Mon | Oct 14, 2019

L200 a force to reckon with

Published:Sunday | September 29, 2019 | 12:10 AMKareem LaTouche - Automotives Writer

Mitsubishi boasts that the L200 is a blend of agile drivability, full comfort, and solid toughness, all of which is quite evident at first glance.

The unmistakeable rectangular front grille extends into the LED daytime running lamp, which sits next to the halogen headlights. The front of the bonnet is strategically bent down for aerodynamic performance, and the same can be said for the character lines on the side panels.

The length of the double cabin is 1,745mm, or 5.7’, which makes it more than adequate for four adults. Inside is also quieter than previous models as there is sound-absorbing material throughout for more noise reduction.

The now-custom wing-type tiptronic gear shifters make it easy to control the automatic transmission, especially in manual mode. The thing I’ve always liked is that they are so long, you can still access them at whatever angle the steering is turned.

Going off-road

Mitsubishi has multiple options for its off-road management system, which is activated by a drive mode selector dial. The version I got allows the driver to switch between 2WD (2H), 4WD (4H), and 4WD (4L).

However, for the advanced trim level, there is the option to lock the differentials. With four-wheel high (4HLc), which can be accessed at speeds of up to 100km/h, it is best suited for rugged terrain with low-grip surfaces. The other option is four-wheel low (4LLc), and to engage this mode, the vehicle must be stopped. This is for extreme terrain where the vehicle must operate at a slow speed, like approaching very steep hills.

With an approach angle of 31 degrees and departure of 28 degrees, there are very few types of terrain this vehicle can’t manage despite having a ground clearance that’s a little lower than its competitors. Nonetheless, it makes up for this with some tech-savvy features like Hybrid Limited Slip Differential, which helps to maintain excellent traction on slippery and rugged surfaces.

There is also an internal clutch escape mechanism, which helps to prevent the loss of torque if the wheels start slipping. All this was very crucial while driving it on the back roads to Holywell.

Of course, this doesn’t mean much if the ride isn’t enjoyable – and for a pickup, the L200 does a good job. There are double wishbones with coil springs and a stabiliser bar in front to ensure that those who are in the cabin are comfortable. However, I would prefer it to be a little firmer for off-road journeys. At the rear, for the purpose of carrying heavy loads, there is a leaf-suspension system.

Giving a good mixture

Gone are the days when pickups only did workhorse stuff. Now they are expected to also feel like domestic SUVs. With the aim of accomplishing this, the L200 includes its 6.1” Link System, which is used for multimedia purposes, and, in other trim levels, a display for the rear-view camera.

The company is also boasting its Electronic Time and Alarm Control System, which performs four main functions. Firstly, there is a power window timer, which allows you to operate the power windows for 30 seconds after the engine is turned off. Something similar happens to the headlamp after the engine has been turned off.

As for the door, if it is unlocked from the outside and no one has opened it within 30 seconds, it automatically relocks itself. Finally, there are the speed-adjustable wipers, which operate at a faster speed when the vehicle accelerates.

Overall, the L200 managed the treacherous off-road quite comfortably, and, given that it is a diesel engine, the gas usage was minimal. In the end, I think the L200 is going to find favour with the local market, given its features and price tag.

 

Price of tested model: $5.7m

Available at Stewart’s Auto Sales Ltd, 49-53 South Camp Road. Tel: (876) 928 - 5041-7, email: contact@mitsubishijamaica.com.