Mitsubishi L200 2018 review
Under some facelifted vehicles, you certainly won’t mistake the new L200 from its predecessor. To this tester, it has the sort of presence and style you want from a pick-up.
Inside, it’s a different story. While there have been a number of changes, they’re of the mild tweak rather than full reworking variety, and the cabin would best be described as comfortably utilitarian. It’s all functional, well laid out and feels built to last, with useful touches like four USB ports.
The cabin is also comfortably spacious for four grown-ups, at least in the double cab version we tried – and, due to low demand, the single cab variant won’t be offered in the UK anyway. There’s plenty of kit too, especially in the higher trim levels.
Because the UK won’t get the new-look L200 until the summer of 2019, with Mitsubishi gradually rolling it out across global markets, final specifications and pricing for Britain have yet to be finalied. It has just gone on sale in Thailand, where it is also produced, and it was a Thai-spec version that we tested on a route that included city, motorway and country driving, along with an off-road course.
The new L200 model features the same turbocharged 2.4-litre diesel engine as the previous model, and that is likely to remain in the new UK version, mated to the same six-speed manual gearbox. That said, differing regulations mean the performance could well differ.
Alongside the manual, a new five-speed automatic will also be offered – and was on a test truck that we used briefly to sample an off-road course.
That engine produces 178bhp at 3500rpm, which is enough both to cruise comfortably on the motorway, and ensure plenty of low-down pulling power in tougher conditions. The diesel engine is somewhat on the gruff side, and it certainly isn’t quiet, but given this is, ultimate, designed and built as a commercial vehicle core buyers likely won’t mind that as a trade-off for its useful power and torque.
As with the pre-facelift L200, the ride is exactly what you’d expect from a one-tonne pick-up. Mitsubishi says it has done work on the car’s damping and suspension to smooth things out, but the combination of a solid chassis and live rear axle means that things can get bouncy. But on an average road you won’t notice too much, and you’ll be grateful for that extra give when you either load the L200 to capacity or take to rougher surfaces.
The drive modes on the four-wheel-drive drivetrain have also been revamped, with the addition of gravel, snow, sand and rock that vary how power is needed to optimise performance. We weren’t able to test them all, but can attest that the L200 can tackle an off-road obstacle course and a tropical Thai forest trail with aplomb – information that is, admittedly, of limited use to British commercial vehicle buyers.
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November 10, 2018 at 01:26PM