Mitsubishi L200 Trojan first drive

Mitsubishi L200 Trojan The L200 Trojan Double Cab is back by customer demand in its latest model year form in Mitsubishi’s best selling, award winning pick-up range.  This time with more specification, more power and more torque.

For two decades the L200 range of two and four wheel drive Single, Club and Double Cabs has dominated the UK’s pick-up market although it now faces stiff competition from similar models produced by Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen, SsangYong and others.

This is a sector where 4x4 Double Cab sales for sports, recreational, family and work use are the mainstay of the market with retail, business, fleet and rescue services all being customers.  A 1,045kg cargo carrying load bed plus a four door, five seater passenger cabin with four wheel drive make them the ultimate leisure and work vehicle.  The L200 range can be tailored to fit a multitude of uses by the addition of a wide range of accessories including window and window-less load area canopies, roller blind load area covers and load liners to name just a few.

While Mitsubishi’s passenger car sales are in the doldrums due to a lack of new models, all- new model ranges arrive next year, their commercial vehicle sales of which the L200 is their mainstay range, has recently seen a 50 per cent increase due to the introduction of a five year/125,000 mile warranty.

The L200 Double Cab line-up consists of a wide range of 2.5-litre turbodiesel models ranging from 4Work version priced from £19,858 through to 4Life, Trojan, Warrior, Barbarian and the special edition Walkinshaw auto at £33,789. These prices include Vat.  The new Trojan is priced at £21,598 or £23,188 with leather upholstery, again including Vat.

My test version was the Trojan with leather which has the usual one-tonne standard load bed, 16-inch alloy wheels, 4x4 high/low ratio drive train, rear differential lock, CD player, multifunction trip computer, climate control, front and rear electric windows, electric/heated and folding door mirrors, colour coded wheelarch extensions, privacy glass, chrome outside door handles central locking and alarm.  To say it is plush in the passenger compartment is an understatement.

But at the heart of the new L200 Trojan is its new 2.5-litre, four cylinder common-rail turbodiesel engine which has 30 per cent more power with an increase from 136bhp to 175bhp. It also has 27 per cent more torque going from 314Nm to 400Nm.

Mitsubishi L200 Trojan Being homologated as a commercial vehicle, even though it’s a passenger carrier as well, no official performance figures need to be published but  top speed  I estimate to be around 100mph plus and the zero to 62mph acceleration time was around nine seconds. Official fuel consumption is 35.8mpg and my test drive matched that. Being a CV it carries the statutory annual £215 road tax cost.

This puts sports performance into what is essentially a rugged, durable and versatile workhorse.  While commercial users such as farmers, rescue services, plumbers and builders might opt for a lesser and lower powered L200, the Trojan will appeal to the recreational market, those who tow heavy loads and to business users where there is a need for a family vehicle as well as a high speed load carrier or tow vehicle during working hours.
The braked towing capacity is an impressive 2,700kg.

It cruises effortlessly on motorways although a six-speed gearbox might make it a bit quieter and more relaxed, but the five speed transmission is strong and durable as it needs to be with this amount of torque.  The ‘grunt’ comes in at 2,000rpm but I’d prefer it to be available a bit lower down the engine’s rpm range to make it more flexible and responsive at lower speeds rather than having to change down through the gears to get it moving swiftly. Once 2,000rpm is reached the power just floods from the engine and it become mighty responsive mid range.

Mitsubishi L200 Trojan Unfortunately the L200 still uses rear leaf springs for extra durability carrying loads which give a firm and choppy ride at higher speeds over country roads when the vehicle is carrying no weight in the rear to keep it planted on the road. Beware the tendency for the rear wheels in two-wheel drive mode to lose grip on wet roads under acceleration from standstill or when cornering enthusiastically. On wet roads I found this high-powered L200 more trustworthy and capable when driving it in four wheel drive high ratio mode.

Off-road the L200 has always been a very capable and hard to beat performer. I have driven L200’s over all types of terrain off-road in many countries around the world and they are immensely capable and just as importantly durable.  No wonder Mitsubishi has the confidence to cover them now with a five year warranty. 

MILESTONES. Mitsubishi L200 Trojan 2.5 DI-D Double Cab with leather upholstery. Price: £23,188 including Vat. Engine/transmission: 2.5-litre, four cylinder, common-rail turbodiesel,  175bhp, 400Nm (295lb ft) from 2,000rpm, 5-speed manual with Super Select high and low ratio modes, 2WD and 4WD modes with rear differential lock.  Performance: 100mph plus, 0-62mph 9.0 seconds (all unofficial figures as they are not required for a CV), 35.8mpg Combined Cycle. VED commercial vehicle road tax £215. Payload: 1,045kg. Braked towing weight: 2,700kg. Insurance group: 9E.  For: Five seater, four door luxury cabin, over one-tonne load bed, huge brake towing weight, maximum versatility for recreational or work use, brilliant off-road abilities, durable with a new five year/125,000 mile warranty. Against: Skittish on road handling in rear wheel drive on wet roads, choppy ride when carrying no load weight.   Miles Better News Agency

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