THE Mitsubishi L200 is a vehicle I always feel a connection with - mostly as I'll never forget undertaking an off-roading manoeuvre in one many moons ago down something that felt more like a ski slope than a steep hill in Gloucestershire.
"All you've got to remember is not to touch the brakes - under any circumstances - and keep it in a straight line and you'll be fine" was the simple instruction I received.
I felt a little like how I imagined Eddie the Eagle Edwards might have felt launching into one of his Winter Olympics ski jumps before driving ‘over the edge'.
I managed the manoeuvre just fine and it was so much fun I went back for several more goes.
This extreme off-roading was in a controlled setting at the launch of one of the previous generation L200 models.
In fact it was the first one that featured the Tonka Toy styling that has become an L200 trademark.
The new Series 6 version of the L200 has now arrived and while it still bears that distinctive styling it is also very different.
The front end is far more purposeful and aggressive and really helps the L200 stand out in what is now a very busy market segment.
The L200 looks bigger, in part due to the new clamshell bonnet that's been raised by 40mm.
The stylishness factor has also been upped with narrow LED headlights, new metalwork at the rear and LED taillights.
There's also an all-new 2,268cc diesel engine under the bonnet.
Along with that cutting edge styling the new unit is one of the defining features of the all-new model, mainly due to its smoothness and refinement compared to its predecessor.
I had the opportunity to drive the previous generation L200 not that long ago and good as it was the new engine moves the model on considerably.
Manufacturers who make pick-ups always like to boast about their car-like character - let's face it there are a lot of people who buy them as a far cheaper alternative to a family SUV - and quite often such claims are wide of the mark.
In the case of the latest L200 they actually ring true.
The range's automatic gearbox has also been upgraded and it too feels smoother and more sophisticated.
As before the L200 comes in club cab or double cab form.
The only club cab model is the 4Life Club Cab.
Other than that the range comprises Double Cab, Warrior, Barbarian and Barbarian X.
This range-topping Barbarian X really demonstrates how far the L200 has come over its almost 40 year lifespan and is characterised by a classy and upmarket interior that pick-up owners in years past can only have dreamt of.
Features include super swish leather upholstery and there are matching door inserts and arm rests.
There's even LED mood lighting to add to an ambience that aspires to be more luxury saloon than working commercial vehicle.
The onboard tech is decent and the expected levels of connectivity are available via an easy to navigate touchscreen, along with a veritable raft of cameras - which actually come in very handy in a vehicle of this size and stature.
There are four cameras located in the front, rear and in the door mirrors, which monitor the area around the vehicle and generate a bird's eye view too.
There are plenty of high-tech safety features, including forward collision mitigation and lane departure warning.
The new engine also offers improved economy over the previous one and overall the latest model delivers a far more comfortable ride than its predecessor.
Road noise is minimal and again the handling is more SUV-like than van-like.
All in all the L200 feels like it has grown-up a lot and is a lot easier to live with as an everyday family motor.
And despite all its creature comforts it can still cut it as a rugged working vehicle if and when the occasion demands it.
It can transport a payload of up to 1,075kg and tow a trailer of up to 3.5 tonnes.
Go off-road in it and it'll be able to wade through water up to 600mm deep, with ground clearance of 205mm, an approach angle of 30 degrees and departure angle of 22 degrees.
I'm guessing descending that steep slope in Gloucestershire would be an absolute breeze and in truth I would really love to give it a go.
£32,200 (excluding VAT)
150ps, 2,268cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox