By Mike Torpey on 2018-12-21 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Barbarian Double Cab
EVEN the name gives a broad hint as to the raw, fearless quality of Mitsubishi's multi-award winning pick-up.
The Barbarian is from the higher echelons of the rugged L200 range, a 14-model line-up that actually starts at £22,475 - an attractive price for a vehicle of this size and scope.
Of all the pick-ups on the market - and they are a pretty smart bunch overall - the L200 is the most interesting.
As the opposition raises its game, and these days the bar is set extremely high, the Mitsubishi manages to stay a step ahead.
Producing top notch pick-ups is a time-honoured tradition for the Japanese manufacturer, with six decades of production and sales of almost 4.5 million in the bank.
Four variants of the L200 are available - in 4Life, Titan, Warrior and Barbarian trim grades - and all come with four-wheel drive.
Stylish to look at with its Electric Blue paint job, the tested Barbarian model has all the creature comforts of an executive saloon - like powered soft leather seats, touchscreen entertainment set-up and reversing camera.
It's practical too, with space for three across the back and stowage like large bottle holders in each door, door bins, overhead sunglasses holder, glovebox and a deep central container.
Little touches that make a difference are there as well like blue ambient lighting in the cabin and on the door running strips plus Barbarian embossing on the front seats, door handle backing and fuel filler cap.
And the vast flat-bed load area comes with a lockable sliding cover called the Mountain Top Roll.
The driving position is good, steering adjustable for reach and rake and the reverse J curve between the cabin and cargo area is such that the rear seats can recline by 25 per cent.
A revised suspension, including six shock-absorbing body mounts, has helped make the Mitsubishi more comfortable and quiet as well.
Of course this is both a large and long vehicle, but it's smooth, rides really well and has a strong engine in the shape of a 2.4-litre diesel producing 178bhp.
That results in bright performance with acceptable acceleration via the five-speed automatic transmission with manual mode plus 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 adventure.
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian Double Cab
Mechanical: 178bhp, 2.4-litre 4-cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via five-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 110mph
0-62mph: 12.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 37.7
Insurance Group: 10
C02 emissions: 196g/km
Bik rating: 37%
Warranty: 5 yrs/62,500 miles
RUMOURS that the Mitsubishi L200 had gone a little ‘soft' have been...
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