Mitsubishi’s shock decision to withdraw from the UK market would seem to make any report on its vehicles rather pointless. It has not departed yet, however – the L200 pick-up will be available until the end of 2021 – service and parts support will continue to be provided when new vehicle sales cease, and L200s will still be around in vast numbers; including the newest version.
Now available in Series 6 guise, and with roots that go back to 1978, Mitsubishi’s L200 has enjoyed huge success in the UK over the years. In its latest incarnation it comes with a redesigned front end, squared-off wheel arches, and LED headlights and 18in alloy wheels on the majority of models.
Under the bonnet, which has been raised by 40mm, you will find a new, AdBlue-dependent, 2.3-litre Euro-6d diesel with 150hp on tap at 3,500rpm. Top torque of 400Nm bites across a 1,750rpm to 2,250rpm plateau, and the engine can be married to a new, optional, six-speed automatic gearbox.
The four-wheel drive system has been upgraded and the L200 comes with the usual stack of onboard safety systems – some of which are standard, some of which aren’t.
Gross payload capacity has gone up to a maximum 1,080kg and the L200 can haul a braked trailer grossing at up to 3.5t.
Customers can choose either the four-door Double Cab or the extended Club Cab. The latter features two full-size doors, which give access to the driver and front passenger seats plus two small, rear-hinged doors, which open onto a pair of occasional rear seats.
Occasional really does mean occasional. They offer minimal legroom and little in the way of comfort, but at least come with headrests and lap-and-diagonal belts.
The seat cushions can be folded backwards and held in place by a strap to allow tools to be transported under semi-secure conditions.
The specification walk starts with the entry-level 4Life Club Cab, trots through Trojan, Warrior and Barbarian, and finishes with the comfortably appointed Barbarian X Double Cab automatic. We went back to basics and sampled the 4Life Club Cab – not that we were complaining.
Anybody out there remember CD players? Our 4Life Club Cab had got one – something the test driver, of a certain age, could only applaud – and was not encumbered by any of what the test driver might consider to be touchscreen onboard satnav nonsense.
Instead, it had a straightforward radio with remote controls on the steering wheel, and reassuringly chunky knobs for the heating and ventilation system, which included air-conditioning.
Access to Club Cab’s load bed is by means of a beefy drop-down tailgate. Release the restraint cables and you can lower it completely, unless you have a tow bar fitted.
Three cargo restraint rings are fitted to each of the sidewalls.
So what’s it like to drive? For a large pick-up it handles surprisingly well, sweeping serenely through bends with no loss of composure. The stiffer chassis helps while the new springs and dampers make a positive contribution to the ride, which was better than expected.
While performance is fine when the L200 is lightly laden, we suspect that anybody who runs fully laden all the time and tows a trailer will be looking for a bit more power.
With more than 400kg of weight in the load bed, we were fine. Had we been carrying over twice as much, it might have been a different story.
A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, with a quality of change that is adequate rather than exceptional. Fuel economy is not outstanding, but that is not surprising given that L200 is, after all, a fairly hefty 4x4 pick-up.
Four-wheel drive is easy to engage: twist a knob between the seats and you can switch to a set of low-ratio gears if you think the going might get tough. They were not required during our brief foray into a bone-dry field or two accompanied by clouds of dust. Nor was the rear diff lock.
The warranty could stand to be more generous and service intervals are on the short side.
Periodic visits to a workshop are no bad thing if you venture off-road regularly, however – you never know what damage you might have inadvertently done.
Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab
Price (ex VAT) £21,740
Price range (ex VAT) £21,740-£33,205
Insurance group 42E
Service intervals 1yr/12,500mls
Load length 1,850mm
Load width (min/max) 1,000/1,470mm
Load bay height 475mm
Gross payload 1,080kg
Engine size/power 2,268cc/150hp
Combined fuel economy 32.8mpg (WLTP)
Solidly built, unglamorous workhorse that could be just what you need if you’re a jobbing builder – so long as you don’t mind that Mitsubishi will be waving bye-bye to Britain.