Mitsubishi L200

Warrior Automatic

Mitsubishi L200 Warrior, side
Mitsubishi L200 Warrior, front
Mitsubishi L200 Warrior, side, rear
Mitsubishi L200 Warrior, rear
Mitsubishi L200 Warrior, loadbed
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian, interior
Mitsubishi L200 Warrior, rear seats
Mitsubishi L200 Warrior, sat nav
Mitsubishi L200 Warrior, off road selector

MITSUBISHI'S L200 continues to be the pace-setter in the UK double cab pick-up market and it's easy to see why.

Now in its fifth generation incarnation the L200 is a great all-rounder that manages to combine traditional pick-up ruggedness with everyday practicality and comfort - meaning it can live up to a Jeckyll and Hyde existence as a utilitarian workhorse or a family motor.

The distinctive Tonka Toy exterior styling developed some time back has been tweaked rather than radically overhauled in the latest model.

It's still one of those vehicles with an imposing street presence that really looks like it means business and still leads the pick-up pack in terms of looks that are desirable - which is quite some feat in a pick-up.

A close look will reveal slightly tighter design lines and a more modern front end, but other than that and more distinctive front lights it's pretty much stuck to what has proved to be a winning formula so far.

On the inside the L200 has benefitted from an upgrade and overall it has an impressively car-like feel to it.

The cabin is spacious, the switchgear and instrumentation are suitably tasteful and of good quality and there's a more comfortable character generally - particularly with leather seats which give it the air of an upmarket SUV.

One thing that's all-new with the L200 is its aluminium 2.4-litre DI-D diesel engine, which is the first pick-up to boast variable valve timing.

There are 151bhp or 178bhp versions and it can be mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Equipment levels are generous and even the entry-level 4Life version comes with cruise control, alloy wheels and air conditioning.

Opt for a Titan model and you'll get larger wheels, privacy glass, DAB and keyless starting.

This model, the Warrior, adds a sat nav and plenty more besides and is probably the pick of the bunch in terms of creature comforts and value for money.

The best thing of all about the latest L200 is how much of a step-up it is in terms of driveability and refinement.

Once upon a time opting for a pick-up generally came with a pretty huge compromise in sacrificing comfort for tax savings.

The tax savings might not be what they once were but they're still enough to be a factor in choosing an L200 over an SUV.

However, gone are the days when having to put up with commercial vehicle-style driving dynamics came as part of the bargain.

Again, the L200 might be setting the pace but it's something of a revelation as a driver's car.

That new engine certainly plays its part and is noticeably smooth and refined with a pleasing degree of pulling power but the whole set-up is one that seems to have been designed with the driver in mind.

This model might have been an automatic, which made driving in the city and suburbia that much easier but I was pleasantly surprised at just how pleasant it was to drive.

While it's never going to be a Mazda MX-5 it feels surprisingly light and agile and even goes round bends rather well.

And despite its size and bulk it feels much more manoeuvrable than its predecessor too.

It's not generally easy doing a three-point-turn in a vehicle that's 17-and-a-half feet long but I found it a breeze, helped by far more responsive steering and a reversing camera.

FAST FACTS

Mitsubishi L200 Warrior Automatic

Price:£24,449

Mechanical: 178bhp, 2,442cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 109mph

0-62mph: 11.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 39.2

Insurance Group: 10

C02 emissions: 189g/km

Bik rating: 35%

Warranty:5yrs/62,500 miles

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