Mitsubishi L200 pick-up review

Our Rating 
Price Range 
2015 model
By KinyuKinr Test TeamComments

The Mitsubishi L200 pick-up truck is our favourite double cab thanks to its value and ability

Modern engine
Fuel economy
Broad model range
Dated switchgear
OTT top-specs
Not quite as refined as an SUV

The Mitsubishi L200 for sale today is currently our favourite double cab pick-up truck. Go for top-spec Barbarian or Warrior models, and you get a working vehicle that can rival an SUV for kit and interior space, and running costs aren't much different, either.

The current L200 is the Series 5, and it went on sale in 2015. The L200, which is called the Mitsubishi Triton in some markets, has a number of tough rivals in the pick-up truck sector, including the Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara and Volkswagen Amarok. The Fiat Fullback is essentially a re-badged L200, while the Isuzu D-Max, Ford Ranger and SsangYong Musso are also worth considering, and the Mercedes X-Class is a more upmarket - and expensive - option.

Prices for the Mitsubishi L200 start from slightly less than £20,000, which gets you a work-focused single cab model. For the genuine pick-up-as-SUV experience, you need to spend about £3,500 extra for a double cab in a non-utilitarian spec. Of course, these prices exclude VAT at 20%, because the L200, just like its pick-up truck rivals, is classed as a commercial vehicle. This classification is the reason for their existence, too, as it means they qualify for substantial tax breaks when compared to similarly specced and priced SUVs if they're also used as private vehicles.

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The L200 range comprises 4Life, Titan, Warrior, Barbarian and Barbarian SVP models. The 4Life is the utilitarian model, so it's the only one that also comes in Single and Club Cab body styles, while the rest of the range is offered only as a four-door Double Cab.

Standard kit is pretty impressive for these Double Cab models, with all versions from Titan and above getting 7 airbags, traction control and Trailer Stability Assist, xenon lights, air-conditioning, alloy wheels, privacy glass, a DAB radio, lane departure warning and Mitsubishi's Super Select 4WD system.

Move up to a Warrior or Barbarian, and you get keyless entry, leather seats with front seat heaters, auto lights and wipers, a rear camera and dual zone climate control. At the top of the range, the SVP is a special edition that gets an exclusive look, courtesy of colour coded wheels and trim, knobbly BF Godrich off-road tyres, side steps and roof rails. There have been two version of the SVP, the first in bright blue with black accents, while the SVP II features metallic grey or black paint combined with bright orange wheels and trim inside and out.

Of course, as it's primarily a work vehicle, the L200's MPG and parts costs will need to be considered. Fuel economy of 39.8mpg is quoted for the manual Double Cab model, while the auto has a claimed average of 37.7mpg. In reality, users can expect around 30mpg economy in everyday driving, while a 75-litre fuel tank means you can expect a range of around 500 miles between fills. Running costs won't be cheap, but at least the L200 doesn't need to rely on AdBlue to help reduce its emissions, so that's one less outlay to consider. Even better is that the L200 is covered by Mitsubishi's 5-year warranty. And while this only covers the truck for 62,500 miles, that matches the L200's 12,500-mile service intervals.

There's one engine available in the L200, a 2.4-litre four-cylinder diesel. It's rated at 181PS (178bhp) in the Double Cab variants, and is offered with either a 6-speed manual or 5-speed auto gearbox. The engine itself is relatively smooth when compared to some rival models, while the gearboxes make good use of the power available.

Like all pick-up trucks, the L200 can carry a payload over 1 tonne (it needs this to qualify for the tax breaks offered on pick-ups for business users) and there's a maximum towing weight of 3,500kg. Both the manual and auto can haul this towing maximum.

The Mitsubishi L200 has a long and fairly illustrious history on the UK pick-up market, spanning over 30 years. The Series 3 version of the Mitsubishi L200 really hit the big time, selling over 12,000 units in 2003 during the UK's pick-up truck boom. Back then, the tax regime looked very favourably on the double-cab pick-up, with businesses reclaiming the VAT on the purchase price and company car users paying a flat tax rate, making big savings on benefit in kind company car tax.

Things tightened up on the benefit in kind tax front and pick-up sales dropped slightly, with the Series 4 selling just under 6,500 units in 2014. However, with an increase in load capacity to get back on the right side of the tax break, the L200 – and its rivals - are enjoying rising sales again.

