Mitsubishi L200

Barbarian X

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian, front
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian, front
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian, rear
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian, side
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian X Double Cab, rear
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian, interior
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian, rear
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian X Double Cab

THERE'S a simple experiment you could try out that sums up the strides made by Japanese auto manufacturer Mitsubishi with the latest version of its L200 pick-up.

All the driver and front-seat passenger have to do is agree not to turn round, or use the interior rear-view mirror.

Then after a few miles - stop, absorb the experience and describe what sort of vehicle they felt they had been travelling in.

Given the raised driving position, chunky feel of the steering wheel and sound of the 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine, the smart money's on the answer being an SUV, a big full-blown SUV.

And the answer would of course be wrong.

What might once have been a model that felt most at home in builders' yards, farmers' fields and on construction sites now feels smooth, relaxed and perfectly at ease on suburban streets and in shopping centres.

It may still be a big bruiser of a vehicle, but the L200 has crossed the great divide - and the latest, sixth generation, version is the best yet.

The promise is to bring new levels of comfort, refinement, efficiency and safety to the pick-up scene - with the slogan Engineered Beyond Tough - and that's exactly what the Mitsubishi delivers.

Its cabin has more in common with a luxury saloon than a hardcore pick-up while the flagship Barbarian X gets bespoke "six pack" seat upholstery with matching door inserts and arm rests, as well as special door entry-guards, LED mood lighting and LED interior lights.

The big leather seats are comfortable and relaxing, the chunky steering wheel is leather-covered and a stylish touch is the illuminated Barbarian X logo on the front kick-plates.

With extra convenience in mind, four cameras located in the front, rear and in the door mirrors monitor the area around the vehicle and generate a bird's eye view to highlight any hidden obstacles.

And the in-dash display also shows the front camera view when the vehicle is in forward gears and the rear camera view when in reverse.

The L200 is 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.

There's space for three in the back, though the centre position is perched and feels firm - not ideal for marathon journeys - otherwise the ride is smooth and refined.

Mindful that this is still primarily a workhorse, the carrying capacity is immense and the vast flat-bed load area comes with a lockable sliding cover called the Mountain Top Roll.

At the car's heart is a new 2,268cc, all aluminium turbo-diesel engine producing a 150bhp plus a significant improvement in fuel economy compared to its predecessor - our own return was just short of 34 miles per gallon over 200 miles of predominantly urban motoring.

With its advanced four-wheel drive system, offering four new 4x4 modes and the security of driving in four-wheel drive mode at any speed, a payload of up to 1,080kg and towing capacity of up to 3.5 tonnes, this is an all-rounder of outstanding merit.

The L200 comes in both Club Cab and Double Cab configuration and in five trim grades with prices from £21,515, though it's possible to stump up the price with some tasty optional extras.

Our tested version for instance came in an eye-catching Sunflare Orange Pearlescent paint job costing £475.00 (Ex VAT).

FAST FACTS

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian X

Price: £38,577

Mechanical: 150ps, 2,198cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 106mph

0-62mph: 36.2

Combined MPG: 37

Insurance Group: 206g/km

C02 emissions: 37%

Warranty: 5yrs/62,500 miles

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