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Mitsubishi 4Work range

Mitsubishi

Review

Mitsubishi's new range of 4Work vehicles is designed to take advantage of beneficial tax rates for both employees and employers.

All the cars in the range are classified as commercial vehicles. Despite looking like their five seated and booted brethren, the second row of seats has been removed.

The seats are in fact destroyed. To keep the Inland Revenue happy that these are bona fide commercial vehicles, Mitsubishi has to show evidence that it has burnt the seats, that rear seat belt mountings have been made unusable, and secured the rear windows so they cannot be wound down. The rear side windows are also covered in opaque film, which from the outside looks like privacy glass.

Then the vehicle can qualify its driver for the £500 benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax liability of a company van and the VAT-registered buyer can reclaim 17.5% VAT back on the original purchase price.

For a driver who runs one as a company 'car', the tax savings are certainly large. For a 40% taxpayer, the total benefit-in-kind tax bill for the year would be £200, and for a 22% payer it would be £110.

However, it is worth sounding a note of caution before signing up to one of these vehicles for three years as the Inland Revenue is currently undertaking a review of van benefit-in-kind tax policy, with the goal of introducing the CO2-based element as used in car taxation.

According to sales manager Lance Bradley, the majority of customers will not be those cunningly swapping out of Mercedes-Benzes or BMWs to minimise their tax bills, but people who need the load ability and extra traction four-wheel drive affords them: surveyors, farmers, architects or builders being the most likely users. In all there are 21 models available, with prices ranging from £10,995 to £27,271 (ex-VAT).

Shogun Sport

Mitsubishi believes its Shogun Sport 2.5 TD Classic Commercial will be one of the best sellers in the range, and is looking to sell about 500 vehicles a year.

The Shogun Sport nicely straddles gap between the more workmanlike L200 and the larger Shogun, which might prove a little too 'lifestyle' for some users.

Powered by a four cylinder, eight valve turbocharged diesel unit, the Shogun Sport could not be called nippy, with 177lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm and 114bhp at 4,000rpm, resulting in a 0-62 time of more than 16 seconds and a top speed of 93mph.

Unusually for a commercial vehicle, Mitsubishi is quoting CO2 and fuel consumption figures, with the Shogun Sport coming in at 27.2mpg and 275 g/km.

The Sport is not at the forefront of technology, but its strength lies in well-proven components designed to do a tough job. On the road, much is as expected, although the cabin is a little plasticky and there is quite a bit of engine roar. But relative to most vans, the Sport is Buckingham Palace.

With a lockable differential and high and low ratio gearbox for off-roading, the Sport was more than capable of sailing across the gentle off-road course we put it through. It also has a decent sized load floor - 1,750mm x 1370mm - which is slightly smaller than the Shogun, but better value considering the price.

  • Shogun Sport: 2.5 TD Classic Commercial £16,495 (ex-VAT) l200 As well as dominating the pick-up market with almost twice as many sales as its nearest competitor the Ford Ranger, one L200 model can also claim the prize for the longest car name in the motor industry: Mitsubishi 4Work L200 Double Cab 4Life pick-up 4WD 2.5 TD.

    In all variants, the L200 sold more than 4,000 last year. The year before that it sold 2,000, and this year the number could hit 8,000, which illustrates the tremendous growth in the market.

    As a working vehicle, the L200 single cab 2.5 TD 2WD is the most basic at £10,295, although it is in the double cab arena where Mitsubishi is seeing most growth.

    The market had already seen more double cab pick-ups sold by the end of July (7,957) than it had for the whole of last year (7,687).

    The firm has also launched a further double cab variant, the Warrior, which sits £1,000 above the 4Life and £1,000 below the Animal.

    As with the 4Work Shogun Sport, the four-wheel drive versions use the Easy Select transmission, which gives the option of two- and four-wheel drive and can be switched at speeds of up to 62mph.

    The two wheel drive single cab has a payload of 1,160kg, the four wheel drive 1,155kg, while the double cab can carry 1,085kg.

  • L200 Single Cab 2.5 TD 2WD £10,295, 2.5 TD 4WD £12,695, L200 Double Cab 2.5 TD 4WD GL £14,795, 4Life £15,995, Warrior £16,995, Animal Double Cab £17,995. All prices ex-VAT.

    Shogun

    The Shogun, in long wheelbase form, is a very imposing car and as a commercial vehicle, a rather expensive one, starting as it does at £23,495.

    But this is not a volume workhorse and operates in a niche where a user will want the luxury of a four-wheel drive with a large amount of load space in the back.

    Available only with the 3.2-litre four cylinder DI-D engine, it has 275 lb-ft of torque at 2,000rpm and 158bhp on tap.

    The Shogun will return 26.9mpg with the automatic gearbox and 29.7 with the manual.

    As with most modern off- roaders, the Shogun uses a monocoque construction, giving extra rigidity and apart from the rattle of the cage separating the cockpit from the load area, there is very little to set it apart from passenger-carrying off-roaders.

    Ground clearance is a very useful 235mm.

  • Shogun 3.2 TD DI-D Classic Commercial £17,995, Equippe Commercial £21,295, Equippe Commercial auto £22,571.60, 3.5 V6 GDI Equippe Commercial auto £22,995, LWB Shogun 3.2 TD DI-D Classic Commercial £23,495, Classic Commercial auto £24,771.60, Equippe Commercial £25,995, Equippe Commercial auto £27,271.60 All prices are ex-VAT.

    Shogun Pinin

    The Shogun Pinin, which has 16 derivatives, is aimed at small businesses in towns and cities and comes with two petrol engines: the 113bhp

    1.8-litre MPI or a direct injection127bhp 2.0-litre GDI units. Fuel consumption ranges from 28,2-29.7 mpg.

    The 1.8 MPI model has permanent four wheel drive, but the 2.0-GDI uses the SS4-i selectable which sits in two wheel drive until four is needed. The lack of a diesel motor is the big drawback for the Shogun Pinin, although all 4Work Pinins have air conditioning, electric windows and front airbags as standard.

    Prices start at £10,995 ex-VAT for the short wheelbase 1.8 MPI, up to £14,846.06 for the Shogun Pinin 2.0 GDI Equippe Commercial automatic.

  • SWB Shogun Pinin 1.8 MPI Classic Commercial £10,995, Classic Commercial auto £11,846.06, LWB Shogun Pinin 1.8 MPI Classic Commercial £12,495, Classic Commercial auto £13,346.06, 2.0 GDI Equippe Commercial £13,995, 2.0 GDI Equippe Commercial auto £14,846.06.
  • CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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