L200 Double Cab Challenger
2.5 DI-D 4WD
about a pick-up for
what insurers used to call Social,
Domestic and Pleasure
If so, Mitsubishis
should definitely be on your radar,
particularly as they now come
with the longest warranty of any
pickup truck in the UK
years or 125,000 miles...
MITSUBISHI'S L200 DOUBLE CAB models kicked-off the surge of interest by lifestyle
drivers in the UK for 'recreational' pick-ups, often luxuriously kitted-out
with high-end trims and equipment.
As it happens the L200 was also the first to introduce car-like driving
characteristics to the heavy-duty vehicle sector and the first to use power-assisted
rack and pinion steering, and electronic traction control.
They're popular with people who like to tow their own boat, his 'n' hers jet-skis,
caravan or horse-box at the weekend. Alongside strong and sustained commercial
growth, these lifestyle sector sales have helped keep the L200 up there in the
best-selling pickup lists. And now Mitsubishi have added the extra value-for-money
Challenger to the line-up.
four-door, five-seater Double Cab variant is the one most likely to be on private
motorists' shortlists. In case you're thinking that going recreational means
loosing out on car-like performance, note that the Challenger, powered by a
2.5-litre turbodiesel putting out 172bhp and 295lb ft of torque from 2,000rpm,
will get you to the benchmark 62mph from standstill in a quicker-than-you'd-guess
If youre thinking that
going recreational means
loosing out on car-like
performance, note that
powered by a 2.5-litre
turbodiesel putting out
172bhp and 295lb ft
of torque, will get you to
the benchmark 62mph
from standstill in
Despite being capable of unstinting hard work 24/7, the turbodiesel is no more
than a distant yet reassuring rumble at the legal limit, which calls for an
unruffled 2,400rpm; at which point pressing firmly on the accelerator results
in strong pickup, even when left in 5th gear, so overtaking is not an issue.
Generally speaking, once you're on the motorway you can slot it in top gear
and leave it there until you come off. Maximum speed is 111mph.
And for a 'workhorse', the combined official mpg figure is also better than
expected at 35.8mpg (30.7 town; 39.2 touring). CO2 emissions are
208g/km. On test our Challenger (brand new with just a few hundred miles on
the clock) averaged 30.7mpg with a full tank that's good enough
to last around 420 miles.
The standard-fit five-speeder manual 'box is an easy-changer, designed to enable
the Challenger to make light work of towing (a braked 3,000kg), hauling one-tonne
payloads in its long load bed, off-road driving, and just about any other job
you might care to task it with.
From outside it may look as though it's a pin-up for the likes of Mad Max but
open the door and the Challenger's cabin goes beyond anything you'll find in
the Thunderdome. It's an easy 'in'. Pull the chromed, glove-friendly door handle
and swing open the door the seat base is set at an ideal height
to 'sit and swivel' yourself inside behind the wheel. There are non-slip side-steps
for kids not yet tall enough to do the sit 'n' swivel thing.
You'll find two sturdy levers alongside your left knee: a normal gearlever for
the five-speeder (with reverse conveniently found in the '6th' position) and
a shorter one to operate the transfer 'box, which provides four settings that
make the Challenger as much at home on tarmac as it is off it
and in all weather conditions. A graphic in the fuel/temp gauge permanently
shows the currently active mode.
favoured for everyday blacktop motoring is high-ratio rear-wheel drive (2H).
However, if on-road driving conditions deteriorate and you want the security
of full-time four-wheel drive you can shift between 2H and 4H on the fly at
speeds up to 62mph.
driving over rough, sand, or snow-covered roads there's 4HLc high-range
four-wheel drive but with the centre differential engaged. This, like the low-range
4LLc, is not for use on dry paved roads and highways.
Youll find two sturdy
levers alongside your
left knee: a normal
gearlever for the five-
speeder and a shorter
one to operate the
Between them the four
settings make it as much
at home on tarmac as
it is off it and in all
Four-wheel drive in low-range with the centre differential locked (4LLc) is
for driving up or down steep hills at very low speeds or for going through deep
snow, mud or sand, especially when maximum torque is required. Shifting into
or out of 4LLc can only be done with the Challenger stopped.
Back in the cabin, switchgear is logically arranged with large rotary knobs
for the climate control. A driver's display for the essential readouts (range,
mpg and external temperature as well as elevation, barometer readings and a
compass) are always in sight on the screen inset top-centre of the dash. A nice
detail is the smart ribbed satin black 'skin' stretched across the top of the
fascia and it's temptingly tactile.
Storage is well addressed with a useful flip-up lidded tray ahead of the gear
lever, while the big, deep glovebox opens almost like a filing cabinet drawer
so that its contents are easy to sort though without having to rake everything
out. Nice. A drop down glasses case is provided and there are the now-obligatory
cupholders. More oddments room is to hand in the deep bin under the centre armrest,
which offers extra storage in its padded lid. Door pockets are slim but the
front section is shaped to hold a bottle.
