L200 Double Cab Barbarian Auto
youre a Barbie kind of guy
not. If you are, Mitsubishis
evergreen L200 pick-up is still out
there, doing what it does best
but nowadays its
not unusual to
find a woman behind the wheel...
SO WHAT DOES A PICK-UP TRUCK say about you anyway? Actually, we gave up on all
that 'you are what you drive' mumbo-jumbo a long time ago. After decades writing
about cars and meeting famous peeps who drive car park-scarred pick-ups and
million-pound-bonus-banking bankers who are as pleased as punch pootling about
in a Cooper S, it's clear that life's too short to typecast drivers on the basis
of their wheels.
Experience has taught that the only rule that holds true when it comes to cars
is that if it serves you right, then drive one. So it is with Mitsubishi's Barbarian.
It unquestionably serves you right; whether it's shrugging its broad shoulders
at our third-world road surfaces, romping safely through our seasonal sprinkling
of fluffy white chaos, or wading across our waterlogged countryside, a 'Barbie'
has that reassuring ability to get you where you're going whatever
you've only previously looked, then hands-on will be an eye-opener. While it's
an undeniably imposing beastie, it's traditional in-your-face looks are no longer
quite so intimidating thanks to the swept-back and more car-like nose treatment.
an easy climb up into the spacious and airy cabin (use the non-slip silver-grey
metal side-step if it helps). Settle back in the supportive, leather-upholstered
chair and you'll find the view out to be equally imposing.
Whether its shrugging
its broad shoulders at our
surfaces, romping safely
through our seasonal
sprinkling of fluffy white
chaos, or wading across
countryside, a Barbie
has that reassuring
ability to get you where
youre going whatever
A Barbarian's day job might entail working outside in all weathers but that
doesn't mean it has to be spartan inside. This high-end Barbarian is anything
but the silver-and-black fascia is attractive and logically arranged,
marked out by a central touchscreen for the Kenwood multimedia unit which incorporates
an extremely user-friendly navigation system with DAB radio, Bluetooth, iPod
connectivity, CD, DVD, TV, video, and a rear-view camera.
Just below the screen are three large foolproof rotary controls for the automatic
climate control. Air heated or chilled is served
efficiently on demand. Easily seen through the upper arc of the leather-rimmed
multifunction wheel are three easily readable dials (classic white figures on
black faces) for revs, speed, and a combination dial for fuel and coolant temperature
along with a graphic for the four-wheel drive. A trip display sits in the lower
half of the speedo and also shows which of the autobox's five gears is currently
Fit and finish is fine, trim materials are of a good mix and, while obviously
hard-wearing, also manage to look good the fascia in particular
feels nice to the touch. Standard kit is comprehensive and includes all the
expected essentials such as one-shot power windows, tinted glass (plus privacy
glass to the rear cab), cruise control, auto wipes and lites, on-demand powerfold
door mirrors, AirCon, SatNav, a decent sound system, leather upholstery, reversing
camera, alloy wheels, etc.
Deep side windows combined with seats mounted close to the floor (while you
sit low inside the cabin, you're already riding high thanks to the all-terrain
suspension and 8-inch ground clearance) and clearly defined 'corners' on the
bodyshell make for fine all-round visibility and accurate placing of the Barbarian
despite its length. The steering wheel only adjusts for height but achieving
a commanding driving position is nevertheless a quick and hassle-free operation.
well-shaped, well-padded, black leather, 'Barbarian'-branded (in white stitching)
front seats are nicely bolstered and maintain comfort even over long journeys;
separated by a big, padded centre armrest, there's plenty of elbow, shoulder,
and leg room, as well as a fist of headroom. And, in spite of the 2.5-litre
turbodiesel working away under the bonnet, the cabin most notably
at legal-limit motorway speeds remains pleasantly quiet.
only can the L200 carry bulky loads in its huge loadbay (as much as 1,060kg),
but inside there are plenty of practical-sized cubbies for personal items including
a good-sized lockable glovebox and deep but slim door pockets that take small
cans or bottles remember, that doesn't mean you can drink while
driving! Plus there's an overhead sunglasses holder always useful.
branded front seats are
nicely bolstered and
over long journeys.
And, in spite of the
working away under the
bonnet, the cabin
most notably at legal-
limit motorway speeds
DC (double cab) extends the workhorse L200's utilitarian two-seater truck cockpit
into a five-seater family-friendly cabin. In fact, the double cab's rear seats
are unexpectedly agreeable not a single complaint from any of
our rear passengers during our busy week with the Barbie.
