My half-year experiment as a close cousin to white van man is over. Large, swanky double cab pickups straddle the gap between the building site and the suburban driveway; theyíre designed to fit seamlessly into any of these applications, plus much more in between. The equation, if youíll forgive the Daily Mailish approximation, is thus: buyer at wheel, wife in front, kids in back, power tools in boot, VAT saving in the bank. Huge numbers agree with the argument that the double cab is a ëcarí for all reasons, and this supersize Mitsubishi is the cheerleader for that buying tendency.
Amid all that, you may anticipate the word ëcompromiseí. If you create a car that answers a variety of demands, itís inevitable it will hold you back from readily ticking all the boxes for everyday use. So after six months, hereís a brief resumÈ of three key boxes our L200 left empty.
1 Practicality and parkability
More specifically, meeting the repetitive and predictable demands thrown by a family of six. It seats five, max, despite the girth and length. Thatís no killer issue as neither do any other double cabs. But MPV it ainít. And thatís despite posing the dimensional demands of Richard Greenís yacht at the local car park. That rear overhang spells the need to search for remote corners where you can berth over landscaped borders. Still, that extra walkís good for the pedometer, while the odd twelve-point turn will never hurt the biceps.
2 Useable space
The L200ís cabin and rear area combined are indisputably generous, but with two childrenís seats in the rear, that third space is far from ideal and the seat base a bit churchy. In the tail, you could get a whole postcode in, but if you add the high-top we specced, youíll need the arms of a baboon to retrieve items. Uncovered, security is an obvious issue. A lockable roll-top, on reflection, may be the best all-round solution. My joy at the availability of this space was also tempered by the fact that our local recycling centre wonít let me in unless Iím pre-booked and on the list. Rock up on spec and they think youíre nothing better than a good-mannered flytipper.
The L200 does just about everything with class and exudes quality. So no shock that itís pricey to purchase. But itís also costly to run: 31mpg was the overall real-world figure we squeezed from this engine. If you can put it on expenses, enjoy nonetheless ñ and with all this power on tap, I suspect you will, seeing as despite its size, the L200 has immense overtaking ability.
And so to the defence, or at least mitigation: buy this as your answer to all your motoring needs and you may well muse protractedly over all the above. My belief, after six months, is that the L200 is a brilliant, characterful addition to your family fleet, especially in bechromed Barbarian spec and Peacekeeper white.
But your only set of wheels? Well, if you also possess a small Tesco shuttle, pursue some sort of profession which occasionally leads to the purchase of a high-vis jacket or steel-toed boots, donít cover an immense mileage and enjoy the feeling of a road-going castle, get to that dealership pronto. A short test drive will quickly reveal that the L200 is refined and well-mannered, despite being something of a space-hogger in the traffic.
But if you seek your perfect car, donít be fooled: this is a truly great double cab. Should you also require a great car, perhaps invest in one ñ and buy a trailer to go alongside.
Date arrived 13th January 2017
Fuel economy urban/extra urban/combined) 31.0/42.8/37.7mpg
You’re never going to go unnoticed in this. So enjoy the statement, especially in United Nations white.
Keyless ignition, but no stop-start mechanism? Idling at the lights, I’ve often yearned for this fuel-saving feature.