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Mitsubishi L200: practical power for when going gets really tough

First Drive: Mitsubishi L200

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Mitsubishi l200

Mitsubishi l200

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Mitsubishi l220 b

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Mitsubishi l200

I wish I had the Mitsubishi L200 Double Cab Pickup 2.2 diesel for the atrocious wind and rain of recent times. It's the sort of motor that thrives in such weather and underfoot conditions.

As if to emphasise that attribute, this latest model has greater stability and traction, while an advanced suspension adds to its rugged, robust nature.

You can't beat 4WD traction when the elements are against you, be it slippery rain-soaked hilly roads or flood-pocked highways.

I didn't venture off-road in any meaningful way in this - but I know from previous model trials over tough terrain how incredibly adaptable these motors can be.

They are just dogged and tough but, on the tarmac, can be perfectly acceptable as road-going vehicles.

The L200 fared really well on that front considering it is primarily for those who need accommodation for working passengers with the practicality of a large loading bay.

You see them as workhorses for builders, semi-state companies, farmers etc - all in need of their versatility.

But there are stipulations around whom you can carry without affecting the tax status of the vehicle. Generally speaking, if you tax your pickup as a commercial (N1), to avail of cheaper road tax (€333), you can only use it for work. If you want to use it as a family car (social, domestic, pleasure etc) you have to tax it as a private vehicle and that can be costlier.

On test, this oozed power and pulling ability while it was stoutly comfortable on the road.

There was good room in the back row of seats and a decent array of spec and digital interface and interconnectivity.

But the voice control system was frustrating and I gave up trying to use it. I don't understand why it didn't work for me; it does for most other cars I test. Maybe it is my fault.

What a great driving position, though. The sort that conjured images of driving over fields and hillsides with a full load on board.

From an on-road perspective this had the sort of accommodation that goes with hard-wearing everyday use.

Overall it's a fine piece of engineering that does what it says on the tin - and sometimes even more.

Factfile

* Mitsubishi L200 Double Cab Pickup, 2.2 diesel 6spd manual, 150hp, 400Nm torque.

* Price: €37,850; 231g/km, tax €333 (N1), 8.8litre/100km.

* Safety elements include forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, hill descent control, active stability/traction control system, hill start assist, multi around-view monitor; LCD display.

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