The L200 is among the best selling pick-ups on the market and it's easy to see why. It's a good looker - the 2010 model getting a few subtle revisions to it lines - while it's able to haul and carry just about anything imaginable. Don't mistake it for a proper SUV though; the L200 is a commercial machine with a few luxury car-like touches. Appreciate it on that level and it's difficult not to be impressed.
What are its rivals?
The L200 has an established group of rivals that will all haul and carry much the same loads. Key rivals include the Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara and the Toyota Hilux. All are massively dependable, rugged workhorses, though Mitsubishi has long been one of the market leaders in the sales charts - it outselling all its competition in 2009.
How does it drive?
Decently enough given its commercial roots. Without a load in its large rear bed the suspension can get a bit busy, the rear-end skipping and bumping around. At motorway speeds it's quiet enough, though ask the engine to accelerate briskly and it does so rather vocally. The automatic transmission shifts cleanly, but a constant motorway speed does see it hunting around for the right gear sometimes with the resultant jerkiness becoming tiresome. The steering is light, and the turning circle tight, though you'll be thankful for this Barbarian's standard reversing camera when trying to park it - the L200 is long. Narrow, though, making it surprisingly easy in town traffic. Off-road it'll go anywhere its competition will, it not surprising that so many farmers have binned their expensive Land Rover Defenders for inexpensive utilitarian machines like the L200, which actually provide a good bit more comfort and equipment for not a lot of money.
The price. This L200 Barbarian costs around £23,000, which given its ability and equipment is a lot of vehicle for the money. The double-cab version gives it decent people-carrying ability, but don't think that it's a realistic replacement for a proper SUV for the family. As mentioned, off-road it'll go anywhere; while on-road it's not completely out of its depth. Wind noise isn't too bad either.
Mitsubishi throws kit at it and asks very little in return. This Barbarian comes with satnav, a reversing camera, leather seats, climate control, alloy wheels and central locking all as standard. Mitsubishi has also improved economy and emissions for the 2010 model year, this five-speed auto-equipped L200 returning 30.1mpg on the combined consumption cycle and emitting 248g/km of CO2.
Even with its good looks and plentiful equipment it's impossible to hide that you're buying a working vehicle. Creature comforts do give it some more rounded ability, but after a while you'll yearn for the proper ride and refinement of a conventional SUV. If you've bought it as an occasional load lugger, or something to tow your heavy toys like boats around with you'll forgive it this, but if you've been seduced by the low list price and its SUV-rivalling potential then you'll be disappointed. Not least as there's nowhere but the rear deck to carry anything when you've got passengers in the rear cab. The fiddly aftermarket load covers aren't watertight either, meaning anything you place in the rear needs to be weatherproof.
Should I buy one?
Buy it because you actually need its rugged towing and carrying ability rather than because you want to be seen to need it. The L200 and its type are all compromised as everyday vehicles, but the tough Mitsubishi makes up for this when it's doing what it's meant to; specifically - working. Use it so and it'll impress.