THE rugged L200 pick-up truck has been fundamental to Mitsubishi Motors in the UK through four model generations over 33 years for the fourth generation vehicle which has just been succeeded by the Series 5 outsold all other pick-ups and won more awards than all its rivals put together writes Bryan Longworth.
It was also the Japanese manufacturer’s top selling model in the UK so it is hardly surprising that the company is rather enthusiastic about the new L200 which they claim is best in class for seven features including fuel efficiency, performance, emissions, carrying capacity 4WD ability and aerodynamics.
Pick-up trucks in the UK are extremely popular whether they are being used for work recreation or pleasure and I must confess that they are a favourite of mine with the L200 being among the best.
It has always had really attractive styling looking less butch than some of the competitors and has managed to be more car-like and civilised than a lot of them which have less appeal especially for owners wanting them for leisure and recreational use rather than just as a basic load carrier.
L200 has proved to be such a big seller for Mitsubishi because it combines the versatility of this vehicle as a load carrier with attractive styling and car-like qualities where there is room for five in the roomy cabin with even the rear seats reclining for extra passenger comfort.
The new model which is initially available as a double cab starts at £19,749 and it undoubtedly advances the image of pick-ups with every model having air conditioning, bi-xenon headlamps and switchable 4x4.
It does not look too much different from the model it has replaced but Mitsubishi say it is an entirely new vehicle with over 330 significant improvements resulting in a vehicle ideal for commercial duty combined with SUV-like refinement.
Power comes from a 2.4-litre diesel engine with manual and automatic transmissions and combined fuel consumption is 42.8mpg plus maximum payload is 1,050kg and a towing capability of 4.1 tonnes.
L200 is the first pick-up in the world to have an all aluminium engine which has led to a weight saving of 30kg and ride comfort has been improved through stiffer front springs a larger suspension stabiliser bar and optimised damping characteristics.
Because of its improved fuel consumption the L200 can now travel nearly 700 miles on a tank of fuel and CO2 emissions of 169g/km are the lowest in class and safeguards owners against a future emissions based tax regime for commercial vehicles.
I have always found the L200 to be a very competent vehicle for driving off road over tough terrain especially and the improved car-like qualities have resulted in the latest model being even more impressive.
There is no doubt that with the latest L200 Mitsubishi has launched a vehicle that defines the next generation of pick-up trucks and current sales figures prove that the company has really cornered the market in the pick-up retail sector.
Verdict: L200 sets new standards.
Model: New Mitsubishi L200 pick-up double cab.
Engine: 2.4-litres diesel.
Transmission: Manual and automatic.
Maximum payload: 1,050kg.
Towing capability: 4.1 tonnes.
Price: From £19,749.