Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian review
“Showing the world how it’s done” is a bold strapline when selling a new pick-up and on first look, the new Mitsubishi Series 5 L200, looks a bit too similar to the current Series 4 (that will continue to be sold alongside it) and whose sales were up 17% last year.
However be in no doubt, that the latest of a 33-year-old formula is all-new. With significant improvements to refinement, economy and drivability – that we believe, will take the Series 5 Mitsubishi L200 to the top of the pick-up class. So here’s our Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian review.
- The styling shouts L200 pick-up, but Series 5 refines the Series 4’s styling cues including the curvy and distinctive ‘J-Line’ curve to the roof and adds sharper lines down the flanks, plus the distinctive new nose with its large chrome grille and Xenon headlights.
- There’s a familiar feel to the interior of the new Series 5 L200 too, although the key changes are new seats which certainly feel more comfortable, the addition of a neat twistable Super Select 4×4 control behind the gear lever to engage the different four-wheel drive modes and on our range-topping Barbarian – a new touch screen premium nav/audio system.
- It’s a bit of a climb to get behind the wheel of the new L200, but it’s comfortable when you get there. All the switchgear is logically placed too. Double cabs usually scrimp on space, but we were pleasantly surprised by the rear room in this Mitsubishi Pick-up – two six-footers will be comfortable.
- The Barbarian is the range-topper of the Series 5 L200 range and as such you’ll not want for standard kit, which includes premium leather trim, door entry guards, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass and dual-zone climate control.
- It’s not just the standard kit that impresses on the new Series 5 L200, the new safety systems do too. Neat features include a lane departure system (the first for a double cab), plus a speed limiter, hazard lights which automatically flash under heavy braking and the Super Select four-wheel drive system is a simple way to get Land Rover-like levels of off-road ability.
- The biggest revelation with the L200 is in the way it drives. Despite its tall stance and how capable it is off-road (as was proved on a muddy course during the launch), hit the road and the refined ride is the first thing you’ll notice. Almost car-like, pot hole shudder is impressively suppressed from the L200’s cabin. Take in some corners and you’ll be surprised by how the new damping keeps body roll in check. This is helped by keen, precise steering that encourages harder driving.
- Off-roading a priority? No problem as the Super Select system is already proven in the Shogun and includes two low range settings, torque-sensing Torsen differential and ASTC active stability control. The circular Super Select controller also can cleverly switch the drive from rear to four-wheel drive at speeds up to 62mph. The four-wheel drive mode isn’t just for mud-plugging, its 40:60 rear-based torque split can give more stability and assist the handling when towing.
- The Series 5 L200 is powered by an all-new 2.4-litre MIVEC diesel engine producing 178bhp. A state-of-the-art engine, it boasts variable valve timing – the first in this sector to have it and extensive use of aluminium in its make-up. No fire burner, smooth and torquey are the best way to describe this engine and it’s well matched to the reasonably slick six-speed manual gearbox. Although you can also have it with a six-speed auto, with steering wheel-mounted paddles.
- Despite the keen drive, this L200 is still capable of 42.8mpg on the Combined Cycle, with CO2 emissions of 173g/km. The L200 has recent history as a tax dodging company vehicle, so we think the lower fuel consumption is clever future-proofing by Mitsubishi against possible CO2-based taxation, expected for light commercial vehicles soon.
- This is a pick-up and you’ll be pleased to know that the bed is 1,470mm long and wide, which is a 15mm increase on the Series 4 and should you need to make it a more practical load area, Mitsubishi are offering loads of covers – we suggest you check out the accessories section!
- On top of the increased load area, the new L200 will carry a tonne in weight and can tow a further 3.1 tonnes.
- If you want to choose the Mitsubishi L200 Double Cab Barbarian as a company car, then you will pay benefit in kind company car tax at the ‘van’ rate – £630 for a 20% tax payer and £1260 for a 40% tax payer