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Mitsubishi L200: Hunters In Foreign Territories

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Mitsubishi L200: Hunters In Foreign Territories
Mitsubishi L200: Hunters In Foreign Territories

Video: Mitsubishi L200: Hunters In Foreign Territories

Video: Mitsubishi L200: Hunters In Foreign Territories
Video: Mitsubishi L200 Hunter 2008 (Jerusalem) 2023, June

Pickups only have a niche function in Germany. Mitsubishi plans to expand its regular target groups with the third generation of the L200.

By Thomas Flehmer

Mitsubishi is poaching in foreign territories with the third generation of the L200. The most successful pickup in Germany so far with almost 42,000 sales since 1996, which rolled off the assembly line for the first time in 1978, is to be removed from its outsider function. In addition to the established target groups of commercial users, the Japanese car manufacturer now also wants to make the L200 more palatable to “trend-conscious families”, as Germany Managing Director Thomas Kursch announced at the presentation in Frankfurt am Main.

Break through box design

“We wanted to break through the box design on four wheels,” says product manager Oliver Söll. Instead of occupying a small niche for hunters, anglers or building contractors with the pickup truck, as was the case in the past, “young couples and families with higher incomes should now opt for the sports utility truck instead of a station wagon”. Therefore, the manufacturers oriented themselves on the Dakar series winner Pajero Evolution.

And the first impression proves the product manager right. With round shapes, although somewhat brawny, the L200 presents itself as a mixture of mini truck and SUV. In the interior, too, you never get the impression of sitting in a van. The plastic cladding doesn't look cheap, the seats provide enough lateral support, the fittings are reminiscent of a car, not a truck.

Grown everywhere


In addition, the space in the double cabin is very generous. In contrast to its predecessor, the headroom has increased by 13, the knee room by 60 and the inner length by 150 millimeters. In addition, in the Nobel equipment variant “Intense”, the rear window towards the loading area can be lowered electrically. Equipping the loading area itself is greatly simplified by a pull-out floor. An optional hard top merges the cargo area with the passenger cell. The journey can begin.

With the 2.5-liter common rail diesel, which is powered by 100 kW / 136 PS, you are not sporty, but you are on the road quickly. 314 Nm, which are applied at 2000 revolutions per minute, drive the pick-up from zero to 100 km / h in 14.6 seconds and up to a top speed of 167 km / h.

The 4-speed automatic transmission should currently be preferred to the 5-speed manual transmission. Due to a modified injection in the manual switch, the engine is a little louder than in the automatically driven L200. Söll promised improvement to Auto-News24. “A new engine control unit will be installed in October. Then the noises will penetrate the interior more muffled. But there is no retrofitting. " Even so, conversations were just as possible on the motorway at higher speeds as in city traffic.

Good turning circle


There the L200 also moves in the dimensions of a car. With a turning circle of just 11.8 meters, the market leader is at least two meters ahead of its competitors. It is incomprehensible that, given the confusion that a mini truck has compared to smaller cars, no parking aid was used. Sensors can be ordered for an extra 140 euros. Here you could have added 140 euros as standard to the entry-level price of 26,190 euros for the double cabin.

For the "Intense" equipment, 28,990 are due. The price for the single cabin starts at 21,990 euros, the Club Cab is sold from 24,690 euros. However, 80 percent of all L200 buyers opt for the double cab we drive. This version can also score points in the field and thus returns to its roots. As the only representative in the pickup segment, the L200 has permanent all-wheel drive, which, however, only ensures safety and progress in the field with the "Intense" equipment. With the other versions, the front-wheel drive must be switched on at the push of a button.

Fun on inclines

But then there is for the? Super Select 4WD ?? together with the driving stability and traction control ?? MASC / MATC ?? no more stopping. The L200 can even take steep inclines in the snow with ease. And the environment shouldn't suffer either. The L200 is the only pickup representative to meet the Euro 4 standard. A particle filter can be retrofitted for 650 euros.

Even if the pickups only occupy a niche with a market share of 0.7 percent in Europe, not only Mitsubishi expects an increase in this segment. The third generation is therefore another anticipation over competitors such as the Nissan Navarra or the Toyota Hilux. And it is clear that this trend is slowly taking off. Mazda will soon be bringing a pickup with the BT-50, German manufacturers see an enormous amount of catching up to do in this segment - and not just for fishermen, hunters and gatherers.

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