Mitsubishi L200

4LIFE Club Cab

Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab, nose
Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab, front
Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab, off road, ruts
Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab, side
Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab, rear
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian, interior
Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab, front, off road

MOTOR manufacturers are never slow to shout about how their new products are so stylish, ground-breaking and irresistible.

But it takes some brass to claim one of your models offers a driving experience that's a generation ahead of the opposition.

Such is the case with Mitsubishi and its L200 Series 5 pick-up, a vehicle that is, to be fair, no stranger to scooping awards.

But then pick-up trucks are the bread and butter of the Japanese brand's line-up, with six decades of production and sales of more than 4.1 million behind them.

Rugged and durable looking, the L200 is the only vehicle of its type that can be driven permanently in 2WD or 4WD on Tarmac and off-road.

Up for grabs in four models - 4Life, Titan, Warrior and Barbarian - and all with four-wheel drive, the L200 Series 5 costs from £21,883 to £31,123 on the road.

These days the pick-up scene is inhabited by a wealth of models that boast refinement, upmarket technology, value for money and reasonable fuel economy - but the L200 lifts the bar another notch.

You get all the creature comforts of an executive saloon in higher spec models like the Barbarian, and durable seats, climate control, touchscreen entertainment set-up, a high quality sound system and reversing camera in the others.

The driving position is raised and offers terrific visibility, the steering is adjustable for reach and rake while a revised suspension - including six shock-absorbing body mounts - has helped make the Mitsubishi more comfortable and quiet as well.

There's no escaping the fact that this is a big vehicle and doesn't handle like a go-kart. But it's smooth, rides really well and has a terrific engine in the shape of a 2.4-litre diesel producing 151bhp.

The upshot is lively performance with acceptable acceleration via the six-speed manual transmission and the bonus of an official average fuel return of 40.9mpg, though you won't get near that figure in urban conditions.

And if you want to venture off-road the L200's four-wheel drive transmission can be engaged with a twist of a rotary control while a low-range function allows for more serious mud-plugging.

As for shifting stuff - family paraphernalia or commercial hardware - well the overall volume of the cargo bed is bigger than before with a combined carrying and towing capacity of 4.1 tonnes.

The tested and workmanlike 4LIFE Club Cab variant does have a downside however, and the issue is with the rear seating for two.

Rear space is not only tight but the seats are too upright and, as a consequence, uncomfortable - and you can only open the rear doors from the inside.

: 5yrs/62,500 miles

FAST FACTS

Mitsubishi L200 4LIFE Club Cab

Price: £23,083

Mechanical: 150bhp, 2.4-litre 4-cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via six-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 105mph

0-62mph: 12.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 40.9

Insurance Group: 180g/km

C02 emissions: 36%

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