I was expecting the Mitsubishi L200 to be more of a commercial vehicle but I was pleasantly surprised by its car-like the manners.
In normal driving conditions the L200 drives the rear wheels when in 2H mode (two wheel drive / high ratio), but should the need arise you can shift on the fly (without stopping) at speeds of up to 62 mph into (4H) four wheel drive. In 4H and under normal driving conditions, torque is distributed 50/50 between then front and the rear, but if there is a loss of traction then the viscous coupling centre differential will distribute more torque to the axle with the most traction.
The 4H (high ratio) mode can be used at any speed and for all road conditions. This is the same system which is used in the Mitsubishi Shogun and has tremendous advantages for drivers who regularly tow or face poor weather conditions. You can also select 4L (four wheel driver / low ratio - you do have to stop and shift into neutral first) for off road use or when towing plus you can even lock the central differential should the need arise.
We cannot say the engine is as refined as the best diesel cars and it probably could do with some more sound insulation but it proved to be quite flexible and coupled to an automatic gearbox it was very easy to drive. We were very impressed by the combined fuel consumption which on a 300 mile touring trip from Devon to Wales we averaged 34 mpg.
Overall: we drove the L200 for nearly 12 hours non-stop on our tour of Wales and came home without any complaints or aches - which is a great testament to the L200.
How It Drove - Ride and Handling
I was expecting the Mitsubishi L200 to be more of a commercial vehicle but I was pleasantly surprised by its car-like the manners. Of course the ride is not without its faults, it is soft and bouncy but then it has to be to give it is ride height, load carrying capabilities and off road credentials. Sometimes when pressing on especially as a passenger it could make me feel a little sea sick, but maybe that is just me.
I would not call the steering precise although you can make reasonably good progress if you allow for the roll in bends - it can certainly hold its own on ‘A’ road but is less composed on country ‘B’ roads. We did find the anti lock brakes (16 inch ventilated disc brakes at the front and 11.6 inch drum brakes at the rear) a little bit of the soft side but again you do get used to this and they do make a good job of stopping, considering the L200's weight and bulk.
We were surprised to see the Animal L200 was fitted with Mitsubishi’s own version of Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), although they call it M-ASTC (Mitsubishi Active Stability and Traction Control), which combines the sensors used for the ABS system with measurements of the vehicle’s steering angle, G-force and yaw rates to assess the available grip. If the sensors detect the onset of under or oversteer, the M-ASTC system will automatically apply the brakes and manage the supply of torque to individual wheels to help the driver retain control. M-ASTC can be deactivated by means of a dashboard switch for off-road driving.
Mitsubishi L200 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Mitsubishi L200 Animal Double Cab|
|Body Type||4-Door Pick-Up|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||12.1 Seconds|
|Top Speed||102 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||34.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Year / 100,000 Mile Warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 24/04/07)||£22,587.15 + VAT|