Review: Mitsubishi L200 (2006 – 2015)
Extremely tough running gear, long tyre life, durable interior, proven four-wheel drive system.
Small load bed on double cab but overcome with long bed version, 2.5 DI-D still belt cam.
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Mitsubishi L200 (2006 – 2015): At A Glance
- On average it achieves 85% of the official MPG figure
The Mitsubishi L200 arrived in 2006 riding high on the success of its rough and tough predecessor. With more rounded looks and greater refinement, this L200 is a considerable step on from the model that made it a familiar name beyond building sites. It was one of the first among this generation of pick-ups to embrace a bit of glitz and glamour in its style. It helps the L200 disguise its working class roots to be an equal among many SUVs.
There’s a choice of 134PS or 175PS 2.5-litre turbodiesel engines that comes with a healthy dollop of low and mid-rev grunt. It helps the L200 to be nippy on the road and very capable when it steers on to rougher ground. However it's not especially refined on road, especially compared to other pick ups like the Volkswagen Amarok, and the suspension errs on the workmanlike side of acceptable.
Single, Club and Double Cab models are offered, catering for the purely utilitarian market and those seeking something with more rounded talents. Mitsubishi also offers its Warrior and Barbarian models that add a big dose of attitude and equipment. The Double Cab is the most popular and you can fit five people in at a squeeze.
Used Buying Guide - Mitsubishi L200
Mitsubishi’s L200 pick-up is able to haul and carry where normal vans would falter, making it among the most versatile commercial vehicles you can buy. But what should you look out for when buying used?
What does a Mitsubishi L200 (2006 – 2015) cost?
Mitsubishi L200 (2006 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?
There’s no hiding the L200’s usefulness now that Mitsubishi has addressed the problem of the load bed being too short in the earlier models. By offering a Long Bed version, users can now fit items up to 2220mm in length into the load bed and still shut the tailgate. If you go for the Double Can model, you’ll have to accept a shorter load bed that cuts usable length down to 1505mm. The Club Cab offers a compromise of 1805mm of length in the load bed.
A fold-down tailgate can be set to sit flush with the load bed or it can drop down further to give better access to the load area. This is especially useful when loading and unloading heavier items. Given the L200 can carry up to 1120kg of cargo, depending on the model you choose, the ability to get at the load without bending your spine too much is very handy. The L200 can also tow up to 2700kg with a braked trailer, so it matches most rivals and betters the Toyota Hilux’s 2500kg limit. Still, a Land Rover Defender will haul up to 3500kg, so the Mitsubishi doesn’t own bragging rights here.
In the Club Cab, there is some additional storage behind the two front seats for bags or tools, which means they are more secure than rattling around the load bed. The tailgate can be locked separately and Mitsubishi offers a roller cover for the load area, as well as hardtops for the Double Cab models.
The Double Cab is a popular choice in the L200 range as it can seat five in reasonable comfort. Whoever has to sit in the middle seat in the back, however, will need to be short in the leg measurement as knee room is limited. Also, the middle seat offers noticeably less padding and comfort. With the two outer rear seats, though, comfort is good and the raised bench gives a good view out over the front seats.
More storage would be welcome in the rear of the Double Cab’s cabin as there’s nowhere to store a larger bottle of water or the other gubbins that tends to accompany modern life. In the front of the cabin, there are more storage options and the driver has a high set seat that gives a commanding view forward. The styling of the L200, with its upswept window line and thick rear pillars, however, means over the shoulder vision for the driver is not great when changing lane or backing into a tight space.
Finding the right seating position is simple for the driver thanks to height adjustment for the seat and steering wheel, but all-day comfort is compromised by the seat base being too short. It results in the driver missing support under his thighs and fidgeting sets in on longer journeys.
We like the simple controls for the main functions on the L200 and the snazzy dials of the instrument binnacle, but the stereo requires a NASA technician to fathom it and then you’ll need the aid of someone with very thin fingers to prod the tiny buttons. Still, Mitsubishi doesn’t stint when it comes to the amount of kit it puts in the L200 compared to rivals, especially when you move up to the Warrior and Barbarian models.
What's the Mitsubishi L200 (2006 – 2015) like to drive?
The Mitsubishi L200 does its best to tread a middle path between the rugged ability required by a pick-up that can lug a payload of up to 1050kg and the need for on-road comfort. Unfortunately, duty comes before pleasure with the L200 and its suspension errs on the workmanlike side of acceptable. This means a ride that bounces noticeably over any road that is not milled smooth. A saving grace is the suspension is quite soft set so it doesn’t jar in the way a Toyota Hilux’s does when the L200 encounters the many potholes and scars of the UK’s roads.
There’s no getting away from that bounce, however, when the L200 doesn’t have much in the load bed. It also means the rear wheels can spin up all too easily coming out of junctions or slow corners as the tyres scrabble with the job of transmitting the power to the road. Switch into four-wheel drive mode and this problem disappears, but economy will suffer if you leave the L200 in all-wheel drive all of the time.
Off-road, the L200 is impressive and can easily mix with the best in this class. A Land Rover Defender will go further into the countryside than the Mitsubishi, but you’d much rather be at the wheel of the L200 when you get back on mettled roads.
The two engine options in the L200 and both are sound propositions. For the saving in buying and running costs, we’d steer towards the 134PS 2.5-litre turbodiesel as this four-cylinder engine is more than capable of lugging the 1865kg L200 from pillar to post. It offers a nifty turn of speed when asked to work harder, which it does with willing ease. It also does this with a fair degree of noise from under the bonnet, so it’s better to get the L200 to cruising speed as promptly as possible and then let the hefty mid-range shove do the work.
The 175PS diesel offers more of the same, so it’s quicker and brawnier, making even lighter work of towing a trailer or ascending steep slopes in a field. However, it also shares its less powerful sibling’s penchant for making itself heard unless you’re cruising, and even then both engines emit a constant background drone. Road noise, at least, is sealed out very effectively from the L200’s cabin, but wind noise is another unwelcome companion at higher speeds.
Regardless of what speed you’re travelling at, the L200’s steering is always a little too vague for our liking. Compared to a Ford Ranger or Isuzu D-Max, the L200’s helm tells you almost nothing of what is going on at the front wheels. While this means there are no nasty shocks sent through the wheel when off-roading, it also makes the Mitsubishi harder to place as you enter a corner or roundabout. It is light and east when parking, but this shouldn’t mean foregoing all sensation on the open road.
Real MPG average for a Mitsubishi L200 (2006 – 2015)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their vehicles could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What do owners think?
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