The Double cab pick up is a popular commercial vehicle in Ireland and the Mitsubishi L200 has been a staple from the start. Over 41 years on and six generations the latest 2.2 litre DI-D diesel truck gets suspension revisions, a couple of new off-road driving modes and has grown in size too. Available in manual or automatic form we have put the 6-speed auto through its paces to see if the new machine is a significant step up from its predecessor. Sold in 150 markets worldwide the L200 is a key machine in Europe, Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Mitsubishi has redesigned the L200 under its ‘Rock Soilid’ design outline. At 5,225mm is 20mm longer than the outgoing model. It is wider too at 1,815mm versus 1,785mm, plus it is 5mm taller at 1,780mm. Overall the L200 is slightly smaller than a Toyota Hi-Lux, Nissan Navara, Ford Ranger or Mrecedes-Benz X Class. Exterior styling sees the most radical change to the front end or its dynamic shield as the three diamond brand likes to call it. The headlights are sleeker and there is a modern take to its grille. The rear and all wheel drive double cab pick up looks sharper and more architectural than the model it replaces. Three trim grades are available: Business (manual), Intense (man/auto) and Instyle (automatic).
Inside the cabin feels already dated compared to the current car or SUV standard but for a working machine it is impressive. A large centre LCD touch screen display is the main attraction in the new dash. Soft touch materials are present with slightly less hard plastic on display. The seating is comfortable and adjustable that makes it easy to get a good driving position. In the L200 your legs don’t have to be out nearly horizontal in front of you to drive the thing as in some pick ups with very high floors and low seats.
Under the bonnet the turbo-charged four-cylinder 2.2 litre diesel pushes out 150hp and 400nm of puling power – a little down on the model it replaces. Our automatic featured a sport mode for a semi-manual experience. Overall the self shifter made using the L200 that bit easier. On the road the L200 is great in a straight line. the cabin is quiet and refined and this helps kilometres fly by. Being a pick up the suspension is reasonable modern up front but the rear deck is supported by leaf springs and they have their limitations. That said you can feel the rear load up when cornering long before the back would step out. there is a degree of softness to the ride quality that makes life more pleasant in the cabin. The L200 is a long machine – as are all in the class and you will fit in parking bays width-wise but the nose or rear of the 5.2+ metre machine will often protrude.
The ‘super select 4WD’ system has a new Off-Road mode with selectable terrain settings: gravel, mud/snow, sand or rock. 2WD (rear wheel drive) mode is the on road mode and its delivers good grip and of course is the most economical mode to use. We seldom needed to shift out of it off rod either! Should the terrain get tricky you can select 4H – for standard all whee drive or the more serious ‘4HLc’ setting (diff-lock) or its lower ratio version ‘4LLc’ is available should you need to climb Everest! The L200 can tow 3,100kgs braked. The max payload ranges from 950kgs-1,080kgs.
The L200 top grade model outshines many competitors with the availability of a host of driving safety aids: RCTA rear cross traffic alert with BSW blind spot warning, UMS stands for ultrasonic ‘misacceleration’ mitigation system, auto high beam lights, forward collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, HDC hill descent control, active stability and traction control, HSA hill start assist and a bird’s eye around view monitor.
The Mitsubishi L200 starts from €35,000 (bluetooth, air con, cruise control, trailer stability assist) with the level two model at €37,850. Our range topping InStyle version is from €41,835. Annual commercial motor tax of €333 applies. Fuel consumption is quoted as a combined 9.7l/100km (29mpg) with emissions of 254g/CO2 despite the addition of an AdBlue tank. An extensive range of accessories, deck liners, covers up to a premium hard top with windows are available to customise your L200.