Purpose

I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

TMW - The Mitsubishi L200 - The Pick Up that thinks it is a family car and a sports car, and a good one at that.

Pick Up trucks in the United Kingdom reached their peak a few years ago, with the tax advantages that they, then, had, however, when that was all changed the sales of all pick ups dropped, to a plateau level where they are now, but it is today, that this segment is ripe for a huge sales surge, following on from the MPV, then the SUV, its now time for the Pick Ups to take the flame and run with it for a while.

The car we have here is the base model Mitsubishi L200 Club Cab 4Life, The model is not a double cab, with rear doors, but you do get rear seats and small rear doors that are only openable from inside the car, these doors are a handy alternative from just folding the front seats forward and gaining access this way.

The series 5 car has been about for a few years now, and has undergone frequent upgrades each year to keep it to the front of the pack, this model and the Single Cab 4Life are new models within the range for the 2016 model year, but there is no disguising the fact the car is now heading towards its dotage, and is in need of an all new model which is coming sooner rather than later.

The interior of the the base model is spartan, but then if it is used as a daily work horse, most will be happy with this, in order to keep it clean and tidy, there are a number of cubby holes, deep door pockets, and of course the glove box to keep things secure, however, a few more might not be turned down, maybe one in the huge expanse of black plastic of the dash board, just a popup on the top, maybe have it as a chilled box, which again would be ideal for a work vehicle, but this may or may not come with the next, sixth generation model.

All the buttons, switchgear and so on are easy to reach, and operate, no fiddly buttons here, just proper decent sized ones that can be easily found and operated, the volume and telephone buttons on the steering where are again, easy to locate and operate, and are clearly marked so that you can see what they are for, which is something other brands fail to put fully, so you end up fiddling about until you eventually work it out.

The only "toy" to play with is the air conditioning, which is very good, and works quickly and once up to full steam, the cold air can feel more like a winter's days, so in the summer months you will never feel over hot, the auto start /stop works really well to help the cost conscious owner to save a penny or two in fuel, added to the Euro 6b complaint engine and you have a really good powerplant, but more of that in a bit.

The steering is well weighted, with it being a little firmer with an unladen load bed, once you get a load of weight in the pick up bed, and the steering becomes a little lighter, but never enough to make it feel so vague, you always have more than enough feedback through the wheel to keep you aware of where the car is at all times.

The plastics within the cab are hard, the scratchy type, this has a dual role in 1) keeping it clean easily 2) saving teh brand some money, after all, it is a commercial vehicle, so fripperies and expensive touches are not really necessary, the back seats, are accessed via the front ones, like in the a three door car, you pull a lever and the back of the front seat folds forward so you get easy access to the back seats,  or you can pull a lever on the inside of the rear door to open this for easier access, the back seats are, as already mentioned, not the best, the back rests are very thin and are fixed bolt upright with no movement, the squab is slightly more padded and only slightly more comfortable, but no way would you want to go far in these seats.

The load bed was open on our test car, but you can get get alternative accessories to make it a fully covered in unit, the load flap is not lockable on this model, but then as it is open to the elements whats the point of a lockable flap ?

The front of the car is well designed and looks, well, quite nice, it flows nicely from one side to the other and the oversized headlights fit in nicely to the chrome grill, and wrap around the side like the rear ones which also wrap around the side, giving a modern look to the car.

The 2.4 litre diesel engine is seriously potent, it has 151bhp and 380Nm of Torque, this is more than enough to make this car shift along at motorway speeds with ease, one thing i would have liked would have been cruise control, as a number of times i found the car drifting towards and past 80mph, without knowing, it really is that fast, and not at all noisy, i have had noisier cars, the six speed gearbox is well geared, too well, which is why it just wanted to go.

It has been a long while since i have been in a car that went at that speed and still had more to give, without actually doing anything, which is why cruise would have been ideal, set it and just allow it to keep to that speed, and not lose control of the speed without knowing.

The brands claimed fuel figures are 
  • Urban - 34.4mpg
  • Extra Urban - 46.3mpg
  • Combined - 40.9mpg
  • CO2 Emmisions 180g/km

The 4 cylinder DOHC common rail with intercooler and turbocharger will no doubt get you these figures with an unladen weight, get a few sacks of cement, or bricks etc in the back and that will drop, the road holding of the car without any weight in the back is really very good, and it corners like a train on tracks, i never felt once, that it was getting wayward in any way at all, far from it, the steering was precise and went exactly where you directed it to go.

The car has changeable 2x4 to 4x4 capability and it does this without any fuss, or noise, along with the dual wheel drive system the car comes with, as standard,
  • Heavy Duty Suspension
  • Rear Diff Lock
  • 16" Alloy Wheels
  • 2 SRS Airbags
  • Hill Start Assist (HSA)
  • Trailer Stability Assist (TSA)
  • Active Stability and Traction Control (M-ASTC)
  • Bluetooth
  • Remote Central Door Locking
  • External Temperature Display
  • Front Electric Windows
  • Leather Steering WHeel and Gear Knob
  • Storage Box between Driver and Passenger Seats
  • Drivers Seat Height Adjuster

Just a selection of the items that come with this model, it also comes with a 12,500 mile service interval or one year and a 62,500 miles five year warranty, again, which ever comes first.

OVERALL

This really is a great car, in bog standard trim, it does everything you ask of it, without any complaints and gripes, it is fast, sometimes, too fast, it grips the road very well, and has acres of space in the boot, interior room is adequate in the rear, the front, is very well appointed, it runs and drives like a car, and the braking system is up there with the best, at high speed, however, very heavy braking can make the back end wiggle about, SO BE CAREFUL.

If you are looking for a run about and you have no family to worry about, and dont cart tonnes of kit about, then this can be yours, the crew cab with teh extra doors and better seating in the back can take a family, and move up the levels to get more toys to play with and you will have a really good car, would i have one, yeah, i would, if i were in the market for a car like this and i was on my own, this would suit my needs, at £18,999+vat for the basic model it is not cheap, the top of the range is £25,699+vat, but forget that, you are getting a well made, decent product, either in basic or top of the range, you wont be disappointed with either.

And the most important thing, it has been awarded WhatVan? Pick Up of the year award 2016, beating everything else in the class, if that does not prove a point, then nothing does.

Jon Mower
The Motoring World Blog