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Launch Report: Mitsubishi L200

Mitsubishi has launched its sixth-generation L200 pickup, boasting a new look, downsized engine, enhanced ride comfort and improved safety technology, says Dan Gilkes.

SECTOR Pickup  PRICE £21,515-£32,200  FUEL 29.1-32.1mpg (WLTP) CO2 231-254g/km

The Series 6 L200 is certainly a striking truck, with the ‘Dynamic Shield’ front-end design matching other models in the Mitsubishi line-up. Squared-off wheel arches and a 40mm higher bonnet line contribute to a tougher overall stance, though Mitsubishi has avoided making the truck wider or longer, so it still feels relatively compact on UK roads.

Under that taller bodywork, the company has dropped the 2.4-litre engine from the Series 5 in favour of a stretched version of the 2.3-litre diesel engine from the Outlander. Power is reduced, to 150hp, while torque tops out at 400Nm. Without driving the two side by side you would be hard pressed to tell that the new truck has less power, such is the strength of the torque, which is produced 500rpm lower in the Series 6.

Drive is transmitted through a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions to Mitsubishi’s Super Select 4WD-II system. This pushes drive to the rear wheels in normal use with a rotary dial in the cab moving to all-wheel drive at speeds up to 62mph. A lockable centre differential allows the L200 to run on the road in four-wheel drive if required, when the weather gets bad, but also provides maximum traction when in low range off-road.

The system now comes with a choice of off-road modes, including Gravel, Mud/Snow, Sand and Rock. Choosing between these settings adjusts the wheel slip, engine torque, auto transmission settings and traction system interventions to suit.

Mitsubishi claims that it has downsized the engine to provide increased efficiency. However, despite standard Auto Stop & Go, the Euro 6d temp motor’s WLTP combined cycle of just 32.1mpg for a manual gearbox version or 29.1mpg for the auto, is hardly ground breaking. CO2 emissions are set at 231g/km for the manual trucks and 254g/km with the auto transmission, while service intervals remain at a fairly conservative one year or 12,500 miles.

Mitsubishi has dropped the single cab model, due to lack of demand, but will continue to offer a Club cab in the utility 4Life specification. Double cab models come in four trim levels, from 4Life, through Warrior and Barbarian, to a new range-topping Barbarian X model.

Payload has been increased, from 1,045kg to 1,080kg, though all models come under the 2,040kg unladen weight limit that can restrict cruising speeds on rural roads and dual carriageways. The towing limit depends on what you are pulling. If you have a three-axle trailer, Mitsubishi will allow the L200 to pull the full 3.5-tonnes. However, for those with a two-axle trailer, the company restricts the towing weight to just 3.1-tonnes, apparently for stability reasons.

Standard safety features now include Emergency Brake Assist, Emergency Stop Signal, Lane Departure Warning, Mitsubishi Active Stability and Traction Control (M-ASTC), Hill Start Assist and Trailer Stability Assist. You have to stretch to the higher trim levels for Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert though.

Prices start from just £21,515 for the 4Life Club cab model, while a similar double cab will set you back £22,715. Warrior trim starts at £26,400, Barbarian at £29,300 and the range-topping Barbarian X at £32,200. The auto transmission is a £1,400 option on Warrior and Barbarian, but comes as standard on the Barbarian X.

The Verdict:

The Series 6 L200 is certainly a step forward for Mitsubishi, both in the way it looks and in the way the truck drives. The increased technology will be welcomed, but the truck is up against some particularly  strong competition.

RatingL: 4/5

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Written by Dan Gilkes

Dan has been a commercial vehicle and construction equipment journalist for almost 30 years. An automotive engineer and former fleet manager, he has driven almost every van, pickup and truck that has been launched in Europe over that time. As editor of VFW, his aim is to keep readers up to date with the latest developments in the light commercial world.

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