For over 30 years, the Mitsubishi L200 has remained one of the most popular pick up trucks in the UK. This latest model is the fifth generation model and in a market that’s become flooded with ‘pick-ups for the road’ the L200 has really had to up its game to keep up with some fresh-faced competition.
Straight away the DNA from the older L200’s is evident, it retains it rugged looks, but the edges have been softened to appeal to a much wider audience and give it a fresh modern stance.
Inside, the cabin is much more of a workhorse than rivals like the VW Amarok and Nissan Navara. The switchgear is a little old hat and while the materials are durable, they do have a bit of a cheap and scratchy feel to them. The after market sat nav system though I one of the most complicated we’ve used though, and you will need a bit of time to get to grips with it.  Nevertheless, there’s plenty of head and leg room for a six footer in the front and in the back. The low seating in the back though means that taller passengers will have to bunch their knees up a bit.
Many pick up drivers will me more interested in how much space there is in the back though. As you’d expect, the load bay has increased over its predecessor, but it’s pretty much on par with most of the competition. It will carry just over a tonne in the back and if you are looking to use it to tow, then it will pull a load of over four tonnes, the best in class.
There’s not much choice when it comes to engines, with a 2.4 litre MIVEC common-rail diesel available in two power outputs: 151bhp or 178bhp. Neither engine is what you’d call blistering, both will do the 0-60mph dash in over 10 seconds. All models get a four-wheel drive system, but it varies depending which version you go for. Entry level models get an easy select part time set up while the higher spec models get the super select active 4×4 system borrowed from the Shogun large SUV.
The entry level 4Life verion will be the one to go for if you’re looking at fuel economy, it’ll return around 44 miles per gallon. But in all honesty, most versions are pretty frugal, more higher spec versions will return between 39.2 and 42.8 mpg, while CO2 emissions range from 169 to 189 g/km.
While the L200 is more than capable in the rough stuff, it’s the on road capability where it needs to shine, as most L200’s won’t find their way off tarmac. It’s actually pretty impressive on the road, especially when driven back to back with the competition. The ride is composed, but it can be a bit unsettled over uneven surfaces. Generally though, this is a characteristic of most pick-ups. The handling is a bit disappointing though. The steering is an improvement over its predecessor, but its still pretty vague.
Overall, the L200 is an attractive proposition if you’re in the market for a rugged, hard working pick up. Ok, it may not be the king of the hill any more, some rivals have more premium interiors, better ride quality and better storage, but it is economical, well equipped and highly desirable.