The L200 came to our rescue this month when ‘Elaine Beige’ threatened to leave us in the lurch. ‘Elaine Beige’ is the name of our retro motorhome: an FFB Classic from the early 90s with a 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine. Like many of us, Ms Beige has been in lockdown for most of 2020, but having booked a few days off to be with the family, we put some tax on the old girl and decided to do a few day trips with the mountain bikes. Elaine had other ideas, with her alternator belt flying off on a hill just a few miles from our house. Cue a red battery light on the dashboard, disappointed children and a motorhome beginning to look like a big beige elephant.
Unlike our other pick-up, the D-Max, the L200 doesn’t have a tow bar, so we decided to see if we could fit all four bikes into the load area. With the front wheels removed, we were delighted to discover that all four bikes could fit alongside each other, albeit with the handlebars sticking out of the top section of the tailgate. Brilliant. Having tied the tailgate down with a bungee cord, we set off for the moors, looking like a lifestyle advert for the L200. The high-level brake light is on the lower section of the tailgate, so it remains visible, even with the top section open. A few days later, we even discovered that the bikes could be loaded on top of each other, with the front wheels removed. This means you can close the top section, which is better for security and when venturing further afield. As I’ve said before, it’s great when you can load dirty bikes and clothing into the back, without worrying about messing up the fancy interior.
As is standard practice for a long-term test car, the L200 has been to the recycling centre. Two large dumpy bags of garden rubbish went in the back with ease and there was even room for a few extra sacks. It’s amazing what a difference a small load can make to the ride quality. Pick-ups are notoriously bouncy when travelling light, but the L200 feels more hunkered down and secure with something in the back. It’s fair to say that, after a shaky start, the L200 is working its way into the family’s affections.
A few issues remain. The stop-start system is curiously random. On some journeys it fails to operate, while at other times it will kick-in at the wrong moment, just as you’re about to move away. It doesn’t appear to be affecting the fuel economy, which remains within touching distance of the official figure. Finally, the arrival of autumn means that we’re spending more time driving the Mitsubishi in the dark. I remain unconvinced by the blue ambient lighting, which is retina-burning bright on the door sills. Also, is it me, or is blue the same colour they use to light public toilets? Maybe a warm red would be a bit better. Then again…
Date arrived 10th March 2020
Economy (WLTP combined) 29.1mpg
Economy (On test) 28.5mpg