MITSUBISHI has updated its popular L200 pickup truck, bringing bold styling, a revised powertrain, and a stiffer chassis with improved ride and handling, plus an increased payload and gross train weight.
Usefully, the pickup truck has barely changed in physical size, which will be a welcome note for those who find other pickups too big and bulky for UK roads.
But those who want their L200 for serious towing duties, be warned – while this latest model can handle a 3,500kg towing weight, it is only possible with a tri-axle braked trailer, says Mitsubishi importer the Colt Car Company.
Those who hitch a twin-axle trailer to the L200 are restricted to a maximum towing capacity of 3,100kg.
The firm has applied this restriction to the vehicle’s towing plate too, so be wary of over-loading.
The L200’s gross train weight has been increased to 6,155kg, so the maximum towing capacity can be accompanied by 550kg of payload.
When not towing, the L200’s bed can carry 1,080kg, and springs and a gas strut reduce the effort to open and close the tailgate.
Under the bonnet, this series 6 version of the venerable L200 has been downsized and power is pegged at 150hp.
It gets the Outlander’s 2.3-litre four-pot diesel engine, to meet Euro 6d emissions, with the help of AdBlue and auto start/stop. There is 400Nm of torque available from 2,000rpm, and a new six-speed automatic transmission makes the most of the engine.
At the recent launch, top-spec Barbarian X models with automatic transmissions – the manual gearbox was notably absent, but is available – gave a flavour of what the L200 can offer.
A variety of tasks, including on-road, off-road, towing and some dramatic boundary-pushing with a spot of rally-cross, left a good impression of the vehicle’s capabilities.
It drives far better than its headline figures suggest, though some might find its front seats narrow.
Larger front brakes and a host of clever tech help to keep the truck from being pushed a little too hard.
Body styles have been streamlined to include club cab and double cab only, with 4Life, Warrior, Barbarian and Barbarian X trim levels and prices from £21,515 to £32,200.
The interior has been updated to include revised instrumentation, and sat-nav is now app-based. You will need to link a smartphone to the in-dash touch-screen to do this.
Mitsubishi’s Super Select fourwheel drive system remains, but gets mud/snow, sand, gravel and rock modes, with suitably tempered throttle and stability systems.
Service intervals remain at 12,500 miles, the five-year warranty is limited to 62,500 miles, and there is still far too much use of hard scratchy plastics inside the top-spec Barbarian X.
While the ride is dramatically improved, the L200 still fidgets. Wind noise, road noise and the more realistic WLTP fuel figure of 29.1mpg will remind you this is still very much a working pickup truck with some carefully applied gloss.