31 August 2016

Full Mitsubishi L200 (15 on) Model Review

by CJ Hubbard, Van Editor

Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab (2016) review
  • Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab pickup truck review
  • Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab pickup review
  • Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab pickup review
  • Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab pickup review
  • Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab pickup review
  • Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab pickup review
  • Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab pickup review
  • Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab pickup review
  • Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab pickup review
  • Extended cab version of L200 Series 5 pickup tested
  • Only available in basic 4Life spec with 151hp engine
  • Good value at £18,499 plus VAT with lots of fitted kit
Mitsubishi L200 (15 on) 2.5 DI-D (151bhp) Club Cab 4Life 4WD - Road Test
A year after launching its fifth-generation L200 pickup truck in 2015, Mitsubishi has now added Single Cab and Club Cab versions. Unlike the existing Double Cab models, these new additions to the L200 Series 5 range are designed as working vehicles rather than lifestyle accessories, so they are only available in the entry-level 4Life specification.

A year after launching its fifth-generation L200 pickup truck in 2015, Mitsubishi has now added Single Cab and Club Cab versions. Unlike the existing Double Cab models, these new additions to the L200 Series 5 range are designed as working vehicles rather than lifestyle accessories, so they are only available in the entry-level 4Life specification.

This is a review of the Mitsubishi L200 4Life Club Cab; a separate review of the L200 4Life Single Cab will follow in due course.

What are all these different pickup truck cabs exactly?

The double cab is perhaps the most familiar type of pickup truck in the UK these days, since a tax change in the year 2000 turned them into a financially attractive alternative to regular SUVs, causing sales to rocket. As the name hints, a double cab features two rows of seating and four doors, allowing easy access for four passengers.

Mitsubishi L200 Series 5 Single Cab, Double Cab and Club Cab

A single cab, as you might guess, has just one row of seating and two doors. The room saved by ditching the additional passenger space allows for a far longer loadbed, making these models ideally suited for practical working tasks. But not much use for taking all your mates to the pub.

In between these two extremes lies the club cab; also known as the king cab or extended cab by some manufactures, this adds a second row of seats (and often a second set of doors), but with a reduced cab length – making the rear row suitable for occasional passenger use or additional storage only, while offering an extended amount of loadbed space over the double cab.

What’s new for the L200 Series 5 Club Cab?

In terms of practicality, the biggest change for the Series 5 Club Cab is that the rear doors open back-to-front. Which is to say, much like a Rolls-Royce (no kidding), they’re hinged from their rear-most edge, rather than at the front.

The advantage to this is that gives you better access to the rear seating area – handy whether you’re transporting people or storing valuable tools and equipment back there. The rear seat bases flip upwards to make more room for the latter, too.

This kind of arrangement used to be called “suicide doors”, largely because if they came unlatched at speed they would be flung fully open and (in pre-seatbelt days…) occupants might fall out. In the L200 Club Cab, however, you can only open the rear doors if the front doors are already open. Which might occasionally be inconvenient, but certainly helps them stay safe.

How basic is Mitsubishi’s 4Life specification?

Not that basic any more. The interior is certainly more functional than frilly, in terms of its design and tough plastic finish, but electric windows and air-conditioning are now standard, the front seats have adjustable lumber support, and there are buttons on the steering wheel to control the CD-radio and Bluetooth system. You also get two airbags, a USB port for charging your phone and a leather-trimmed steering wheel…

That said, there is no engine choice in the 4Life range – only the 152hp, 380Nm version of Mitsubishi’s 2.4-litre turbodiesel is fitted, paired with a six-speed manual gearbox and the Easy Select four-wheel drive system. This has two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive and four-wheel drive low-range settings, accessed electronically via a knob by the gearlever.

Compared to Mitsubishi’s higher grade Super Select four-wheel drive system, Easy Select can’t drive all four wheels at motorway speeds, but it’s fitted here because it has a proper differential lock, which is better for dealing with more serious off-road terrain.

