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Von Jonathan Crouch
Mitsubishi's L200 pickup has long been a favorite of British buyers and the smarter and roomier version, sold between 2010 and 2015, rivals the competition in all key areas.
Single, Club & Double Cab Pickup [2.5 Diesel (4Work, 4Life, Warrior, Animal, Raging Bull. Barbarian, Trojan)]
If you're buying a used pick-up in the UK, you're probably seriously considering one of them: the Mitsubishi L200. Its market leadership is mainly due to the fact that the Japanese brand is pulling itself together faster than other competitors in this sector. It was the first company to recognize in the 1990s that pickup truck ownership could be expanded beyond farmers and workers into the SUV lifestyle segment. This enabled the model's predecessor to capture almost half of the UK market in this sector before its rivals caught up.
The modern-generation version we're looking at here was first introduced in 2006 and had a much tougher task, with upgraded versions from competitors like Toyota's Hilux, Nissan's Navara and Ford's Ranger appearing around the same time. The rounder design set the vehicle apart from the competition, but it was mostly repeat purchases that maintained Mitsubishi's market leadership over rivals that offered more power and a larger payload.
To keep up, Mitsubishi introduced a facelifted model for the 2010 model year, offering sleeker looks and a little more usability. The L200 model, which was sold until the introduction of the further revised 'Series 5' version in mid-2015, is viewed here as a used market opportunity. Isn't it number one for nothing?
what you get
Before this generation of the L200 came out in 2006, you wouldn't have thought that it would be possible to give such a boxy and practical pick-up a curvy look, but Mitsubishi's designers somehow managed to do it. In early 2010, the range underwent a slight redesign to create the vehicle we're looking at here, with a revised grille and projector-style headlights, a look that carries through the range, no matter which of the different body styles you choose . The single cab version is aimed primarily at companies that require a true old-school work pick-up with a traditional two-seater layout and a generous 2,220mm load length, with optional tipping mechanism or quick-change dropside sides for easy loading . Customers who occasionally need to carry more than one passenger may also consider the Club Cab version. It offers a loading length of 1,805 mm and additional storage space behind the front seats of the cabin for the safe accommodation of small passengers.
Behind the multifunction steering wheel of this revised model lies clearer instrumentation as well as a smarter center console and armrest. For a truly luxurious feel, however, you need the four-door crew-cab body style that almost all buyers want, not least because it's the only body style offered with the more powerful 175hp engine. The competition offers double-cab models, of course, but the usual upright rear seats and lack of a center-rear three-point belt might make you consider taking a family of five on a long trip. The L200 Double Cab, on the other hand, has three-point seat belts for all three rear passengers and the rear seatbacks are set at a more car-like angle of 25 degrees. Plus best-in-class rear legroom at 810mm. That's all good for the passengers, not great for the cargo length in the rear cargo area. So in 2010 Mitsubishi extended the previously modest load length of the L200 Double Cab by 180mm, giving an overall load length of 1505mm, which now rivals that of its arch-rival, the Nissan Navara.
Access to the luggage compartment is via a tailgate, which can be locked horizontally or lowered almost completely by releasing the support arms, which can be folded on both sides. As with most pickups, you have to lift your load quite high (850mm) to get it into the cargo area. A forklift may be required when using the total payload of 1050 kg. Once there, however, there are plenty of tie-down hooks to keep things from shifting, and there's a width of 1085mm between the wheel arches, which is easily enough for a standard EU pallet. A small detail that we really liked about the L200 models of this era was the ability to electrically lower the heated rear window, allowing items that are a little too long for the truck bed to be carried into the cab.
What you pay
For an exact current valuation please contact us.
where to look
There are a number of things to check with any pickup and the L200 is no exception. Make sure the suspension has not been damaged by overloading. Despite the tonne payload, many shoppers visiting garden centers over the weekend are unaware of how quickly a few bags of pea gravel or shovels of garden soil can exceed a tonne. Also, make sure that the loading area is not damaged by objects sliding around that damage the bodywork. The engines are sturdy, but watch out for damage to the inner fairing, which doesn't feel as durable as some of the L200's competitors.
(Approximately based on a 2010 L200 Double Cab - excluding VAT) Expect to pay around £250 for a clutch assembly and £400 for an exhaust system. The front pads start at around 40lbs, while the rear pads weigh 65lbs.
On the way
As is usual with vehicles of this type, your impressions of the driving experience will largely depend on how realistic your expectations are. Compared to the truck-like models of yesteryear, pickups like this L200 are a revelation and will do quite well for those used to bigger, chunkier SUVs. From the height-adjustable driver's seat you'll have the awe-inspiring views you'd expect, and there's certainly no shortage of power with the 134 or 175 hp 2.5-litre turbocharged common-rail diesel engine. The fastest can reach a top speed of 180 km/h before you activate the anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution. In this version, the strong torque of 400 Nm ensures a considerable braked trailer load of 2700 kg. First-time buyers could also opt for a 5-speed automatic transmission with Sport mode (although this dropped torque to 350Nm). Added to this is a turning radius of 5.9 metres, the best in its class.
However, the drive can never quite match that of a passenger car: That would mean installing a rear wheel suspension, which would endanger the impressive maximum payload of 1,045 kg. That takes some getting used to, though: it's not the kind of vehicle you want to lie around with anyway. Should you inadvertently attempt this, an M-ASTC (Mitsubishi Active Stability & Traction Control) traction and stability control system can usually keep things under control before danger strikes by reducing the lateral G-forces of suspension movements. Monitor and then alert the engine to how much power it can safely deliver. This magic is included in all Super Select L200 models; These are the models that most original customers have opted for, and it's easy to see why. "Super Select" refers to the more user-friendly all-wheel drive system introduced with the post-2006 L200 generation.
Previously, the L200 used a harder "Easy Select" system, and you may still find the more basic configuration found in the entry-level versions of the L200 from the 2010-2015 era that we're looking at here. Ask your dealer specifically which system the vehicle has. If they say they don't know, walk away. To clarify the difference between 'Easy Select' and 'Super Select', the 'Easy Select' setup will normally force you into two wheel drive unless you are going off-road and (a) select four wheel drive in high range with you locked transmission, or (b) select low-range four-wheel drive with the heavy-duty rear differential lock engaged.
"Super Select", on the other hand, is much smarter. You can still drive the vehicle in two-wheel drive on tarmac if you wish, but with this configuration there is also the ability to drive in full-time four-wheel drive on the road at high speed without the excessive wear and tear that would normally weigh on a part-time system due to transmission winding . The result is true SUV-like security when conditions get a little icy. And of course, it's as capable off-road as ever, with locked upper and lower transmission options allowing full torque delivery to each wheel, regardless of obstacles. In really tough conditions, simply press the rear differential lock button on the dash to lock the differential, allowing both rear wheels to spin together, allowing you to easily escape wherever you're stuck.
You can understand why so many pickup truck buyers in the UK choose the L200, whether they're hauling quads and surfboards or hardcore vehicles and shovels. It's sturdy, looks good, and has a lot to choose from.
If we were to buy the modern model after 2006, we would look for this 2010-2015 version with a longer bed and sleeker looks. This has kept this pickup at the top of its segment and for the same reason a used version from this era will be at the top of most buyers' shopping lists.