WHEN you've been the market leader for nigh on four decades, you must be doing something right.
Well, that's the situation with Mitsubishi, whose rugged L200 pick-up truck has been picking up accolades on a regular basis since its launch back in 1978.
With its formidable, in-your-face looks, this spacious, yet sophisticated, highly-manoeuvrable and extremely comfortable pick-up has been the one setting the standard many other manufacturers can only attempt to emulate.
Mitsubishi's pick-ups can be credited with the sector's massive rise in popularity, so it's not much of a surprise that the L200 was responsible for around 45 per cent of all pick-up sales between 1998 and 2004 in what was then an expanding market.
The fourth-generation L200 model was unveiled in 2006, yet even though it's been around now nearly 10 years, it's flowing, rounded, curvy lines still make it arguably the best-looking vehicle in the sector.
Back in 2013, Mitsubishi launched a Trojan special edition of the mega-popular workhorse, based on the more powerful 175bhp version of the highly-related 2.5-litre diesel unit, the twin-cab model took the pick-up sector to a brand new level.
While engine power increased by 30 per cent over the previous 136bhp model, more importantly for this kind of vehicle, torque was also boosted from 314Nm to a whopping 400Nm.
Standard equipment included multifunction trip computer, CD player with MP3, climate control, front and rear electric windows, chrome finished heated door mirrors, chrome door handles, privacy glass and colour-coded wheel arch extensions.
These features were on top of the 16-inch alloy wheels, rear differential lock and super select all-wheel-drive system which allowed the L200 to be driven in either two or four-wheel-drive mode on the black stuff without excessive wear and tear suffered by other part-time systems fitted to some of its rivals.
On the road the L200 handled and gripped like a high-end quality hatch-back, while its superb offroading capabilities took it to places other so-called serious offroading "pretenders" could only dream about.
The four-door, double-cab body style offered five-seats with a decent amount of legroom for the rear passengers whose seat backs are angled at 25 degrees for maximum comfort.
Its 1,505mm load length and 1,470mm width gave it a respectable working capacity, but a braked trailer with a weight capacity of up to 2,700kg could also be attached.
The L200 was built to withstand heavy punishment and major reliability surveys certainly backed this up. The interior was also built to last and the fittings and fittings were far beyond those found on earlier models.
As for prices, a used 2013 13-plate L200 Trojan DI-D will cost between Â£10,240 and Â£13,400. Move up a year to a 14-plate and you'll be talking in the region of Â£12,075 to Â£15,215.
However, lower-powered 134bhp versions are also available in a variety of trim levels, with a decently-equipped Club Cab 4Life 13-plate version fetching between £8965 and £11,875, while a 2014 version on a 14 plate will come in somewhere between £19,510 and £13,510.