02 August 2017

Full Mitsubishi L200 (15 on) Model Review

by CJ Hubbard, Vans Editor

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian SVP auto review
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - driving
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - front
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - interior
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - driving
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - front
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - wheels
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - badge
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - rear
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - side steps
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - interior
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - numbered headrest
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - paddleshifters
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - load area
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - load bed lighting
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - front
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - rear
  • Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - with the Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge
  • Limited edition lifestyle version of versatile pickup
  • Full makeover includes bodywork mods, big tyres
  • Lots to like but it comes at quite the price
Mitsubishi L200 (15 on) 2.5 DI-D (178bhp) Double Cab Barbarian SVP 4WD Auto - Road Test
The Mitsubishi L200 has many talents, but it’s not the most obvious choice if you’re looking for a real head-turning pickup.

The Mitsubishi L200 has many talents, but it’s not the most obvious choice if you’re looking for a real head-turning pickup.

While it has a continuing legacy of lifestyle equipment grades with shouty names like Warrior and Barbarian, the current L200 is blandly styled and rather skinny-looking compared with the rival Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara and Volkswagen Amarok.

Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - rear

But Mitsubishi has come up with a solution. It’s called the Barbarian SVP, and as well as sexing up the L200, it’s also the launch vehicle for a whole new range of limited edition Special Vehicle Projects from Mitsubishi UK.

It looks, fair to say, pretty badass.

What’s different about the Mitsubishi L200 SVP?

This is a proper limited edition. Just 250 will be sold, half of them murdered-out in Cosmo Black, the other 50% finished in the Electric Blue shown when the L200 SVP launched at the 2017 CV Show earlier in the year.

Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - front

The blue works as a good contrast to the black finish of the exterior upgrades – including those eye-catching 17-inch alloy wheels with BF Goodrich off-road tyres and the necessary wheelarch extensions to accommodate them.

But we have to say the black on black on black of this test example certainly channels the mean and moody. In fact, it exuded a weirdly similar vibe to the Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge Parkers had in on test at the same time.

Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - with the Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge

The L200 SVP’s black finish also makes the more challenging styling elements – the headlight and taillight shrouds in particular – appear better integrated. Which is probably a bonus.

There’s more black for the foglamp surrounds, roof rails, sport bar and rear bumper – plus you also get an all-new grille, and side-steps apparently inspired by shark fins. Almost the only thing on the outside that isn’t black is the faux skid plate under the front bumper.

Looks hard as. But what about creature comforts?

The SVP is based on the top-of-the-range Barbarian trim level, so it’s loaded with standard kit, including:

Interior highlights include the fancy-looking Barbarian six-pack leather and suede seats, which come complete with SVP-logoed headrests embroidered with individual limited edition numbers; ours was number three.

Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - numbered headrest

Illuminated Barbarian sill plates are joined by footwell mood lighting – although given this is neon blue, the mood you’ll need to be in is Early Millennial Boy-racer.

Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - load bed lighting

The load bed lighting strips are similarly hilarious, though no doubt plenty useful as well. Other neat touches include puddle lamps, tailgate damper and SVP badging on the outside.

Overall, the interior is still rather dull compared with most current rivals, however.

Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - interior

The sports bar on the back is optional, and costs £458 plus VAT at the time of writing.

Does the SVP drive any differently to a regular L200?

The knobbly off-road orientated tyres move around a bit more underneath you, and perhaps generate a touch more road noise as well, but the SVP driving experience is otherwise L200 situation normal.

This means a surprisingly positive front end with plenty of grip, and well-controlled body roll in the corners – but a jittery unladen ride and rather numb steering.

Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - driving

All SVPs get the more powerful 181hp version of Mitsubishi’s 2.4-litre L200 turbodiesel engine, which feels effortlessly potent in most situations, thanks in part to the accompanying 430Nm and the L200’s relatively slight 1,860kg kerbweight.

The engine is also commendably refined once warm. The switchable four-wheel drive system is easy to use, too.

This particular example was fitted with the optional automatic gearbox. Despite having only five speeds this is a definite upgrade over the long-winded six-speed manual transmission.

Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - paddleshifters

Unusually for a pickup you even get paddleshifters, which are mounted in a fixed-position on the steering column and do a fair impression of the ones you get in a Maserati. Curious, but true.

The L200 is a good choice for an off-road pickup, and those all-terrain tyres will only improve this. Fancy risking all those fancy exterior bits, though?

Will it still carry all my gear?

Cosmetics aside, the SVP is otherwise as practical as a regular L200 double cab, which means the following load area dimensions:

  • Maximum load length: 1,520mm (at the floor; 1,470mm elsewhere)
  • Maximum load width: 1,470mm
  • Width between the wheel arches: 1,085mm
  • Side-wall height: 475mm
  • Cargo floor loading height: 850mm
  • Maximum payload: 1,050kg
  • Maximum towing capacity: 3,100kg

This is not the most commodious load area in the pickup truck segment, but the L200 also has the joint-smallest footprint of any current pickup (along with the largely identical Fiat Fullback).

Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - load area

The 3,100kg maximum towing capacity also lags some way behind rivals. On paper the L200’s payload is 1,050kg, but all those add-ons will eat into this somewhat. This is likely less critical than it might be for a van, however.

Mitsubishi L200 SVP running costs

Official fuel economy is 37.7mpg, but with the auto ’box you’ll be doing well to top 30mph in real life.

Mitsubishi gives you a five-year warranty, but this is limited to a slightly stingy 62,500 miles as standard. An upgrade to 125,000 miles coverage is available for a very reasonable fee, however.

Mitsubishi L200 SVP review - front

Service intervals are once a year or every 12,500 miles. About par for the course in pickup land.

The L200 meets Euro 6 without AdBlue, saving you that expense at least.

Our standard insurance quote came in at £707.84.

Insurance quotes are from mustard.co.uk and are based on a 46-year-old self-employed married male living in Hertfordshire with nine years NCD and no claims or convictions. Insurance quotes will vary depending on individual circumstances.

Verdict

At £30,633 (plus VAT) as tested, the Mitsubishi L200 SVP is not a cheap proposition – that’s £4,000 more than an equivalent L200 Barbarian with the same automatic transmission.

Whether you think the additional jewellery is worth the extra cash is up to you; the SVP does everything an ordinary L200 double cab can do but with what many would argue was extra style.

But it does run rather counter to one of the L200’s major selling points: its fantastic value. For us, the L200 Warrior remains the sweet spot in Mitsubishi’s lifestyle range.

Rivals to consider:

Isuzu D-Max AT35 – UK review on Parkers Vans

Volkswagen Amarok – full review on Parkers Vans

Ford Ranger – full review on Parkers Vans

Also read:

The Parkers Vans pickup group test – every major model compared

Mitsubishi L200 full review – full review on Parkers Vans

Mitsubishi at the CV Show 2017