The L200 is a beefy contender in the ever-popular pick-up series. This is a vehicle that looks ready to take on all-comers and, believe me, it will turn heads in the street. The spec level is good, and although not the most economical to run, you are guaranteed bags of fun.
The goodPower, off-road ability and plenty of top notch technology
The badLots of quality rivals out there these days
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian X Double Cab Diesel Auto 4WD (2021)
Drawing on more than four decades of pick-up know-how, Mitsubishi has upped the ante in the sector with the arrival of its all-new sixth generation L200 model.
Since the L200 pick-up debuted back in 1978, more than 4.7 million vehicles have been sold worldwide and it has always proved immensely popular with UK customers.
So, designers and engineers were tasked with the not-so-easy job of improving on the outgoing fifth-generation version without being too radical and driving away the existing fan-base.
It would seem they succeeded by developing a vehicle that boasts extra aggressive styling to help give it more road presence, plus lots of additional on-board technology, safety kit and a new engine. All this and it’s still very competitively priced.
The latest model is powered by a 2,268cc turbo diesel engine with AdBlue for cleaner, more efficient motoring delivering a combined 29.1mpg with carbon emissions of 206g/km. This is mated to a new six-speed automatic gearbox (a six-speed manual transmission is available). There is also a choice of double or single cab designs, along with various trim levels and prices starting from just £21,740.
We tested out the high-end L200 Barbarian X Double Cab model with an automatic gearbox priced £32,530 – a number of optional extras saw the cost creep up by an additional £2,603.
The latest L200 certainly looks imposing when viewed from any approach thanks to its all-new exterior styling. This includes a front-end that is dominated by the Japanese car maker’s Dynamic Shield identity featuring a massive grille. There are slim LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, squared-off wheel arches, a clamshell bonnet that’s been raised by 40mm, a new rear bumper design, plus 18-inch alloy wheels as standard.
Climb inside (with the aid of grab handles and side steps for all occupants) and the interior has definitely gained the X factor and taken a giant leap upmarket. There is leather upholstery throughout with ‘Barbarian X’ embossed into the seat backs, a compact touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, rear mood lighting, air conditioning, front heated and ventilated seats and a heated steering wheel.
When you open the doors, you are greeted by a blue illuminated ‘Barbarian X’ on the door sills and there are LED puddle lamps that look smart in the dark.
So, it would seem the latest L200 has all the style and creature comfort bases covered, but it’s worth remembering that this is primarily a working vehicle. With that in mind, it’s reassuring to learn that it can still put in a hard shift when needed. It can tow trailers weighing up to 3.5 tonnes, has a payload limit of 1,075kgs, can wade through water up to 600mm deep and has all the 4×4 ability you could possibly wish for.
Out on the open road and country lanes, there is bundles of power from the new diesel powertrain and the gearbox is perfectly timed with steering wheel-mounted paddles for added driver engagement. The road holding is nice and planted and there is very little sign of body sway into corners.
The steering weight feels quite heavy which becomes more noticeable in busy town centres with lots of twisting and turning. But the L200 effortlessly cruises at national speed limits on motorways with occupants well protected from too much wind, road surface or engine noise.
One area that has noticeably been improved upon is the ride comfort. Older L200 models left you creaking and needing the aid of a chiropractor after longer journeys, but the improved suspension system on the new L200 does an excellent job of smoothing out the bumpy road surfaces along the way.
That means all occupants benefit from a more comfortable experience and there shouldn’t be too many complaints from back seat passengers either as they have enough leg, shoulder and head space even with the front seats pushed well back.
There is a wealth of safety kit, such as more powerful brakes to help you bring the vehicle to a standstill, forward collision mitigation, automatic high beam, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot warning, hill descent control and lots more besides.
All in all, the new L200 model does a very worthwhile job of combining brute force and 4×4 ability with comfort and styling creating a vehicle that’s happy on the school run but very capable on a building site too.
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian X Double Cab diesel auto AWD
There were some rumours starting to circulate that Mitsubishi’s L200 pick-up truck had gone a little bit soft, but any concerns have been well and truly quashed with the launch of the new Series 6 model which has developed some real attitude.
