25 August 2015

Full Mitsubishi L200 (15 on) Model Review

by Liam Campbell, Van Editor

Mitsubishi L200 (15 on) 2.5 D (178bhp) Double Cab Barbarian 4WD
  • Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian
  • Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian
  • Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian
  • Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian
  • Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian
  • 2.4-litre diesel with 178bhp and 430Nm
  • Big improvements made to driving manners
  • Priced at a competitive £27,118 plus VAT
Mitsubishi L200 (15 on) 2.5 DI-D (178bhp) LB Double Cab DI-D Barbarian 4WD - Road Test
Just a couple of weeks after its launch, a Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian was dropped off at Parkers HQ for us to test for the week. Sporting an electric blue and an eye-watering amount of chrome detailing, it was one of the most striking vehicles in the car park, but could its driving manners and comfort live up to its plush exterior?

Just a couple of weeks after its launch, a Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian was dropped off at Parkers HQ for us to test for the week. Sporting an electric blue and an eye-watering amount of chrome detailing, it was one of the most striking vehicles in the car park, but could its driving manners and comfort live up to its plush exterior?

Targeting refinement

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian

The Mitsubishi is seen as one of the protagonists in the launching of the ‘lifestyle’ pickup sector at the turn of the millennia, with its (relatively) comfortable ride and its association with outdoor brands like Animal.

Over the past five years, its once respected handling and comfort has been overshadowed with newer pickups, like the Volkswagen Amarok and Ford Ranger, setting the standard higher. Increased refinement was at the top of the bill during the development

Eye catching looks

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian

Mitsubishi’s ‘Electric Blue’ certainly stands out from the crowd; as does the overwhelming amount of chrome used on the grille, door handles, roll bar, and wing mirrors. Even the standard side steps and rear bumper are given a chrome finish, and privacy glass has been added for that ‘VIP effect’. The 17-inch alloys and HID Xenon lights enhance the stylish looks, as do the fog lights that are integrated into the front bumper.

In the cab

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian

Once unlocked, the electric mirrors automatically unfold and the LED lights in the ‘Barbarian’ lettering on the door sill light the cab up in blue. In contrast to the attractive exterior, the interior is rather bland with dull colouring and square features.

Apart from the absence of a ‘menu’ or ‘home’ page, we rated infotainment system with its seven-inch touchscreen and integrated reversing camera, DAB radio and Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary connectivity. The layout is very easy to follow and there’s a dedicated ‘door open’ icon and steering wheel-mounted controls for the infotainment system and cruise control.

Leather upholstery has been used to live the seats, and is surprisingly comfortable. The heated, electric driver seat and steering wheel are fully adjustable, but there is a lack of decent-sized storage compartments.

Also featuring on the spec list are electric folding heated door mirrors with side indicators, electric windows, dual zone climate control air conditioning, and rain and dusk sensors.

On the road

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian

With no keys needed, the new quiet engine is started button the push of the button. We rated Mitsubishi’s new 2.4-litre MIVEC engine; it’s quick off the mark with 178bhp and the 430Nm of torque means it’s capable of pulling 3.1 tonnes with ease. The gearstick still has quite a long throw, but it’s less clunky and more user-friendly than the old L200's.

Steering and body roll have traditionally been two sticking points for the Mitsubishi L200, but the new generation has much improved driving manners and is far more comfortable to drive with increased sound proofing. The steering, while still not the best, is more responsive and it maintains its composure in the corners.

Off road

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian

Operators will be pleased to hear that the off road performance of the Mitsubishi L200 hasn’t been compromised with the latest generation. There is 205mm of ground clearance, and maximum approach and departure angles are rated at 30 and 22 degrees respectively.

For the first time, the Mitsubishi L200 comes with an electronic four-wheel drive (4WD)  system; previously it was selectable via a second gearstick. The ‘Super Select’ system integrates Mitsubishi Active Stability and Traction Control ABS with EBD Hill Start Assist, and is the only selectable 4WD system that can be used on the road.

Loading

The business end of the Mitsubishi L200 still doesn’t compete with the rest of the competition, measuring just 1,470mm long by 1,470mm wide. Payload isn’t much better, falling well short of the class average of 1,125kg with just 1,050kg. The maximum towing capacity is 3.1 tonnes.

Barbarian spec versions receive a rear bumper step, which limits the tailgate opening to 90-degree, whereas it's 180 degrees on the entry level spec. The side walls are 475mm high.

Summary

Although the Mitsubishi L200 still lacks in terms of payload, towing and load dimensions, it remains a top performer off road while big gains have been made in terms of comfort and refinement. At £27,118 plus VAT, the Barbarian trim level represents huge value for money when compared with the spec-for-spec competitors.