Sales of crew cab pick-ups are back on the rise
Mitsubishi L200: Reassuringly, the new Mitsubishi L200 retains the iconic styling of the previous version. The 2.4 diesel engine produces 181PS and 430Nm torque and with a braked towing capacity of 3,100kg it's certainly a practical workhorse. The bed of the L200 may be slightly smaller than others tested but overall the Mitsubishi is the most compact of the crew cabs driven, and at 1,815mm wide is quite easy to manoeuvre in small spaces.
Inside the cabin you'll find a 6.1" touchscreen with plenty of connectivity built into a basic but practical dashboard. There's heaps of room for five and a hidden storage space behind the rear seats is an ideal spot for keeping valuable tools. On the road, a lane departure warning system alerts of any passing dangers and the manual version will consume 6.6l/100km, while the automatic model will use 7.2l/100km.
Mitsubishi L200 pricing starts at €33,250 including VAT for a double cab pick-up - although there is also a single cab 'business' version available starting at €29,950. The model tested was a 5-speed automatic, which costs €36,450 and comes with a five-year or 100,000km warranty. While the L200 may be fitted with a high level of specification as standard, the test car also comes with the optional sporty-looking bed cover, which will set you back an extra €2,850 ex VAT.
Volkswagen Amarok: At 1,954mm wide the Amarok certainly is imposing but with a reversing camera and parking sensors all round it's not difficult to manoeuvre.
Despite having a slightly more industrial look than the other cabins, once you're behind the wheel the Alcanatara seats are quite comfortable for long journeys and there are numerous 12v sockets for charging more than one device at a time. On the road, the 2.0L diesel 180bhp engine has plenty of torque (400Nm) but when the bed is empty it does feel a little unpredictable on bends. However, the driving dynamics are hugely improved, with just a little weight added in the back so if you generally travel with a toolbox it shouldn't be an issue.
Volkswagen's Amarok starts at €37,470 including VAT. All models have double cabs and sales have increased by 15.5pc when you compare the first quarter of 2015 to 2016. The Amarok tested was an "Ultimate", which comes with Bi-Xenon headlamps, 19" alloys, Sat Nav and heated front seats as standard and costs €54,752 with added accessories, such as wind deflectors, bonnet and headlamp protector and a roller cover for the bed. The standard warranty on the Amarok is just two years but VW does offer options for extending this up to five years along with service plans. Fuel consumption averages 7.6l/100km.
Nissan Navara: Nissan's new 12th generation Navara may be chunky and solid-looking from the outside, but inside the dashboard design and materials borrow heavily from the much smaller X-Trail. Even the seating position is quite low in comparison to rivals but once you press the start button the hum from the twin turbo engine is certainly impressive.
This 2.3 litre diesel produces 190bhp, has 450Nm torque and with a braked towing capacity of 3,500kg it is ideal for pulling large loads around.
Prices start from €33,250 including VAT for a 2.3L single turbo 160bhp diesel engine in XE trim. The model tested was the range-topping twin turbo LE, which starts at €40,450 and comes with plenty of features, such as 18" alloys, chrome detailing and interior luxuries including cameras, which give a bird's eye view when reversing. Our test car was also fitted with the optional leather interior. Combined fuel consumption on the Navara is an impressive 6.4L/100km and it comes with a five-year or 160,000km warranty.