For a great number of pickup operators, off-road driving is part and parcel of their work, so a good 4WD system and off-road are paramount. Editor Liam Campbell takes our Mitsubishi L200 off-road, and compares it to the other players in the market.
When reviewing a vehicle’s off-road capabilities, the first thing to examine is the chassis dimensions. The chassis sits very low when compared with other vehicles in the range, and the ground clearance to the rear axle is just 205mm on the Barbarian. The approach, departure and ramp-over angles are also pretty low at 30, 22 and 24 degrees respectively. The low centre of gravity, however, does have an advantage in that there is a maximum lateral travel angle of 45 degrees.
There are a number of optional accessories, in addition to standard features on the Barbarian model, that hinder the off-road performance including the tow bar and the side steps, which are just 270mm from the ground. The tow bar reduces the departure angle to less than 20-degrees, and it would frequently dig into the ground during our test.
With an unladen weight of under two tonnes, the Mitsubishi L200 is by far one of the lightest double cabs on the market, which has great benefits off-road. It means that is doesn’t sink into mud quite as easily, and that climbing hills is more effortless. The long axle articulation means that the L200 keeps better contact with the ground over bumpy terrain.
Engine and Mitsubishi Super Select 4WD system
Powered by the four-cylinder, 2442cc 2.4 D-ID diesel engine, the Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian develops 179bhp and 430Nm, which means it has plenty of punch for climbing steep inclines and powering through divots.
First introduced in the Shogun, the Super Select 4WD system is highly respected and one of the best in the class. There are four settings that are selectable on the move through the fly-on-the-shift system; 2WD High, 4WD High, 4WD Low and 4WD Low with locking rear differential.
The very first pick-up to feature a traction control system, this active safety feature works alongside technical innovations like hill start assist and ABS with EBD (which adjusts the level of braking power applied between the front and rear wheels, depending upon the load).
The Mitsubishi’s lightweight structure means it’s light and agile off-road the road, while the MAST-C 4WD system with rear diff lock is one of the best on the market. The L200’s only major hindrance is its low chassis, although aftermarket modifiers like XS Parts will be able to lift the suspension to greatly enhance its off-road performance.