Is the L200 good off-road?

Yes. We tested it over a reasonably challenging forest course using both regular road tyres and mud-plugging off-road tyres, and aside from having to be careful not to catch the long rear end on anything, it breezed through every obstacle.

Mitsubishi L200 Series 5 Club Cab off-road

We were particularly impressed with the smooth torque delivery at low speeds, which made short work of claggy mud and uphill slopes. The low-range mode for the four-wheel drive also provides great control going downhill – simply put the L200 into first gear, bring the clutch up, and then take your feet off all the pedals for a nice controlled descent.

Ground clearance is rated at 200mm, while the breakover angle is 23 degrees – not bad, but could be better if Mitsubishi hadn’t elected to fit aluminium side steps as standard. The approach angle is 30 degrees and the departure angle 25 degrees, helped by the rear of the vehicle being protected by a simple bash bar rather than a full bumper.

Also useful off-road is the L200’s 5.9m turning circle. That’s impressively manoeuvrable for a pickup, but you may still have to take more than one stab at particular tight cross-country corners.

What’s the 4Life Club Cab like on regular roads?

Pretty easy to handle in most situations – helped again by that turning circle and the L200’s relatively compact dimensions compared to more bulbous rivals such as the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger (keeping in mind that it is still nearly 5.2m long and 1.8m wide). The steering is light and acceptably precise, and if the Club Cab starts to roll excessively in the corners you’re probably going too fast.

Engine refinement is also very good – the diesel motor only becoming particularly loud and coarse when accelerating hard. The gearbox is a rather notchy and vague, though, and ride comfort isn’t a strong point; some rivals now use car-like coil spring suspension at the rear, but Mitsubishi has stuck with heavy-duty leaf springs, which become quite jittery at speed. That said, we’ve only been able to test the Club Cab without a load in the back so far.

Cargo capacity and payload

Going for the Club Cab instead of the Double Cab means you’ll get a more practical pickup – but the L200 is still behind the best in the class.

The loadbed is 1,850mm long at its longest point, 1,470mm wide and 475mm tall, with a payload capacity of 1,045kg (Double Cab equivalent is 1,520x1,470x475mm, and also 1,045kg). Towing capacity is also limited to 3.0 tonnes (3.1 tonnes for the Double Cab). With no rear bumper in the way, the tailgate opens all the way to around 150 degrees.

For contrast, Nissan’s equivalent NP300 Navara King Cab has a payload capacity of up to 1,156kg, and can tow 3.5 tonnes.

Running costs

Alongside introducing the new bodystyles, Mitsubishi has modified the L200’s engine to meet the new Euro 6 emissions legislation, which comes into force in September 2016.

It’s done this using a NOx trap rather than an Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, which means you won’t have to fork out extra cash for AdBlue every few thousand miles; some experts believe NOx traps are likely to prove less reliable in the long-term, however, so there may be other associated costs further down the line.

Click here for full details about how Euro 6 effects vans and pickups

Claimed fuel economy for the L200 4Life Club Cab is 40.9mpg, which is reasonable for the class. Service intervals are relatively short at every 12 months or 12,500 miles, but Mitsubishi says this safeguards reliability.

Mitsubishi L200 Series 5 Club Cab off-road

The warranty is five years (good) or 65,500 miles (less good, when some rivals offer over 100,000), but can be topped up to 125,000 miles (very good) for a modest extra charge; at time of launch this fee was just £350 plus VAT.

Verdict

The L200’s real trump card is its value – the 4Life Club Cab is priced from £18,499 excluding VAT, undercutting every rival except the Isuzu D-Max Utility, which comes with far less standard kit.

With good fuel economy, a quiet engine and useful creature comforts, the Mitsubishi should be an easy pickup to spend your working life with. But it isn’t the top choice if practical concerns such as payload and towing capacity are your number one priority.

Click here to read more about the full Mitsubishi L200 Series 5 pickup truck range

Find a used Mitsubishi L200 in Parkers for sale section