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Mitsubishi L200 pickup (2015-2019) - Engines, drive & performance

The Mitsubishi L200 drives well for a pickup, but it’s no car-like SUV

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3.7 out of 5

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Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.4 out of 5

It’s important to consider that, while the Mitsubishi L200 is the best pickup when it comes to the driving experience, it still doesn’t come close to a quiet, smooth and responsive SUV. That’s because, for all the L200’s fancy trim, it’s a commercial vehicle at heart, designed to be a tough, reliable, load-hauling workhorse.

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By car standards, the L200 is quite agricultural, with a tendency to skip and bounce over bumps in the road instead of gliding over them. Larger bumps and potholes can send a judder through the passenger compartment. Despite this (and rear suspension designed to handle huge weights), it feels fairly composed when cornering on smooth tarmac and the ride is pretty good.

Considering its size, the L200 is fairly easy to thread through busy streets, thanks in part to its reasonably responsive steering. It has a tighter turning circle than its rivals, too.

The Titan, Warrior and Barbarian models feature the Super Select 4x4 system fitted to the Mitsubishi Shogun SUV. This can distribute power to the wheels with the most grip, although you can switch between two and four-wheel drive manually at speeds of up to 62mph. Serious off-road drivers will be interested in the car’s low-range gearbox with locking differentials.

Mitsubishi L200 diesel engine

All models in the L200 range are fitted with a 178bhp 2.4-litre diesel engine. By the standards of other pickups, it performs very well, feeling every bit as swift as its 10.4-second 0-62mph time suggests. It develops its power smoothly – more so than the five-cylinder, 3.2-litre engine found in the Ford Ranger – meaning the truck is easy to drive around town, too. By way of comparison, it’s slower than an equivalent Volkswagen Amarok, but faster than a 3.2-litre Ford Ranger.

It’s worth bearing in mind the entry-level 4Life model is slightly slower, but with a load of cargo in the back, you’d be hard-pressed to notice.

The 2.4-litre diesel engine is noisy when worked hard and becomes harsher as engine speed increases. However, at the motorway speed limit in sixth gear, it’ll happily sit at just 1,500rpm, meaning it’s very quiet.

A six-speed manual gearbox is fitted as standard and is nice to use, if a little notchy when selecting gears. A five-speed automatic, complete with gearshift paddles, is also available. This transmission is well suited to the relaxed way the L200 needs to be driven.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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