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Mitsubishi L 200 2.5 TD 4WD

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Single Cab

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    1 Review
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      24.10.2004 13:00
      Very helpful



      I learned to drive in this truck, a 2001 L200 double-cab (import, but equivalent to UK 4life spec), which was a bit of a liability considering the evil handling and sheer size of the thing (around 5 metres or 16.4 feet). But I survived it, and it survived me! Awful as the handling was it taught me a thing or two about how to control a car, with its power-oversteer in the wet and snow, and roll-understeer in the, er, wet and snow. Consistent it was; consistently unpredictable, so it kept me on my toes.

      Alas, having a vehicle like this means you'll be towing a lot of people out of trouble, but despite being very underpowered it happily towed two Land Rover Discoverys out of steep ditches (in the snow), and several different cars up a tricky steep gradient, again in very deep snow. The handling in the snow isn't very good though, despite the four-wheel drive. I guess it can't overcome the size of the vehicle and the inherent handling problems.

      The power, 98bhp (uprated to an almost as feeble 115bhp in later models) really is inadequate in a vehicle nearing two tons, and the torque output of 177 lb/ft is equalled and often bettered by much smaller diesel engines. But the short gearing lets you keep up with most traffic and 80mph cruising is bearable. It tops out at around 95mph. Not to say I didn't like the engine, its gruffness and simplicity was endearing and 28-32mpg isn't so bad from a vehicle this size.

      Off-road it's remarkable what you can do with it, despite the long overhang at the rear and inadequate standard tyres. We only got it stuck once - in an unstable river bed - despite going deep into the wildness of Northern Scotland often.

      There were a couple of problems with the car, the rear axle would "knock" when the weather was wet, the rear electric windows constantly got stuck (common with L200s), the alloy wheels started to corrode heavily after six months (practically every Mitsubishi off-road alloy wheel has this problem, SORT IT OUT!). These aren't such bad problems considering the hard use it had and mileage we did in it though. It never ever let us down.

      The interior is fairly horrible, with little space and poor-quality plastics which scratch like hell despite it being a utility vehicle. But it seems built to last, and it's simple. The equipment list is decent, with power-steering, ABS, electric windows, air-conditioning and twin airbags.

      Of course the main reason most people buy these is image (I found the image on the whole a bit vulgar), but the practicality is fantastic. The pickup bed will swallow skis and snowboards whole, will take a couple of bales of hay and practically anything else you want.

      The vehicle is very tough as proven by its off-road experiences, and it also managed to hit two full-size roe deer without so much as a scratch or dent (though the bumper mounting bracket was bent a little).

      The servicing is a bit of a pain, especially when your local Mitsubishi dealer ignores you because your vehicle's an import (I thought Mitsubishi UK's policy was to accept imports?), and the car needs to be greased up every couple of thousand miles (just buy a grease gun and do it yourself).

      All in all it's a very able vehicle, even though it's flawed. Still, it's preferable to a Ford Ranger or Toyota Hilux, if not a Nissan Navara which is a lot more powerful and better-looking.


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