Everyone wanted to drive this macho truck, loaded down with various bells and whistles and looking cool enough to turn heads at 100 paces.
I’ve been driving Mitsubishi’s UK best-seller for just under a month and the verdict so far is a ‘yes, no, maybe’. In other words, while some aspects are pleasing me greatly, others are not.
Let’s start with the good bits first... as a big show-off, I’m loving the attention I get from passers-by. Small boys go: ‘Cor’, middle-aged men look dewy-eyed and owners of old-style L200s look at you as though they’d like to throttle you.
Which leads me on to my second plus point – this vehicle is about as far removed as possible from its predecessor, which I remember testing a couple of years ago.
That truck was more like a tractor in comparison and had suspension so hard that I felt in danger of losing a couple of fillings. Our new model is, in comparison, slick, smooth and just the sort of thing that is capable of tackling long motorway journeys, which is a major plus point for me as a lot of my trips are of that variety.
As for driveability plus points, the L200 comes complete with traction control, which is a major boon as anyone who has ever driven one of these vehicles will know about their temperamental tails.
Whether you are in a Nissan Navara, an L200 or a Toyota Hilux, the lightweight back ends buck and prance like a wild mustang on the bends, especially in wet weather. With traction control aboard the L200, give the roads a light sprinkling of rain and that little orange light winks on at regular intervals.
Now let’s turn to the minus points. Firstly, while the seats are firm and supportive in the back and squab, there is no sideways support at all. Get a bit frisky on the bends and the driver is likely to end up in the passenger seat.
Also, the steering wheel has an amazing four-and-a-half turns from lock-to-lock, which means that the driver risks losing contact with the wheel. On several occasions when negotiating a sharp set of curves, I’ve been left with my arms flailing like a windmill.
Then, despite the fact that Mitsubishi makes great play of the L200 being smaller and having a better turning circle than its rival the Navara, this vehicle is still a pain in the posterior to winkle into most car parking spaces. At my local Sainsbury’s I have now taken to parking right over in the far corner.
Another annoyance reared its ugly head the other day when I happened to use the Dartford crossing. The man in the kiosk had the nerve to charge me £1.80 (CV rate) instead of £1 (car rate), despite the fact that a Range Rover had just gone through ahead of me at the lower price.
I tried to remonstrate, but to no avail. I think the words: ‘Cough up or sling yer hook’ came into it somwehere.
Model: Mitsubishi L200 Warrior auto
Price (ex-VAT OTR): £18,799 (£23,770 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 252
Company car tax bill (2006) 22% tax-payer: £9 per month
Insurance group: 9
Combined mpg: 29.7
Test mpg: 26.6
CAP Monitor residual value: £8,450/43%
HSBC contract hire rate: N/A
Expenditure to date: Nil