Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian X Road Test
The Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian X is the latest in our series of lifestyle pickup reviews. Mitsubishi’s L200 is now in its 6th generation with production beginning way back in 1978, and worldwide production topping 5 million vehicles so far.
If you’re looking for a pickup, you will be interested in some or all of the statistics, so here we go;
There is an all-new 2268cc all-aluminium turbo diesel 4 cylinder engine producing 150bhp and 400Nm torque. Gearbox options are the new 6 speed automatic or a 6-speed manual.
The payload is up to 1080kg and gross train weight (GTW) is 6100 kg.
Curb weight for the L200 is 1935kg and the towing capacity is 3100kg with a twin axle trailer.
At just under 5.3m long, this is a long vehicle and certainly doesn’t fit into a small, modern parking space. Width is 1.8m and feels no wider than most of the traffic around you. Lastly, the bed length is 1850 on this model.
List price on the L200 starts at around £21,000, rising to £32,000 for what you see here, the Barbarian X.
It wasn’t all that long ago that a pickup was simply a work tool. I remember early L200’s, Ford Rangers and many others, being pretty agricultural and basic. Over time, manufacturers have added more and more creature comforts. These days, manufacturers generally include at least one well-appointed, lifestyle type pickup in their range.
Mitsubishi is no exception with their L200. This Barbarian X model is like a luxury SUV inside. Barbarian X comes with leather and Alcantara upholstery. The seats have sixpack quilted stitching, and leather features on door cards, centre console, armrest, and rear seats. The interior plastics are high quality and soft touch and after several thousand press fleet miles (aka hard miles) the interior is fresh, unmarked and doesn’t squeak or rattle.
Exterior styling is a bit contentious. In a time when manufacturers seem to be trying to soften the styling on pickups to make them less aggressive, Mitsubishi decided on a more bold approach to the styling. The front is particularly striking with angle and straight lines dominating. They call is dynamic mesh. One thing is for sure, it’s an imposing sight in your rearview mirror.
Side steps have been raised, in fact, the whole vehicle rides higher.
Pickups have generally lacked in creature comforts over here. In the last few years, things have certainly changed, and this L200 boasts an impressive list of active safety aids. Partly lead by legislation and partly by customer expectation, o modern pickup is very well specified. This Mitsubishi has every active safety aid you would find on a modern car. Mitsubishi proudly state this barbarian X has class-leading active safety.
As you would expect, there is a touch screen infotainment system. It’s not the last word in refinement but works well and has a good stereo.
What’s it like to live with and drive? It has a poor turning circle and is a little bit bouncy over potholes, to be honest. Mitsubishi have stiffened the suspension over the previous generation but the L200 still retains a solid axle and leaf spring at the rear but does have double wishbones and struts at the front. There are stiffer springs but in my humble opinion, the damping could be better. It works much better with a bit of weight on the back and is very smooth then.
Let’s put this into perspective. This L200 is a pickup, designed to work for a living. It’s also a serious off-road tool with increased ground clearance over the previous model and a host of off-road features such as a low range gearbox and locking diffs. It’s also a luxury SUV and all for £32,000. Bearing that in mind, there is bound to be a compromise. Saying it’s compromised seem unfair though, it’s very nice to drive. I did 5 hours on the road in it one day with absolutely no issues or complaints. It was a lovely place to be.