Access to the rear cabin is easy. Once there, you sit about six inches higher
than those in front. Two adults, sharing the big fold-down centre armrest and
enjoying comfortable outer armrests and meaningful under-thigh support (usually
missing from many cars' rear seats), can really relax.
Knee room is also good, as too is foot room; and there's several inches of headroom
even sitting up straight, although that's not so easy as the backrest slopes
pleasantly back. Bottle/can holders and twin cupholders are also provided and
Another handy and much-liked feature is the cab's rear window; power-operated,
it's great for providing some real fresh air flow-through on hot or muggy days
as an alternative to artificial chilling AirCon-style.
All L200 models share the same basic 2.5-litre four-pot turbodiesel but higher-spec
versions such as the Barbarian get a higher-output version with
175bhp as opposed to 134bhp. They also get more torque 258lb ft
instead of 231. However, while five-speed automatics produce their maximum torque
at 1,800rpm, the five-speed manual gearbox models generate more (295lb ft),
albeit slightly later, at 2,000rpm.
its high-riding body you wouldn't expect the L200 to take off like a scalded
cat from the lights. Actually though it's quick enough to mix it with mainstream
passenger cars zero to 62mph comes up in a respectable 13 seconds;
maxed out you could see a more than adequate 109mph showing on the speedo although
it's 'natural' cruising gait feels to be between 70 and 80mph.
The official fuel economy stats are 32.1mpg (combined), 26.6 (urban), and 35.8mpg
(extra urban). Real-world driving (with an empty loadbay and no towing but making
fair use of the 4WD) saw a credible 28.4mpg. And with the auto transmission
it is an undemanding drive: changes are smooth and the 'intelligent' autobox
learns and adapts to your driving style. And should you need to you can, by
nudging the selector lever to the left into the +/- gate, override the auto
to make manual up/down changes whenever you so wish.
or 'pulling' power is crucial for a working truck; equally so for lifestyle
applications such as towing a caravan or boat. Here the Barbarian's muscular
258lb ft and selectable all-wheel drive complement each other, making it not
just more than competent off-road but ideal for towing up to 2,700kg braked.
Torque or pulling
power is crucial for
a working truck; equally
so for lifestyle
applications such as
towing a caravan or boat.
Here the Barbarians
muscular 258lb ft and
selectable all-wheel drive
complement each other,
making it not just more
than competent off-road
but ideal for towing up
to 2,700kg braked...
didn't take this particular Barbarian off-road because we've done it before
even on 'black' runs these tough pick-ups aren't fazed by much,
and their go-anywhere rep is easily substantiated if you don't mind an intense
power-wash session after play.
In the rough, the Barbarian's four-wheel drive is easily activated. Between
the meaty selector lever and your left thigh sits the Super Select 4WD lever
(normally this is left in 2WD with the rear wheels being the driven pair).
At speeds up to 62mph on road (if you were going off-road you'd make damn sure
you were already in four-wheel drive before you left the blacktop) you can move
the lever into 4H for full-time all-wheel drive. Do so and you'll physically
feel really! the Barbie's 'stickiness' instantly
For snow (or even Saharan sand after the next strong wind from Africa!) you'll
need to stop before selecting 4HLc (that's high ratio four-wheel drive but with
the centre differential locked); tackling post-apocalypse terrain, steep hilly
trails, deep mud and the like, you'll do best in 4LLc (low ratio with the diff
Back on the blacktop the off-road-capable L200 rides pretty well, and even without
some weight behind the cab (either carried or pulled along behind). And it feels
reassuringly composed earlier models could be a tad tail-happy
running unladen in 2WD. In addition to all-wheel drive, Mitsubishi's Active
Stability and Traction Control system is also fitted as standard for those times
when a little professional nannying is appropriate.
Pick-ups continue to increase in popularity with lifestyle users and this 2014
model Barbarian Double Cab now rides better than ever before; and while its
tough on the outside, it's well-mannered and comfy enough on the inside for
the other sex to enjoy driving too! MotorBar
L200 Double Cab Barbarian 4WD Auto | £28,799
Maximum speed: 109mph | 0-62mph: 13 seconds | Test Average: 28.4mpg
Power: 175bhp | Torque: 258lb ft | CO2 233g/km