MPG and Running Costs


The Mitsubishi L200 gets an advanced common-rail turbo diesel engine with MIVEC variable valve-timing, an aluminium cylinder block and lots of other weight-saving design features. It's a remarkably high-tech unit to find in a pick-up truck and it delivers some very strong fuel economy figures.  

The entry-level 4Life version is the fuel economy star of the range, with a 40.9mpg combined economy figure in Euro 6 trim. But the higher spec derivatives aren't far behind with 39.8mpg provided you choose the manual gearbox. Go for the 5-speed auto and the combined cycle performance drops off to 37.7mpg but that's still better than many rivals can muster, even in their greenest manual guise. The CO2 emissions range from 180g/km in the 4Life to 196g/km in the auto models. 

A 75-litre fuel tank isn't quite as big as you'll find in a VW Amarok or Ford Ranger (both have 80-litre tanks), but these two are powered by thirstier V6 and 5 cylinder diesels respectively, so you'll still be filling the L200 less frequently than its rivals.

The L200 is built to be tough and to deliver minimum repair and maintenance costs. To underline its faith in its product, Mitsubishi offers a 5-year/62,000-mile warranty with 12 years of anti-corrosion cover. Service intervals however are set at a rather frequent 12,500 miles or 12 months, whichever comes soonest.

Mitsubishi's £750 three-year service deal isn’t as good value as the £675 four-year plan Volkswagen offers on the Amarok, while the L200’s 12,500-mile intervals are more frequent than the Ford Ranger manages, which can cover 20,000 miles in between maintenance. However, at £850 for three years’ routine servicing, Ford's maintenance deal is pricier.


Load Space and Practicality


The overall dimensions of the L200 are a little more compact than many of its key rivals, particularly in terms of width. The double-cab truck measures in at 5,285mm long and 1,815mm wide, making it 134mm narrower than a Volkswagen Amarok and 45mm narrower than an Isuzu D-Max. Despite this, it doesn't really give anything away in terms of capacity.   

The open load bay on the back of the popular double-cab L200 is 1,470mm square with a depth of 475mm, which is 15mm deeper than the 4 Series model. There are six load lashing points and grooves cut into the load bed so it can be divided up to separate cargo. A step is cut into the rear bumper on higher spec models and a new tailgate mechanism is designed to prevent the gate falling down when unlocked, a hazard common on other pick-up models. Barbarian derivatives also get soft-opening tailgate that eases itself down rather than clanging open. 

The maximum payload capacity is 1,050kg for the automatics, just 5kg less for the manuals. Most importantly, it's over the magic 1,000kg barrier that qualifies pick-ups for lower commercial vehicle company car tax rates. Owners needing to shift more stuff can attach a braked trailer of up to 3,100kg in weight on double and extended cab models or 3,000kg for the single cab. Mitsubishi claims that this lets the L200 achieve a total trailer and payload carrying capacity of 4,090kg, a figure that no rival can match. 

Mitsubishi offers a variety of load bed covers to suit most needs. There are hinged hard covers that open on gas struts, and the ubiquitous roll-top cover, while both can be specced to fit trucks with or without roll hoops. Truck tops can create a vast load area, although they do tend to make it harder to see out of the back - so it's hand that most L200s come with a reversing camera as standard.

Reliability and Safety


The L200 is built to be tough and while that means it doesn't compare particularly well to big passenger carrying SUVs in terms of comfort and sophistication, it should make for a vehicle you can trust. The latest model features a more extensively reinforced chassis with more substantial joints between the frame, load bay and cabin. 

A four-star Euro NCAP safety rating from 2015 means the L200 offers at least as much occupant protection in a crash as its rivals. While autonomous braking isn’t available, lane-departure warning is standard on Barbarian trim. However, this manifests tiself as a beep from the dashboard when you change lanes without indicating, and can be rather irritating after a while. And it comes on automatically every time you start the truck.

The level of safety equipment provided as standard across the rest of the range is extremely good for the pick-up class, with the L200 offering many advanced active safety features that we're used to seeing on passenger cars, but haven't quite made it to the world of the pick-up before.

The stability and traction control system can brake individual wheels to correct understeer and oversteer while diverting power to the wheels with most grip. There are seven airbags, an adjustable speed limiter and Trailer Stability Assist is included as standard too, an extension to the stability control system that adjusts its responses if a trailer is attached.

Then there's Hill Start Assist and hazard lights that flash if you brake hard, but the previously mentioned lane departure warning system and Bi-Xenon headlamps are only on the higher spec models. There's no hill descent control, either, although the L200's Super Select 4WD with low-range gears are there to deal with more intensive off-road driving.

