a social distance. For what it’s worth, I think he’ll enjoy the Peugeot – it was built for the kind of driving he’ll do in it.
Back to the L200. When our esteemed editor circulated an email asking if anyone would like to run the pick-up as a long-termer, I jumped at the chance. In these parts, pick-ups are as common as supercars are in Knightsbridge. Farmers, farriers, tree surgeons, vets, lifeguards and Dartmoor Rangers are just six of the job titles that I can link to a pick-up of some description. We’ve owned an Isuzu D-Max since 2014 and have found it to be far more useful than an SUV. It has handled everything we have thrown at it without fuss and with 100 per cent reliability. The Mitsubishi L200 has a tough act to follow.
This is the sixth-generation of a vehicle that can trace its roots back to 1978. Since then it has amassed 4.7 million sales, making it one of the world’s most popular pick-ups. Outside of North America, I’d wager that the L200 name is second only to the Hilux in terms of brand awareness. Mitsubishi says it’s the “best looking and most capable” pick-up it has ever produced. You can make up your own mind on the styling, but you can’t deny that it stands out, especially in the flagship Barbarian X trim with optional Aeroklas hardtop canopy. It doesn’t lack confidence. It needs to be confident, because the L200 accounts for a third of Mitsubishi sales in the UK.
Speaking in kilograms, the new L200 boasts a payload of up to 1,080kg, a gross train weight of up to 6,155kg and a 3,500kg towing capacity plus up to 625kg payload. Power is sourced from a 2.3-litre turbodiesel engine producing 148bhp and 295lb ft of torque. Mitsubishi claims the L200 with a six-speed manual gearbox is capable of achieving 32.1mpg, dropping to 29.1mpg in a version with the six-speed automatic transmission. It has a huge 21-litre AdBlue tank, which should be enough for 12,000 miles. Now that’s music to my ears.
The Barbarian X trim means that our test car comes pretty much fully loaded. The optional Electric Blue metallic paint is a bit ‘in your face’ for these parts, but I’m sure it will dull down with some Dartmoor mud and a run-in with a granite post (just kidding, Mitsubishi). There are a few tasty or tasteless (depending on your point of view) features on the inside of the pickup. The ‘six-pack’ leather seats are cool, but the illuminated door entry guards might ruffle a few feathers at the local tavern. Still, I reckon the locals will appreciate the fact that the L200 can be driven in four-wheel-drive mode at any speed and be switched from two-wheel-drive to four-wheel-drive at speeds of up to 62mph. These two factors alone give the L200 a significant edge over our D-Max.
It’s early days. Aside from the trip down the M5 motorway and a few local trips, the L200 hasn’t seen much use. It’s worth mentioning that Simon had to take the L200 into a dealer to fix a broken boot handle and replace a wire behind the dashboard that was stopping the keyless entry from working properly. With lockdown restrictions lifting slowly and a general desire to get out and about, I should have plenty to report back on in the next issue.
Date arrived 10th March 2020
Economy (WLTP combined) 29.1mpg
Economy (On test) 28.5mpg