29 July 2016

Full Mitsubishi L200 (15 on) Model Review

by Tim Pollard, Digital Editor-in-Chief

The Parkers road test: Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian
  • It's a long pickup, at over 5m in length
  • Not the most upmarket of interiors, but the L200 cabin works well
  • The new Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian: top-spec
  • Our L200 was fitted with the optional canopy top
  • Smoked glass on our canopy top keeps prying eyes out
  • Barbarian the most popular spec of L200, alongside Warrior
  • We test top-spec Mitsubishi L200
  • Barbarian trim is best-selling spec
  • Would you pay £30k for it though?
Mitsubishi L200 (15 on) 2.5 DI-D (178bhp) LB Double Cab DI-D Barbarian 4WD Auto - Road Test
Britain’s pickup market is booming, awash with new entrants such as the Toyota Hilux, Nissan NP300 Navara and refreshed VW Amarok, not to mention the imminent Renault Alaskan. Even Mercedes-Benz is muscling in on the action with a planned pickup launch in 2018.

Britain’s pickup market is booming, awash with new entrants such as the Toyota Hilux, Nissan NP300 Navara and refreshed VW Amarok, not to mention the imminent Renault Alaskan. Even Mercedes-Benz is muscling in on the action with a planned pickup launch in 2018.

Mitsubishi has form, of course - the L200 being one of Britain’s longest-standing bestsellers in this category. Here we test the latest Series 5 version in top-spec Barbarian trim.

What do you get for your money?

The Mitsubishi L200 2.5 DI-D Double Cab Barbarian Auto costs £25,199 +VAT, or £30,239 if you’re a private buyer. So you’re paying £10k more than the entry-level L200 for the pleasure of having lots of toys. 

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian with canopy

And that Barbarian spec means this L200 is bristling with equipment. This seems to be a growing trend in the lifestyle pickup sector, as buyers crave more creature comforts over hard-working utilitarian talents. The following is standard on this model:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Smoked privacy glass on rear windows (hard to see out of!)
  • LED day-running lights
  • Bi-xenon headlamps with washers
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Automatic rain-sensing wipers
  • DAB radio with Bluetooth music streaming
  • Satellite-navigation
  • Reversing camera
  • Dual-zone climate control

Climb inside, and it feels generously equipped. Most functions are electrically assisted - even the leather-upholstered driver’s seat - but there’s no escaping the rather cheap-feeling, brittle plastics used in the underlying cabin. It’s not quite as well finished as its (admittedly newer) rivals from Nissan and Volkswagen. It is roomy, however, with decent space for both rows in the double cab and access is easy.

Inside the cabin of the Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian

The driving position is excellent, with decent reach and rake adjustment on the wheel and although the cabin suffers from a workmanlike, plain design, everything works well (especially the aftermarket-looking sat-nav). Just watch out for the lane departure warning system fitted on our car; it was one of the worst systems of its ilk we’d tried, imagining white lines on unmarked roads. 

How does the L200 Barbarian drive?

This is a big car, at 5,285mm long, and we’re glad Mitsubishi includes a reversing camera as standard on the Barbarian spec. It’s actually quite easy to manoeuvre at low speeds, with that bluff, squared-off shape making it easy to place on the road.

Performance from the most powerful 178hp version of the 2.4-litre diesel is decent enough. The benchmark 0-62mph sprint takes 11.8sec, which is nothing to write home about, but the fulsome 430Nm of torque means that it’s never short of thrust for overtaking. Even with lots of bodies on board, the L200 rarely feels slow.

Just watch out for some diesely clatter. Mitsubishi claims an average economy of 39.2mpg and our experience suggests you should be able to get close to that given judicious application of the right pedal and a light load.

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian Double Cab in profile

This is a soft-riding pickup, so don’t expect any thrills in corners, where body roll raises its head if you pile into a corner too fast; some Parkers testers found it quite floaty at motorway speeds, too, but overall this a versatile machine that can lug a workman’s gear around by day and your family by weekend. 

The Series 5 is a definite step forwards over earlier L200s - and remains unstoppable off-road, should you need to venture off the tarmac.

Cargo carrying and practicality

As you can read in the full Parkers review, the L200 lags behind the competition when it comes to the loadbay. Measuring 1,470mm wide and long, and 475mm high, it’s not quite as commodious as its more modern pickup rivals.

Ours had the canopy hard top fitted as an option (£1,393 exc VAT), which is a boon for keeping equipment and baggage out of sight; many operators pick the £932 exc VAT retractable tonneau cover, for a more flexible boot.

Inside the Mitsubishi L200 loadbay

The maximum payload of 1,050kg similarly lags behind some rivals, and it’s the same story on the 3.1-tonne towing capacity, where the class leaders manage 3.5t. 

Would we buy one?

Yes. The L200 has always had a loyal following and, if you can put up with the marginally less voluminous loadbed and towing capacity, this is a fine pickup. 

We feel the Mitsubishi is better served with a sharper-value, lower spec, but if you can afford to pay the £10k premium for going top-end - and there are just as many buyers who pick Barbarian as Warrior spec - we wouldn’t chastise you.

Now read our full Mitsubishi L200 review here