After its media launch just last week, has this sixth-generation pick-up truck grown better with age?
By motoring journalist Tim Barnes-Clay – Instagram @tbarnesclay and Twitter @carwriteups.
The Japanese automaker Mitsubishi is all too aware that more pick-up trucks are sold in the UK than anywhere else in Europe. Therefore, a lot is expected of its freshly launched L200 Series 6 model.
Aged 40, the L200 is almost as mature as me, but also like me, it gets better with age. Okay, that’s a matter of opinion. But in the sixth-generation pick-up’s case, it’s true.
The truck doesn’t disappoint and delivers everything you’d anticipate, and more. The load bed is as before, measuring 1,520mm long and 1,470mm wide. However, the new L200 sports a different engine, superior suspension and a raft of safety features.
For the purposes of this evaluation, I drove the jewel in the L200’s line-up – the Double Cab Barbarian X. It’s a five-seater, jam-packed full of tech and armed with a six-speed automatic gearbox.
Up-to-date technology comprises rear cross-traffic alert, a blind-spot warning system, trailer stability assist and a lane-departure warning system. When behind the tiller, the added gadgetry makes the L200 more like an SUV to drive than a pick-up.
Talent on and off the road
The Barbarian X has some luxury thrown in – as you might hope for in a flagship model. You get leather and Alcantara seats, and they are electrically adjustable. Then there’s the switchgear, which is easy to operate. Basically, the whole cabin feels well put together – and it’s spacious.
If there’s a fly in the ointment, it’s the heavy steering, but that’s a characteristic of most pick-ups. Overall, though, the new L200 is impressive to drive. The chassis, united with a more sophisticated rear leaf spring system, eases the bounciness you get with pick-up trucks. And while the L200’s 2.3-litre turbo diesel lump isn’t exactly quiet, it doesn’t sound like it belongs in farm machinery, either.
With only 150ps on hand to thrust the two-tonner forwards, you’d think rapidity might be a problem. Well, that’s not the case. With 400Nm of torque, moving along at a good lick is stress-free. Furthermore, you can get around 29mpg out of the leading model, which is the one reviewed here.
With high and low-range gearing, four-wheel-drive, and a multiplicity of off-road modes, the latest L200 from Mitsubishi is a talented pick-up on and off road. Even on regular road tyres, the truck does well off the beaten track.
Don’t fret. I haven’t overlooked the essential load-lugging part of this evaluation. Fundamentally, the improved suspension and bulkier front brakes bring the payload capacity up to 1,080kg. And when it comes to towing, the L200 will lug 3,500kg. In other words, that’s enough for a caravan, or a horsebox – if you’re into that kind of thing.
So, the 2019 Mitsubishi L200 is not only a brilliant workhorse, it also has enough kit and space to act as the primary vehicle for a family of five. Therefore, if you’ve got a business that could benefit from a pick-up, and you need a new motor, maybe now is the time to check out your Mitsubishi dealership? Double-cab pick-ups also meet the requirements for VAT reclaims. That is, of course, if your company is VAT registered.
Fast Facts (Mitsubishi L200 Double Cab Barbarian X – as tested):
- Max speed: 106mph
- 0-62 mph: TBC
- Combined mpg: 29.1
- Engine: 2.3-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel
- Max power (ps): 150
- CO2: 206g/km
- Price: £32,200 (excluding VAT)