The updated Mitsubishi L200 2019 arrived into the UK this month and we were among the first to drive it at the launch event at Silverstone. With a radical new design, a downsized 2.3-litre engine and a wide range of new technology, does the new L200 have what it takes the retain the number two spot in the sales rankings, or even go one further?
The Mitsubishi L200 is one the longest selling pickups in the UK, having first arrived on our shores in the late 1970’s. This was followed by the Series 2 in 1986, the Series 3 in 1996, the Series 4 in 2005 and the Series 5 in 2015. Over this time, it has amassed sales of over 4.7 million.
Despite inheriting the same chassis, shell and interior as the Series 5, Mitsubishi is marketing the updated model as the Series 6. The key differences between the Series 5 and Series 6 are:
- Smaller 2.3-litre engine
- Less powerful 150hp/400Nm outputs
- No single cab; only Club and Double
- Uprated 6,155kg gross combination weight
- New ‘Barbarian X’ trim level
- New panels all-round
- Lots of new safety systems
Striking new looks
This is a facelift in every sense of the world, with the badge being ‘lifted’ 100mm compared with the previous mode and, love it or hate it, the new model certainly turns heads. According to the lead designer, Mitsubishi has noticed that pickup truck customers around the world are wanting a more ‘tough’ and ‘masculine’ looking truck, and that the curved, ‘smiley face’ design of previous generation was quickly becoming out of date.
Adopting the company’s ‘Dynamic Shield’ design (which it shares with the Eclipse and Shogun Sport), the aesthetic alterations to the radiator grille, headlights and bumper certainly give the L200 a broader and futuristic appearance, but we feel it fails to emulate the masculinity of the Ranger or facelifted Hilux.
Moving to the sides, there are new lines sculpted into the panels and the wheelarches have been widened and made boxier. The rear lights have also been changed, and are available in LED on higher trims, to give a wider impression.
Interior largely unchanged
On the inside, the alterations aren’t so extravagant with only the centre panel on the dashboard and the transmission being amended; everything else has been left virtually untouched. The centre panel around the multifunction display adds more chrome, while the shift panel has been refreshed with a boxier design and chrome effects.
Designers have also added a premium feel soft pad trim to the floor console, arm rest, door trim and parking brake, while there are large smartphone trays in the centre and rear consoles. The elevated driving position provides excellent all-round visibility and, because it has the longest cab in its class, boasts excellent leg room in the front and rear. However, it’s also the narrowest cab on the market, and it can feel cramped for those of ‘wider’ proportions.
Mitsubishi L200 specifications
For the Series 6, Mitsubishi will offer four trim levels on the L200 which are well-specced compared with the competition:
Mitsubishi L200 4Life (Club Cab and Double Cab) – from £21,515 plus VAT
- Easy Select 4WD
- Rear differential lock
- 16-inch steel wheels
- Keyless entry
- Air conditioning
- Electric windows
- Electric door mirrors
- Bluetooth, USB and steering wheel-mounted controls
- Side steps
Mitsubishi L200 Warrior – from £26,400 plus VAT
- Super Select 4WD
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Forward Collision Mitigation
- Lane Departure Warning
- Dual zone climate control
- Touchscreen display
- DAB radio
- LED headlights and DRLs
- Front fog lights
- Automatic headlights
- Automatic wipers
- Leather steering wheel
- Black and silver detailing on dashboard
- Folding door mirrors
- Reversing camera
- Rear step bumper
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian – from £29,300 plus VAT
- Hill Descent Control
- Off-Road Mode
- Leather seats
- Heated front seats
- Spring assisted tailgate
- Mood lighting
- Two USB ports in the rear
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian X – from £32,200 plus VAT
- Six-pack leather seats
- 360-degree camera
- Parking sensors at front and rear
- Blind spot warning
- Rear cross traffic alert
- Heated steering wheel
- Ultrasonic Mis-Acceleration System
- Auto High Beam
- ‘Barbarian X’ decals all-round
Mitsubishi has taken to 2019 update as an opportunity to introduce a number of new comfort and driver assist systems. Multi-around monitor, consisting or four cameras, provides the driver with an all-round view of their surroundings in car parks with the push of a button on the dashboard, which automatic high beam dips the full beam when it detects oncoming traffic. In the back, two USB charging points have been added and there’s a new rear air circulator which cools down rear occupants much more effectively than the current model.
