James Dallas becomes acquainted with a new arrival to our long-term test fleet…

Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Mitsubishi L200 has long set the benchmark in the pick-up market, cultivating a growing fanbase in the lifestyle sector to compliment its renowned capabilities as a working vehicle.

This combination of glamour and practical ability has turned the L200 into a serial winner of the What Van? Van of the Year gong in the pick-up category, which is why we’ve taken delivery of a Barbarian Double Cab Auto LB model. The LB (Long Bed) version was added to the double cab line up just over a year ago to boost its workhorse credentials – leaving the Trojan as the only double cab Mitsubishi offers with just a standard length load bed.
Another recent innovation on our Barbarian is the five-speed automatic transmission, which the manufacturer introduced last year. The system, which includes manual select, is also available on other models as an option for £1275 plus VAT.
Powered by the 175bhp 2.5-litre common-rail diesel engine introduced for the 2010 model year, our test vehicle comes with an Adventurer hard top and load liner as well as bells and whistles such as 17-inch alloy wheels, aircon, satnav, cruise control, reversing camera and leather-clad steering wheel and gear knob.
The Super Select 4WD with stability and traction control system comes as standard on all high-series derivatives of the L200, and enables four-wheel drive to be used at all speeds rather than be confined to off-road terrain, which Mitsubishi claims is a first in the pick-up segment. Despite the price premiums (the double cab version of the base 4Work model comes in at £15,249), Mitsubishi expects the high-specification Warrior and Barbarian models to account for four out of five L200 sales.
Our test vehicle arrived just at the end of the pre-Christmas ice age and remained urban-bound throughout the festive season. First impressions therefore, were gained in two-wheel drive mode, which was more than a match for the residual slush.
Official fuel consumption on the combined cycle is 30.1mpg while CO2 emissions are put at 248g/km. This places the Barbarian DC Auto in VED band L, with an annual charge of £200. Its insurance group is 10E.
For serious load carrying, the Barbarian can swallow a standard EU pallet and has a payload capacity in excess of one tonne. Our vehicle also has a tow bar fitted, which potentially enables us to harness its 2.7-tonne pulling power.
With its overtly butch appearance the Barbarian doesn’t have an identity crisis and tends to polarise opinions – much like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. We look forward to getting to know it over the coming months.


Why we’re running it

To try out the automatic transmission and long bed that has been added to the habitual winner of the What Van? Pick-Up of the Year award.


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