Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian – new car review
Mitsubishi began developing cars 100 years ago and has a long-proven reputation for producing tough vehicles – none more so that its L200 pick up.
There are several body styles available and the double-cab is popular because it overlaps the trendy SUV market, combining family transport with rugged workhorse capability.
The pick-up sector is surprisingly crowded, with rivals models from Toyota, Ford and Nissan among others in the mix, yet Mitsubishi’s robust brand image and competitive pricing ensure it maintains a loyal following.
Prices start at £18,300 excluding VAT though high-spec double cab versions can top £30,000.
Beneficial tax break
One attraction of the pick-up is the tax break available to drivers using one tonne-plus capacity commercial vehicles for private mileage.
Our test model was an L200 double-cab in high-spec SVP Barbarian trim and priced at £28,775 excluding VAT.
For that you get 17-inch black alloys with all-terrain tyres, leather seats, roof rails, wheel-arch extensions, side-steps, premium HD navigation and audio system, dual zone climate control, keyless operation, rear view camera, selectable 4WD, and even front and rear mood-lighting among its kit.
Excellent acceleration from the Mitsubishi Barbarian
The modern efficient 2.4 litre 178 hp diesel engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox (auto transmission is an option) and the acceleration figure is very good by class standards, 0-60 mph in 10.4 seconds, similar to many cars.
Fuel economy is also good for such a large vehicle – 39.8 mpg combined.
The L200 has a payload of just over one tonne and a 3,100 kg towing weight (3,000kg for single cab).
More sleekly styled than most rivals, the L200 has stable handling characteristics, with less ‘bounce’ than you get on some pick-ups.
The engine is chattery on start-up but quiet on the move and the overall driving experience is smooth and easy, with a slick-shifting manual gearbox and precise steering.
The cabin, with leather upholstery and large central touch-screen looks impressive and there is plenty of room for five adults. Only downside is minimal stowage space. While there is a big bin between the front seats, the doorbins are slim and the glovebox tiny.
There are various secure canopies for the rear load deck, and my test model was fitted with a retractable and lockable roll-blind style cover, a £1,120 option.
Attractive alternative to more conventional commercial vehicles
With eye-catching styling, good all-round performance, five-year warranty and robust reliability record, the L200 double-cab pick-up is an attractive alternative to more conventional commercial vehicles for those who want dual-purpose versatility for family and business use.
FOR: Eye-catching styling, 5 year warranty, refined driving feel.
AGAINST: Limited cabin stowage space.