Mitsubishi L200

Warrior Double Cab

Auto

Mitsubishi L200, front quarter
Mitsubishi L200, dynamic
Mitsubishi L200, rear quarter
Mitsubishi L200, dynamic 2
Mitsubishi L200, dashboard
Mitsubishi L200, interior rear
Mitsubishi L200, engine

PICK-UP trucks are enjoying something of a boom at the moment as business buyers cotton on to the huge cost-saving benefits available to those prepared to forego a more traditional company car.

In the eyes of the tax man these workhorses are classed as light commercial vehicles and with this status, as any shrewd accountant will point out, come considerable tax breaks.

For company car drivers, a pick-up attracts flat-rate benefit-in-kind tax which compares very favourably to the more usual fleet options, while for businesses buying one not only can much of the VAT be reclaimed but the purchase price can also be written off against capital allowances.

All of this adds up to a considerable financial incentive which, in the cash-strapped austerity era, has begun to attract savvy small business owners beyond the more traditional market of builders, plumbers, sparkies and other tradesmen.

Understandably, this trend has tempted more carmakers to chase a piece of the action, with the likes of Fiat, Citroen and even Mercedes-Benz launching trucks of their own.

Newcomers face some stiff competition from the established big-hitters though - and the Mitsubishi L200 is certainly one of those.

It has been at the core of the Japanese brand's range for more than 30 years and the current Series 5 version has bagged numerous awards, including the Auto Express Pick-up of the Year gong three times in a row and Carbuyer's equivalent for the last two years.

Powered by a durable and willing 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine, with huge pulling power (now up to 3.5 tonnes braked) and with Mitsubishi's renowned 4x4 prowess it possesses all the attributes required for a proper go-anywhere working vehicle.

A basic, utilitarian 4Life version is available in single and extended club cab as well as full double cab configuration for buyers who need just that but for those looking to use the L200 as a family and lifestyle motor too the rugged-sounding Titan, Warrior and Barbarian double cab variants are the ones to consider.

These add design touches, creature comforts and extra equipment that bring the pick-up much closer to a more mainstream SUV in terms of style, refinement and comfort.

While a truck will never be as nimble and responsive as a car, Mitsubishi have worked hard to make driving the L200 as easy and uncomplicated as possible.

It has one of the smallest turning circles among its competitors and the light steering can go from lock to lock in 3.8 turns of the wheel, making manoeuvring as straightforward as it can be in a vehicle of this size.

Although there is some diesel rattle under acceleration, the power pack is impressively quiet when trundling around town or at a steady cruise and when mated to the five-speed automatic transmission offers smooth, relaxed progress - although the six-speed manual option boasts slightly better fuel economy.

Body roll is well controlled and the Super Select version of the 4x4 system in higher grade models offers four modes, from two-wheel drive to ultra low ratio all-wheel drive, to cope with all driving conditions and terrains.

The double cab will hold five adults, with good head and leg room all-round, and in Warrior trim features creature comforts such as leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, four-way electric driver's seat, heated front seats, keyless entry and ignition, touchscreen multimedia interface, reversing camera and satnav.

FAST FACTS

Mitsubishi L200 Warrior Double Cab Auto

Price: £32,335

Mechanical: 181ps, 2,442cc diesel engine driving all wheels via 5-speed automatic transmission

Max Speed: 109mph

0-62mph:11.8 seconds

Combined MPG:37.7

Insurance Group: 10

C02 emissions: 196g/km

Bik rating: 37%

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