Friday, 25 May 2012 2:42 PM
Versatility and ruggedness.
That’s how I sold myself to my wife! But these are also some of the reasons why farmers and builders in particular, love their Mitsubishi L200s, I believe.
My family and I put the 2.5-litre diesel double cab Barbarian through its paces on a Bank holiday trek to Dorset. It blended into the picturesque landscape very well indeed because there are so many in this part of the world.
The Barbarian reminds me of an unforgiving Roman soldier, plainly existing to conquer. In the same way you wouldn’t mess with the L200 or its siblings; the Animal or Trojan. When driving down narrow country lanes other motorists, perhaps slightly intimidated, helpfully pull over.
Vehicles are often a reflection of their driver’s personalities and I reckon those who own a Barbarian probably like getting their own way. Put a field in its way and it’ll happily climb the most arduous route. It’s ideal for those who require a vehicle that will uncomplainingly take what’s thrown at it.
When confronted with a sharp muddy incline at the entrance of a field, the Barbarian, in two wheel drive mode, I hasten to add (because I forgot to change to four) made its way without issue up it. High grass and copious amounts of mud were not a problem and baby daughter Harriett remained blissfully peaceful in her car seat in the rear thanks to the decent suspension soaking up the bumps. This double cab version is ideal for families in a way that the standard version, which accommodates two adults, is not.
Yes, the diesel engine can be a little raucous and the auto box a little indecisive but this adds to its charm. When slowing down, using cruise control, the gears seem to fight against it, preferring to travel faster. Two or four wheel drive modes can be selected manually by the gear stick next to the auto box.
The uncomplicated interior and plastic door inserts are ideal for mucky farmers and ham-fisted builders as it’s easy to wipe away mud and grime. The comfy leather seats are also robust and hardwearing.
A cavernous covered rear in the test model is ideally suited to transporting livestock, cumbersome building materials or as in our case lots of luggage. The carpeted interior is affixed with Velcro for easy removal. I also like the hardwearing chrome bumpers front and rear.
Parking in Lyme Regis is a nightmare at the best of times and the L200 really comes into its own in such situations because you can literally create your own space by parking on grass verges. It’ll drive over mini roundabouts without noticing, too.
Parkers, the car experts, say: “Mitsubishi claims it has provided a more car-like pick-up with an emphasis on design and comfort, but it retains the practicality and ruggedness of the past model. It certainly looks much more striking and it handles and performs more like a car. The L200 is more comfortable inside especially the Double Cab versions such as the Animal and Warrior, plus the Elegance comes with full leather and more subtle styling as standard. There is less body roll, the ride is much firmer and handling is improved, but potholes are felt more keenly.”
The tough and reliable Barbarian appeals to those basic survival instincts.
Mitsubishi L200 2.5 DCab Barbarian auto; £29,429
New price range: £15,568 - £29,429
Top speed: 109mph
Road tax: £210
Watch the video at: www.testdrives.biz
By Tim Saunders
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