The Japanese manufacturer has 40 years of 4×4 know-how and expertise to call upon and there has never been any doubt about the mighty pick-up’s ability off road. But, in recent years the market has been flooded with these ute-styled vehicles, and the L200 was starting to look a little bland by comparison.
But that was then and this is now. The aggressively styled L200 Series 6 boasts a completely new front end. There is a new 2,268cc turbo diesel powertrain with AdBlue, along with an upgraded automatic gearbox with six speeds.
Customers can choose from trim levels called 4Life Club Cab, Double Cab, Warrior, Barbarian and Barbarian X with all models apart from the entry-level 4Life Club Cab having double cabs – which equates to four doors.
We opted for the top-of-the-range Barbarian X with automatic gearbox delivering 150PS and 400Nm of torque and featuring the new transmission, and it didn’t disappoint. On the economy front, this vehicle could deliver combined fuel efficiency of 29.1mpg with carbon emissions of 206g/km which is pretty standard for a pick-up.
Priced at £32,200 (£32,885 with options, excluding VAT), the new L200 certainly looks the business with a commanding road presence. There is a new clamshell bonnet that’s been raised by 40mm, narrow LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, Mitsubishi’s distinctive Dynamic Shield grille, an upgraded rear end with new metalwork, bumpers and LED taillights. There are squared off wheel arches and new 18-inch alloys to complete the imposing look.
Climb into the cab, with the aid of a side step and grab handles if necessary, and you are greeted with a modern interior with lots of on-board techno treats to explore.
Our range-topper was kitted out with bespoke Barbarian X upholstery, along with a chunkier steering wheel that can be heated, and a touchscreen infotainment system.
Creature comforts are plentiful and include smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a touchscreen entertainment system with DAB radio, air conditioning, mood lighting, Bluetooth, front and rear USB ports, Barbarian X leather seats, parking sensors, plus a 360-degree camera system.
Out on the open road, comfort levels within the new L200 have certainly improved. It was previously renowned for its somewhat overly-firm ride with every bump sending shudders through your spine.
But now the chassis has been strengthened and there are new springs, along with larger brakes and these are all factors that contribute to the improved ride quality. It would be fair to say the new L200 feels relatively refined for a full-sized pick-up.
The acceleration through the new automatic gearbox is smooth with ample power on tap from the punchy new engine. The road holding is also nice and grippy with fairly minimal body movement into bends.
The driver sits high up and has a great view of the road ahead and all controls, dials and readouts are ideally positioned for easy of use. And when you fancy a little more fun, there are steering wheel mounted paddles so you can take full control of the gear changes.
Although pick-ups are becoming a popular alternative to fully blown SUVs these days, they still need to offer all the workhorse capabilities that they were originally designed for – and the L200 does just that.
Our open-backed model could carry a payload weighing up to 1,075kgs and tow a trailer of up to 3.5 tonnes. Off the beaten track, it can wade through 600mm-deep water, has ground clearance of 205mm, an approach angle of 30 degrees and departure angle of 22 degrees. One really handy feature is the ability to switch between 2WD and 4WD and back again while on the move, at speeds up to 62mph.
Safety features also impress on the new L200 with more kit being added as you move up through the trim levels. By the time you reach Barbarian X level you can expect to see Forward Collision Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, a reversing camera, Hill Descent Control and Off-Road Mode, a 360-degree camera system, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Ultrasonic Mis-acceleration System, Auto High Beam, LED front fog lights, plus front and rear parking sensors.
All in all the Mitsubishi L200 Series 6 has really raised the bar and is now quite the accomplished all-rounder covering all the practicality, comfort and performance bases very well. It is also competitively priced and brings with it four decades of off-roading expertise.
Mitsubishi L200 DI-D Barbarian Auto
Mitsubishi’s ground-breaking L200 model has frequently been described as the ultimate workhorse vehicle, but somehow over the years it has picked up some truly thoroughbred credentials along the way.