Front occupants get height-adjustable belts and a generous elbow-gap between
the seats. The driver's chair gets height adjustment and while the three-spoke
leather-rimmed wheel is only tilt-adjustable there's ample seat adjustment to
set a decent driving position. The seats are large and accommodating and there's
a fist of headroom plus an abundance of legroom and space for boot-wearing feet.
For the record, cruise control is operated by the buttons on the wheel's right-hand
few owners will get to test the Challenger's seats for comfort in the same way
we did being stuck on the M23 for over four hours due to a multi-vehicle
pile-up. However, even being confined to our seats for that long wasn't a physical
hardship and when we were finally allowed on our way there were no aches or
pains from the experience. Says a lot, doesn't it?
into the back is as effortless as climbing into the front; riding in the rear
cab is much more enjoyable than in many cars thanks to the elevated seating
position and excellent views out in all directions.
is fine, even when occupying the 'middle' position; as too is the foot room.
Two well-built adults can travel in a much civilised manner in the back, relaxing
against the angled seatback while amiably sharing a well-padded centre armrest
with large built- in cupholders. The door pockets also hold a can or bottle
for those who prefer their tipple packaged that way.
With no reversing
sensors (a rear camera is
available as an option)
and a 5.185-metre length
theres a lot of metal
Thankfully, with all four
of the Challengers
corners visible from the
drivers seat, reversing
or parking is not the
you might at first
Three rear headrests are standard and three grown-ups can fit side by side on
the padded bench. If you're driving solo or with a single passenger up front
you might like to remove the three rear headrests (they lift out very easily)
and store them under the front seats because the view rearwards through the
upright back screen is then as good as it gets. And very good that is too!
Standard equipment includes Mitsubishi's Super Select 4WD system, cruise control,
climate control air conditioning, auto lights and wipes, privacy glass, Bluetooth,
leather steering wheel and gear shift knob, four one-shot up/down auto windows,
electric back window (the central section of the rear screen), on-demand powerfold
door mirrors, Isofix child seat anchorage points fitted in the rear, and a set
of 17-inch alloys.
A four-star Euro NCAP safety rating and ABS with EBD, driver and passenger airbags,
and Mitsubishi's Active Stability and Traction Control (M-ASTC), as well as
on-demand four-wheel drive, can all be taken for granted.
M-ASTC is an active stability control feature that can detect unstable movement,
such as lateral slippage. If slippage occurs, the stability control function
automatically controls the brakes and engine output to stabilise the L200; and
if the sensors detect wheel slip when starting on slick surfaces, such as a
snow-covered road, the traction control function automatically brakes the slipping
no reversing sensors (a rear camera is available as an option) and a 5.185-metre
length there's a lot of metal behind you. Thankfully, with all four of the Challenger's
'corners' visible from the driver's seat, reversing or parking is not the nerve-racking
experience you might at first imagine. A few trips to your local superstore
car park is all it takes to acclimatise.
there's no boot, you do get the accommodating load deck adding
weatherproofing and security is simply a matter of ticking the appropriate box
on the extensive personalisation options list that offers a variety of gas-lifted
aluminium 'lids', soft and rigid tonneaus, and several smart, full-blown hardtops.
on a tough ladder frame chassis with a dynamic front suspension system (based
on the Shogun's set-up of coil springs and independent double wishbones) allied
to a no-nonsense leaf spring rear suspension that ensures a one-tonne payload
can be safely supported be it commercial or family cargo
the Challenger will get you places where you didn't know there were places!
the move it imparts a rugged feel that encourages a 'Ute' driving style
driver's window down and a gentle breeze ruffling your hair. If you like fresh
air you can always power down the centre section of the rear screen
great on hot days; and your four-legged 'best friend' will love you all the
more for it!
The Challenger has an
ride; set up to
manage all sorts of
surfaces, rolling over
potholed urban blacktop
is no hardship.
But that doesnt mean
you can fly over speed
humps! And the
is fine in fact the
turning circle is class-
The Challenger has an unexpectedly easygoing ride; set up to manage all sorts
of surfaces, rolling over potholed urban blacktop is no hardship. But that doesn't
mean you can fly over speed humps! The power-assisted steering is fine
in fact the turning circle is class-leading.
At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, the Challenger is no BMW i8 sports
car; but you can press on, although with a stiff rear suspension designed to
cope with heavy loads it's more serene with some weight in the back.
Ownership peace of mind comes in the form of a five-year/125,000-mile warranty
that additionally covers against corrosion perforation for 12 years. Mitsubishi
also throws its own Assistance Package which includes 24/7 UK home and roadside
breakdown assistance, and European roadside assistance in over 30 European countries.
A three-year fixed-price service plan is also available, for £720.
Reliable, robust and right-on, the Challenger isn't just for hefting lifestyle
'boys toys'; it's also the perfect accompaniment for the go-anywhere family.
And as a school-run warrior, it's fearless!
Mitsubishi L200 Double Cab Challenger 2.5 DID 4WD
Maximum speed: 111mph | 0-62mph: 12.1 seconds | Test Average: 30.7mpg
Power: 172bhp | Torque: 295lb ft | CO2 208g/km