Mitsubishi’s L200 is its best pick-up yet – but do you need the bling of the Barbarian?

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Last day with the L200. This latest model is the fifth incarnation and, as you might expect, it’s far and away the best. The interior may feel a little dated but the new common-rail turbodiesel is a huge step forward in terms of refinement.

Despite a sound thrashing over the last seven days, the Mitsubishi is still returning around 36mpg too  – it’s capable of 43mpg. And if anything goes wrong, the Barbarian comes with a five-year/62,000-mile warranty.

Main gripes include the rather naff styling, which is bordering on OTT, while the L200 still leans into corners if at any time you forget that it’s essentially a working machine and not a five-seat people-mover. It’s a bit of a bone-shaker over rough surfaces too.

To sum up, if you need a proper workhorse for your lifestyle or business AND need a comfortable cabin for the family afterwards, the L200 is a great alternative to more expensive SUVs.

You might question whether you need the bling of the Barbarian though…

Lots of puddles? The Mitsubishi Barbarian takes no prisoners…

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It was so damn cold last night we had to light a fire. The rain fell heavily and a partially filled the load space at the back of the L200 double cab – making for a comical, if wet, exit from the farm this morning.

days like this remind me why people buy 4x4s. I should qualify that – people who live in the countryside. Sitting water that would terrify a sports car driver caused the Mitsubishi no problem at all.

And there’s no doubt the L200 has enough ground clearance. In fact, my only complaint would be that the side steps don’t actually stick out enough to give me feet enough purchase to get in.

OK, I may have big feet but try it and you’ll see what I mean…!

Sam Warburton versus the Barbarian? Not quite, he drives a Range Rover

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I’m just back from Cardiff where I have been interviewing Welsh rugby captain, Sam Warburton. Appropriately, he got his first captaincy for Wales against the Barbarians in 2011.

I can’t really see Sam in L200 Barbarian – he actually drives a Range Rover Sport. However, like the big fella, the Mitsubishi is virtually unstoppable in the muddy rough stuff.

I had a brief chance to take it off-road yesterday too and the L200 really comes into its own. It may wallow and lean on the tarmac but in the dirt it’s quite sensational. I’ll hose the mud off the bling before it goes back.

Today’s only complaint is that the whole passenger seats vibrates when the L200 goes over rough ground. Not what you’d expect from a £25k vehicle…

Mitsubishi’s L200 Barbarian has more chrome bling than a rapper’s knuckle

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Mitsubishi has been making double cabs for donkeys years. The L200 is one of the best on the market and the company has shifted 4.1 million globally over the last six decades.

However, the double cab really took off about 15 years ago when somebody higher up the food chain decided it would make a cool lifestyle vehicle too. You know, add some leather, chrome and an infotainment system and you have a muscle-bound four-seater with rock hard credentials.

And this latest Series 5 Barbarian model is just about the ultimate in ‘lifestyle’. Some might say it’s completely over the top but anybody who steps up into the cab for the first time will quickly realise it’s a class above any 4×4 pick-up Mitsubishi has ever built before.

I doubt many Barbarians will go further off-road than parking on the pavement but underneath all the gloss, it is a ‘proper’ working vehicle too. I’m not sure about all the luxury trim but I must admit I have a soft-spot for the L200 and look forward to the week ahead…