Driving and Performance


The 2.4-litre MIVEC diesel engine made its debut in the fifth generation L200 and is a much higher-tech unit than we've been used to seeing in pick-up trucks. Common-rail injection, variable valve timing and aluminium construction all help to give this unit an edge on performance and efficiency grounds.

The engine comes in two states of tune with the entry-level 4Life derivatives getting a 151bhp version with 380Nm of torque but all other models getting 178bhp and 430Nm. Mitsubishi has managed to meet the first stage of Euro 6 emissions regulations without resorting to AdBlue, keeping running costs down for customers.

Performance is brisk in the higher-powered engine with a 0-62mph time of 10.4s while the lower powered option has a 12.2s sprint time that's closer to the average for the class. 

The other key difference between the entry-level L200 and the top spec versions is the 4x4 system. Base models get the Easy Select part-time 4x4 set-up that can be engaged manually when required and features a locking rear differential. Higher spec L200s get the Super Select active 4x4 system from the Shogun SUV. It can be set in rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive modes for on road driving with the 4x4 mode automatically sending power to the wheels with most grip. It maintains a rear-biased 60:40 torque split under normal driving to help reduce understeer on the road. There are then two further off-road modes with the centre differential locked and either high or low range gearing for the really rough stuff. 

The L200 has real off-road ability built in but it's the on-road performance that's going to be more relevant to most buyers. Compared to the other options in the pick-up sector, the Mitsubishi is very competent on the tarmac with the latest version putting up a valiant fight against the bouncy ride and sloppy handling that tend to afflict models in this market. 

The ride is noticeably more composed than we've been used to in UK market pick-ups and lateral roll in corners is also kept comparatively well in check. The L200 can still be upset buy bumpy surfaces and big craters send shudders through the cabin but on good roads the ride is comfortable enough. Refinement is also strong, the engine rumbles on start-up but this subsides as it warms up. There's still a loud growl under throttle but it suits the L200's character, you wouldn't really want your pick-up truck whispering away like a luxury saloon. At 70mph on the motorway, the engine is sitting at around 1,500rpm and the engine is barely audible, through there is a fair bit of road noise. 

The steering has been given a useful bit of weight and it feels more responsive around the straight-ahead than the majority of pick-ups. The gear change on the 6-speed manual version too is more precise than the old L200 and shorter throw too. The 5-speed paddle shift automatic that's also offered works well and suits the relaxed driving style that's best adopted in the L200.    


The Barbarian SVP II is the model to go for if you need proper off-road ability. It comes as standard with BF Goodrich all terrain tyres, and means the truck can head much further off-road than the stand truck's tyres will allow you to go. The trade-off for this added off-road ability is an unsettled ride on tarmac, as the open tread sends vibrations through the truck, while road noise is increased, too.

Cab and Interior


The cabin of the L200 is spacious and durable. Some of the minor switchgear is dated and the plastics quality wouldn't stack-up well in passenger car company, but the materials are adequate for the pick-up market with some nice detailing thrown in. The neat Super Select 4x4 control dial sits behind the gear lever and there's a clear instrument cluster with a clear display showing you which drive mode you're in. A large touchscreen sits in the centre of the dash on higher spec models but it does look a bit too much like an after-market addition.

Passenger space is fine with plenty of headroom and space for a six-foot adult to sit comfortably behind a similarly sized driver, but the low seating does mean they have to bunch their knees up a bit. Storage space is limited to a bin between the front seats, some narrow door pockets and a glovebox that can take the manual but little else.

Move up the range, and higher-spec cars get different leather trim. In reality, the Warrior model is comfortable and well specced to make the Barbarian models seem a bit over the top. After all, who needs illuminated kick plates?

The SVP II adds some lurid leather trim to the truck, with black and orange colours, while the interior lighting has an orange tint, and there are orange trimmed black carpets inside, too. It all goes with the additional orange exterior trim and orange wheels, but does at least mean the L200 turns heads.

The top-spec L200 Barbarian comes as standard with Mitsubishi’s seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Functionally, it’s on par with its pick-up truck competitors, because sat-nav, Bluetooth and DAB radio are all fitted as standard. You also get a six-speaker audio system, steering wheel media controls and USB connectivity.

The screen is larger than a VW Amarok’s small display, but smaller than a Ford Ranger’s, and it doesn’t look as modern as either. The interface is fairly simple; however, this third-party unit isn’t too advanced as the graphics feel a bit dated and the screen could be more responsive. 

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Last updated: 
7 Nov, 2018