2007 Mitsubishi L200 Pickup
By Bob Hume, 04th August 2008
This is a serious off-roader which can be officially classified as a commercial vehicle but can be used very comfortably on the road as an everyday car. Not strictly an SUV but a boldly styled, hard-as-nails pick up truck with an enormous payload and five seats. The test car was a double cab Elegance' equipped model, attractively finished in metallic light blue, an example of the most refined third generation of a tried and trusted workhorse. The L200 is an brutal machine and I want one.
As hardcore off-roaders go, the L200 is surprisingly comfortable. Body-roll is reasonably expected from most SUVs and should certainly be expected from the workhorse end of the SUV market, due to the heavy engineering that usually constitutes the suspension system. Be prepared for a surprise the L200 isn't exactly a Lotus Elise on the corners, but I've definitely driven worse family' SUVs; the thing to remember is that this is a big, heavy-duty vehicle. To get an idea of the sheer size of it, I parked it beside my Mercedes C-Class the bonnet was almost as tall as the Merc's roof, it was almost half as long again and when I was washing it, I had to stand in the payload to wash the cab roof. The rear wheel are elliptic leaf-sprung, whilst the front is on coils which is an unusual setup but the leafs provide extra support for the rear payload.
Four big discs and heavy-duty callipers provide the stopping power. The tested vehicle had automatic transmission, complete with low gearing settings on the gear selector. All differential and transfer settings are selected manually by a separate lever mounted neatly on the console beside your left leg whilst the main instrument console displays all of your drive settings. The L200 completely excels off the road. The basic rule of thumb is, if you are presented with a natural feature of the landscape which looks like it could be trouble, drive straight at it and the big Mitsy will either drive though it, over it or relocate it. The entire range uses one engine, a 2.5 common rail diesel unit.
The L200 is a pickup truck with an open, flat loading space. The double-cab body can comfortably seat five whilst lugging a lorry engine in the payload. If there was some abstract reason why a lorry engine and four people were urgently required at the top of a mountain, the delivery driver would probably arrive in an L200 double-cab, as a second choice to a Chinook helicopter.
My vehicle had an impressive array of extras, including chrome side steps, roll bars, Sat Nav, a ten CD multichanger, leather seats and a ceiling-mounted DVD player for your rear passengers all included in the Elegance' pack. An alarm and keyless entry are also standard on this choice. Front airbags and a reinforced cabin are present across the range.
The L200 has been around for about for about eighteen years and has gained a huge amount of respect in the true utility vehicle market; farmers, builders and the like. It has won many awards in its time, including the 2007 Whatvan Pick Up of the Year Award (it has claimed this title six times in eight years) so it's no fly-by-night.
This is an incredibly affordable vehicle to buy, starting at £14,991OTR (inc Vat) for the single cab manual to £26,043 OTR (inc Vat) for the double cab with the full 'Elegance' pack. The MPG figures are perfectly reasonable for a vehicle of this type, capable of 32.8 (combined).