L200 2.5 DI-D Warrior Double Cab Long Bed
L200 is What Van?
magazines Pickup of the Year for
the fourth consecutive year.
not all: its
also won 14
times in the past 17 years...
THEY ARE USED AS LIFESTYLE TRANSPORT or as workhorses, length matters for the
load bed of double cab pickups. Mitsubishi Motors came a cropper in 2006 when
they launched their then new L200 range because, for the main-selling 4x4 double
cab versions, they went for style over function and ended up with the shortest
load bed in the sector.
The four-seater double cab, with its flashy Motorsport-inspired looks, lacked
little for passenger space within the four-door, fiver-seater cab but the 1,330mm
load bed length just didn't meet the requirements of users and consequently
sales suffered badly, losing Mitsubishi their long-held Number One sales position
in the sector firstly to the Nissan Navara and, more recently, to the new Ford
At more or less the same time the recession started in the car industry and
the Government re-classified double cab pickups at more or less the same Benefit-in-Kind
tax rate as company cars, so business users and company car drivers who had
opted for a double cab moved back to more driver-friendly and comfortable forms
of transport such as estates, MPVs and SUVs. Pickup sales in the UK fell by
53% in 2008 and they are down by another 25.3% again this year (2009) although
November sales perked up with a 17.8% increase.
With a possible 'green shoots' of growth starting to appear in the new vehicle
market, Mitsubishi have added to their already comprehensive range of double
cab pickups with Long Bed versions. These have 1,510mm of load length at the
rear: an increase of 180mm or roughly seven inches. For good measure, power
outputs on some versions using the 2.5-litre, four-cylinder DI-D turbodiesel
engine have been increased from 134 to 176bhp, the most powerful in this
More good news for Mitsubishi, whose L200 Long Bed Double Cab has just been
awarded What Van? magazine's Pickup of the Year title for the fourth
consecutive time. It has won that title for 14 out of the last 17 years of the
competition an impressive record!
So whether the new L200 Double Cab Long Bed 4x4 is used as a lifestyle vehicle
or a workhorse, it is now at least competitive for size; it can still tow 2,700kg
(braked) and the payload is 1,045kg. Plus it is the winner of numerous awards.
The L200 Long Bed is available in 4Work, 4Life, Warrior and Animal levels of
specification, covering most needs. Long Bed models range in price from £17,536
(including VAT) to £25,816. Running costs are reasonable for a 4x4 heavyweight
vehicle of this type because customers can take the Mitsubishi Service Plan
option which covers three-years/37,000 miles and costs just £395 plus VAT.
The new L200 Warrior Long Bed I have just sampled still has the sporting design
front-end which you either like or think looks a bit 'soft', especially if the
vehicle is to be used as a workhorse. An unlikely situation for Warrior specification
L200s, where business user-choosers and lifestyle customers are the target audience.
specification for fixtures and fittings includes electrically-operated windows
and door mirrors, 17-inch alloys, traction control, cruise control, climate
control, leather steering wheel, a good multi-speaker sound system and rear
chrome bar as a bumper. My test vehicle also had the full leather upholstery
treatment and weighed in at £22,826 including VAT.
the size (it really is
daunting to park) but
on the plus side it keeps
on winning awards...
extra 42bhp (it's now up to 176bhp) certainly improves the acceleration and
the huge 295lb ft of torque from 2,000rpm really does give flexible and progressive
pulling power. Unladen and with the vehicle in rear-wheel drive mode, the tail
is very prone to wheelspin with the rear-end sliding out on corners and roundabouts
in damp weather. In the pouring rain it's even worse traction control
simply could not cope. With this amount of power on greasy roads it's best to
enjoy the extra performance with the 'super select' 4WD system kept in all-wheel
'super select' system allows for high ratio two- and four-wheel drive, differential
lock and low ratio four-wheel drive. All these operations are done through an
old-fashioned and slow-to-use lever system rather than the more modern dial
and mode switches.
The new Ford Ranger takes double cab driving to a new height of sophistication
over the L200 because the Ford product has an anti-stall function. This means
that in four-wheel drive low ratio setting the accelerator is not touched and
the engine will pull the vehicle up very steep hills, up over rocks or wading
through water at tickover speed when the tyres have most traction. Wheel speed
kills grip, not something that some inexperienced off-roaders seem to understand.
The Ford Ranger also has 'descent control' basically the anti-stall setting
in reverse; the engine and wheels do all the braking using just tickover speed.
its hefty power output, this L200 is reasonable on the juice my test
vehicle returned an average 29.7mpg against the official 32.8mpg (combined cycle)
and the vehicle wasn't used for carrying any heavy loads or for much off-roading.
Ride comfort is not good but then it generally isn't for pickups due to their
rugged ladder-frame chassis and rear leaf springs with shock absorber set-ups.
Certainly the ride will be 'calmer' with weight in the back.
Roadholding was not great either; the body leans and rolls during cornering,
pitches fore and aft during acceleration and braking and, as already mentioned,
the tail will step out of line if a heavy right foot 'presses-the-metal' too
With an overall length of 5,180mm, width of 1,800mm and a height of 1,780mm
the L200 Long Bed is a huge vehicle to park spaces are just not that
big so I would recommend optional front and rear parking sensors are fitted.
Drawbacks include the size (it really is daunting to park), not very sophisticated
handling and poor rear-end road grip in the wet. On the plus side it keeps on
winning awards, it's tough and rugged, has four doors and seating for up to
five people, a high level of cab equipment, longer load bed length, extra power
and it's also good for towing and serious off-roading.
Plus a payload of 1,045kgs and a braked towing capability of 2,700kg does 'the
business' whether it is used for work or recreation. While the latest L200 Long
Bed looks better balanced thanks to the extra load bed length, in Warrior specification
it is very much a workhorse dressed up as a thoroughbred. David Miles
Mitsubishi L200 2.5 DI-D Warrior Double Cab Long Bed | £22,826
Maximum speed: 105mph | 0-62mph: 11.3 seconds | Overall MPG: 29.7mpg
Power: 176bhp | Torque: 295lb ft | Insurance group 9E