Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian Black Double Cab 2.5-litre DI-D 5-speed manual review
The TotallyMotor Verdict
Special editions are a tried and tested automotive industry marketing ‘trick’ in that they once again propel older models back into the limelight with a few new bells and whistles to catch the eye. There’s nothing wrong with it, especially if the new special gets a few nice extras for not too much extra money.
And so Mitsubishi have added a touch of refreshing special-edition-jazz to their L200 truck with their new moodily-monikered Barbarian Black, seen here in, err, white.
The Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian Black relies on blacked-out bits ‘n’ bobs to maximise its meanness, and the keen-eyed among you will have noticed new special parts and finishes in the shape of a satin-black roof; front grille; resin guard; wing mirrors and door handles, and more blackening to the fuel filler cap, headlight bezels, rear tow bar and side steps. The standard 6-spoke alloys are painted to match the roof, and there’s a new carbon-fibre effect for the leather seats.
All of this harder styling actually comes in some £800 cheaper than the non-Black edition Barbarian, and that’s a major special edition attraction right there. However, the retractable tonneau cover and rear rollover bar seen on this TotallyMotor tester are optional extras.
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian Black road test review
Into the interior:
The star of the Barbarian Black interior show are undoubtedly the new leather seats; all black with some carbon-fibre-effect panels. There’s also some nifty two-tone stitching on the seat-fronts to remind all around that you’re rolling in a special.
The new seats look the part and are about as supportive as truck seats need to be, but there is no up-and-down adjustment for seat height, and with a high floor to the cab, I did feel that my feet were held rather aloft.
There is no reach adjustment to the steering wheel either, but thanks to a spacious cabin – front and rear – and a high roofline, I did find a reasonably good seating position with ample room around knees, shoulders and head.
Barbarian Black’s dashboard area is clean and uncluttered with most mod cons including a powerful air-con system. There is also a Kenwood / Garmin multimedia head unit that houses a Garmin sat-nav system and rear-view camera. I’m a bit of an aftermarket audiophile so found my way around this complex head unit quite quickly, but less tech-attuned drivers may find it takes a while to get familiar with. The sounds, navigation and rear-view picture all came across well, mind.
Just in front of the gearstick is a digital readout that covers all sorts of interesting information including the barometric pressure. More importantly it gives the average economy for the journey, and I regularly – and happily – saw over 30mpg during my week with the big Black beastie. Not bad for a powerful (175bhp), fast, full-size truck with all the torque (400Nm) you’ll need.
These big ol’ trucks are all about the cruising, rather than corner-apex-clipping, and the L200 about matches other trucks for its riding style; quite firm to control the long-travel suspension, basically.
Don’t expect car-like easy riding; trucks are all about a tough chassis and anywhere driveability, and the Barbarian Black feels rugged and ready for action over all road surfaces. It’s a reassuring feeling to know that your transport would wade through floods and plough the deepest of muddy ruts with ease; the 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbodiesel motor has all the grunt you’ll need.
The L200 has a pukka four-wheel drive system with all the right differentials and low-ratio gearing – it’s a smartly-dressed workhorse that’ll pound potholes; although you will feel the judders. These big trucks don’t turn and stop as quickly as cars either; something to bear in mind during your first test drive.
Ten second sum up:
The Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian Black gets some tough ‘n’ tasty dress-up parts and all for £800 less than you’d pay for the ‘standard’ L200 Barbarian. It’s a real-deal truck in a smart suit that’ll still haul ass all day long and carry some serious weight in the back.