L200 is a pickup par excellence!
Whether you are viewing adventure series on TV, or news reports from trouble-spots worldwide, there exists a virtual guarantee that Mitsubishi’s ‘Three Diamonds’ logo can be spotted on the radiator grilles and tailgates of vehicles present. While I am 100% certain that the company will not exactly be delighted with Taliban transport, the subtle promotion provided by Sir David Attenborough, Chris Tarrant and Michaela Strachan will be welcomed.
Unerringly tough, resilient and all-but-unbreakable, Mitsubishi’s 1.0-tonne pickup that is also capable of towing 3.0-tonnes of trailer is understandably popular. Its on-demand 4x4 transmission can deal with any terrain, from claggy mud, shifting sand and wet grass, to rocky outcroppings and all climatic conditions. Of course, there are some refinement trade-offs, when a vehicle is as broadly capable as an L200 and you should not expect a limousine-like ride quality from its firm suspension, although it will take a 70mph motorway cruise in its stable stride, having just rumbled out of a major building site.
There are two power outputs for its 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine, 151, or 178bhp, as well as an automatic gearbox option. The punchier version can despatch the 0-60mph dash in a modest 10.0s, not that mixing it with the lukewarm hatchback brigade is part of L200’s comprehensive remit.
You will be surprised by the alluring comfort of the L200’s cabin. Whether single, ClubCab, or double-cab variant, its seats for up to five people are supportive and well-sprung. Naturally, above the workhorse 4Life version, there are macho-branded Warrior and Barbarian alternatives that are packed with car-like goodies, including leather upholstery, sat-nav and air-con but Mitsubishi’s extensive accessories catalogue means that you can also up-spec an L200 with a choice of alloy wheels, hardtops, tonneau roll-tops, roo-bars, side-steps and plenty more besides.
Most impressive is the amount of interior space available. Thanks to an abundance of pockets, trays and bins, in-cab clutter can be minimised. However, the L200’s rear load deck is also at the pinnacle of practicality and can be improved with a fitted liner and additional load boxes.
Naturally, despite a strong image, the L200 plays in a very competitive market sector. Not every manufacturer has a pickup offering but Mitsubishi’s pricing is seriously competitive. It can be useful to appreciate that, for business users, the company car tax aspect is significantly lower than an SUV, or family car, possessing similar exhaust emissions ratings. Its road tax is standardised across the range. Protected by a five years/62,500-miles warranty, it is clear that Mitsubishi puts its money where its mouth is.
Luscombe’s summary: We love the L200! It is a vehicle that can be as tough and uncompromising as you need it to be, while retaining surprising levels of cosseting comfort.
Next week: The Engelberg Tourer concept.
While satisfying the transport needs for both private and business customers, states Iain Robertson, it is Mitsubishi’s ‘blue light’ and other essential services support that is highly regarded but often goes unnoticed, even if you are being tailed by one.
One of our government’s more important demands lies in providing support transport to both a vital emergency services operation and various Home Office departments. While vehicle procurement is a largely characterless activity, its requirements have to satisfy a wide range of parameters, while also being perceived as providing bias-free ‘best value’, otherwise tax-payers will complain, across the full range of available models for specific needs.
As an example, the non-police motorway patrols responsible for clearing-up on-road spills and directing traffic-flows and breakdowns have as great a range of demands on their transport, as any of the emergency services. The ability to carry emergency road-signs, cones and other on-demand kit needs to be balanced against a vehicle’s multi-role capabilities, occupant comfort for their working environment and a strong reputation for total dependability.
While barrelling around in a Range Rover ‘jam sandwich’ may seem like a bit of a wheeze, Mitsubishi models are chosen for their clear advantages, not least of which is value-for-money biased. A high uptake rate for both Shogun Sport and Eclipse Sport models by ambulance, police and fire services is understandable. However, even the ‘old stager’ Shogun is still a preferred choice (not that much is given) of Motorway Patrol officers, mainly because they can rely on Mitsubishi never to let them down.
Much the same applies to peripheral and charity-supported services, such as Lifeboats, Animal Welfare bodies and even specialists like Forestry Commission and the utilities firms. Although the use of Mitsubishi products by HM Armed Forces is minimal, it is not unusual to spot a matt grey, or green, pickup truck at various bases around the UK.
The bottom-line for all of these essential and support services is cost-efficient reliability, which Mitsubishi can provide in abundance and the UK firm’s import centre (at Bristol) can also provide a bespoke personalisation service for any and all of them.
Luscombe’s summary: Next time you spot a ‘Battenburg’, or reflectively-striped special services vehicle, do not be surprised if is also a Mitsubishi.
Next week: Mitsubishi and equestrianism.
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