Now in its fifth generation, the vehicle with go-anywhere capabilities, is still a major favourite with buyers and, until it was overtaken by the Outlander PHEV, it was the Japanese brand’s top-selling model. It’s now firmly settled in second place.
And after a week driving the top-of-the-range Barbarian model costing £25,199, it’s very easy to see why the L200 has charmed so many farmers, builders, equestrians and drivers who simply crave the best of both worlds.
That’s because the L200 can certainly deliver on the performance front with its flexible two or four-wheel-drive system, excellent towing capabilities and all-round ruggedness.
But there is also a softer and somewhat more refined side to the vehicle that it is kitted out with all the state-of-the-art technology and creature comforts normally more associated with a flashy family saloon.
The L200 looks impressive and ready for action from any angle and features the iconic J-Line design trait which is the distinctive separation line between the cabin and cargo bed which ensures maximum space and flexibility within the four-door, five-seat cabin.
There are also 17-inch wheels, side steps, a powerful-looking grille housing the company logo, strong HID headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights, rugged-looking bumpers and a soft opening tailgate.
But on a gentler note there are very practical features such as stylish blue puddle lamps to prevent occupants stepping down into the unexpected! There is a DAB radio with CD player, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, illuminated door entry guards, mood lighting, Bluetooth connectivity, sat nav, powered leather seats and a highly-efficient touchscreen infotainment system.
Powered by a 2.4-litre, 178bhp diesel engine mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox, the L200 can reach 62mph from a standing start in 11.8 seconds and has a top speed of 109mph. It can return a creditable 39.2mpg on a combined run with carbon emissions of 189g/km.
Despite its larger-than-life dimensions, the L200 is deceptively nimble and boasts an impressively tight turning circle. The steering is precise and sharp and the road-holding is reassuringly grounded. In fact it feels like it would take quite an intervention from a bad tempered Mother Nature to shift this model off course.
There is a little engine, road and wind noise, but it’s still relatively minimal for a vehicle of this type and a far cry from previous generation models that would shake, rattle and hum on their way.
Comfort levels for occupants have been enhanced too courtesy of a fully revised suspension system which somehow manages to iron out the bumps and dips along the way.
And as one would expect safety specifications are comprehensive with the likes of anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, active stability and traction control, brake assist, lane-departure warning, a reinforced body structure, hill-start assist, trailer stability assist, seven airbags and that outstanding 4WD system.
All in all, the latest Series 5 L200 is a very accomplished all-rounder. With its combined carrying and towing limit of four tonne-plus, it’s more than willing and capable to report for active duty when required, but certainly enjoys its well-earned R and R time too.
Mitsubishi L200 Double Cab 2.5 DI-D Walkinshaw
Dark and mysterious with an abundance of power hidden under the bonnet – that’s the L200 from Mitsubishi.
Absolutely guaranteed to turn heads, the chromed-up L200 pick-up from Mitsubishi always looks best in jet black with tinted windows and giant “I-mean-business” tyres.
You may not be the most popular resident in the neighbourhood thanks to the not-so-quiet engine rumble, but with its no-messing appearance… who cares!
The ride is a tad on the bumpy side, but the L200 offers an invincible feel with a fun side thrown in too.
It boasts stacks of great specifications including alloy wheels, sports suspension and an exhaust upgrade making it the all-action vehicle.
The engine rumbles gently like a caged lion as it ticks over, but then out on the open road, it leaps into action with power and performance in bundles.
Inside the double cab, there is an abundance of saloon-style luxury and top-notch features.
In fact, one could be fooled into thinking this was some sort of luxurious off-roader.
But, in reality, the L200 is a capable working vehicle combining outstanding pulling power, class-leading Super Select 4WD and awesome traction and safety levels, especially when towing or driving in difficult weather conditions.
As one might expect, the safety spec is very thorough with Mitsubishi Active Stability and Traction Control, anti-lock brakes, airbags and plenty more.
All in all, the L200 is great fun, with first class tech spec and menacing looks that would slip into a Mad Max remake anytime soon, although no point looking behind you Max as visibility through the rearview mirror is virtually non-existent!