Mitsubishi L200 2019 engine and driveline
As with the Series 5, Mitsubishi’s 2.4-litre 4N1 engine provides the power although the stroke has been reduced to 97.6mm from 105.1mm – reducing the overall displacement from 2.4-litres (2,442cc) to 2.3-litres (2,268cc).
The power has also been downgraded from 178hp/430Nm to 150hp/400Nm in order to meet the latest Euro 6D Temp emission regulations. On the new WLTP test cycle, the L200 returned 32.1mpg on the manual and 29.1mpg on the automatic. We cannot comment on how this compares with the competition as the L200 is the first to take the new test but during our test, we found it to be very economical and we imagine it will remain to be the second most efficient pickup behind the Navara.
In terms of noise and refinement, the engine fares well and standard models are hooked to the same 6-speed manual transmissions, although a new 6-speed automatic transmission has replaced the notchy 5-speed, supplying smoother and more seamless gear shifts.
Ride and handling
The L200 has long been criticised for the amount of body roll generated in the corners, due to its high centre of gravity and the narrowest track of any pickup. Despite Mitsubishi raising the centre-of-gravity even higher, we are happy to report that body roll has reduced on the new model thanks to alterations to the suspension. The larger rear dampers seem to contain bumps a lot better, with noticeably less ‘cab shudder’ from the rear axle when hitting potholes.
We already regard the L200 as the best off-roader in the pickup segment, thanks to its great manoeuvrability, light chassis but, most importantly, the shift-on-the-fly Super Select 4WD system with locking centre-differential which is the most responsive and adaptable of all the current pickup truck 4WD systems.
However, Mitsubishi has raised the bar even further by introducing hill descent control (operable at 4speeds of up to 12mph) and the off-road mode switch with 5 settings. This system adapts the engine performance, electronic stability control and traction control for the optimum performance on four different off-road settings (gravel, mud and snow, sand and rock).
New safety systems
The L200 already has a respectable 4-star NCAP rating, but it seems Mitsubishi has its eyes set on all five for the 2019 update. Mitsubishi has rolled out a number of new safety features, which are key in the prevention and detection of collisions.
Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM) detects possible collisions with vehicles and pedestrians ahead, and gives the driver visual and audible warnings, while Blind Spot Warning (BSW) with Lane Change Assist (LCA) helps avoid sideswiping other vehicles when changing lanes on motorways by detecting vehicles behind or at the rear quarter and alerting the driver with a flashing light in their door mirror. Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) works in a similar way, but when reversing.
However, it was the Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS) that really caught our attention. This device stops the acceleration when manoeuvring in tight spots if it detects a collision is about to occur, therefore reducing accidents resulting from improper use of the accelerator.
Loading weights and dimensions
The load bed is exactly the same size as the previous generation; 1,470mm wide, 475mm high and 1,850mm long on the Club Cab and 1,520mm on the Double Cab. The maximum payload has increased slightly to up to 1,080kg (still relatively low for the segment) and it retains its 3.5 tonne towing capacity of 3-axle trailers (3.1 tonnes on 2-axle trailers).
Gross combination weights (maximum weight of the vehicle, trailer and all of their contents) have been raised significantly to 6,155kg which means that the L200 can still carry up to around 700kg on some models when towing the full 3.5 tonnes.
Mitsubishi L200 2019 price and availability
Mitsubishi has upped the sticker price to between £21,515 plus VAT for the Club Cab to £32,200 plus VAT for the flagship Barbarian X. The warranty will remain the same at 5 years, or 62,500 miles and it retains the relatively short one year or 12,500 mile service intervals.
Also read: New Pickup Trucks 2018, 2019 and 2020.